If you want to experience success with your restaurant, goal setting is a proven way to make your dreams a reality. The best way to set restaurant goals is to look at areas where the business is struggling and find ways to improve them. The Kitchen Spot Experts want to help you reach your restaurant goals, so we’ve created a step-by-step guide, with goal suggestions, to help your restaurant reach its full potential.
Perhaps the best way to achieve your restaurant goals is to follow the S.M.A.R.T method — Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. Following this process helps you create goals that your restaurant can actually achieve to help it truly succeed.
The more specific you are when making goals for your restaurant, the more likely the goal is to succeed. Instead of saying “I am going to increase revenue,” consider “I am going to increase monthly revenue 10% by the end of the third quarter.” Having a specific number and deadline makes the goal more attainable.
While wanting to increase restaurant revenue is a great goal, how will you know that you’ve succeeded if you can’t measure it? If your monthly revenue is $30,000 and you want to increase it 10%, you should be at $33,000 a month at the end of the third quarter. With the specific number, you can easily track how close you are to your goal at any given time as well as determine when you’ve actually hit your goal.
Restaurant goals are meant to push you and your employees a little harder without being completely overwhelming. Setting an unrealistic goal, such as a 1,000% revenue increase in one month, is extremely daunting and creates a feeling of failure when a team falls short. A better approach is to break that 1,000% into smaller, more manageable pieces. Start with a 10% increase over three months and once you achieve that, add another 10% until you reach the final goal. As you reach the smaller goals, it gives you the motivation to keep moving forward toward the bigger goals.
Any goals that you have for your restaurant should actually be related to the overall success of the restaurant. Is it relevant to want to serve the best chicken dish around when your restaurant is known for its steak? Additionally, is now the right time to implement new plans or goals for the staff? If you can justifiably answer “yes” to those and similar questions, the goal is relevant to your restaurant and you can move forward with it.
“A goal without a deadline is just a dream.” — Robert Herjavec
“A goal without a deadline is just a dream.” — Robert Herjavec
A broad goal without a time qualifier is unlikely to be completed. If you don’t have a deadline to work toward, the drive and desire to complete the goal can decrease. By setting a timeframe, you can break your goal into more manageable pieces and make measurable steps toward the end result. What can you do today to reach your revenue goal by the end of the third quarter? How about tomorrow? Next week? With a deadline in place, it is easier to see progress and discover what is and isn’t working toward the end goal.
Types of Goals
There isn’t one place in your restaurant that can’t benefit from focused goals. Here, you’ll find general goals as well as steps that you can take to reach those goals. However, any pain point in your restaurant can be addressed and improved through goal setting.
Every restaurateur wants to be profitable, so setting goals geared toward finances is a no-brainer. There are plenty of things that can be done to streamline, balance, and improve the financial aspect of your restaurant.
There are many ways you can increase the revenue in your restaurant, including adding new menu items, hosting monthly special events, and improving employee productivity. Consider running promotions to bring in more customers and scheduling your best employees during peak times to efficiently help as many guests as possible. Aim to take small steps toward increasing revenue to see what works best for your restaurant.
Reducing Labor Costs
Labor costs can potentially eat up 75% of your business funds if they aren’t kept in check. Some simple ways to do this are to staff the restaurant according to customer needs. If it’s a slower time, you don’t need as many people there to cook food and serve customers. Another tip is to invest in your current staff. Employees that feel appreciated and take care of will, in turn, work harder for the company that supports them. Additionally, hiring and training new employees is actually more expensive than retaining the team you already have.
Shake Up the Menu
Are you spending a large portion of your food budget on ingredients that don’t sell? It might be time to revise your menu. Dishes that aren’t as popular typically don’t bring in enough revenue to balance the cost of creating the meal. You can remove underperforming dishes while also finding more cost-effective ways to produce the meals that your customers most often choose.
Another area to focus your restaurant goals on is kitchen KPIs (key performance indicators). Poor kitchen production can severely impact the customer experience and your establishment’s reputation. There are three key areas that you should focus on for KPIs in the kitchen, so set a goal in each category to see vast improvements.
Long wait times are not ideal for any restaurant and often leave customers feeling frustrated. The kitchen should have a speed metric based on the types of food being served and how much food is in the order. There are back-of-house technologies that can track each step of the process, including when the order was submitted, when it was started cooking, how long it should take to cook, and how long it actually took to cook. Knowing these numbers can help you set goals on how to reduce times and increase overall speed.
Quickly prepared food still needs to be delicious food. Your kitchen staff should have goals for properly preparing food, getting orders correct, and reducing the amount of food that gets sent back. Excellent food and great service are what keep customers coming back to your restaurant, so ensure that food quality is up to standard. You could also set goals for your ingredient quality, like sourcing locally or organically to see how that impacts the quality of your food.
If a dish on your menu is prepared by one chef in eight minutes and another chef in 14 minutes, there is a consistency discrepancy. Each chef or cook should be able to produce the same quality of food in the same amount of time so that your customers can expect a consistent meal every time they order it. Additionally, ensure that anyone who is cooking food is preparing the meal from the same recipe to increase speed and the standard of food.
Your front-of-house staff are the face of your restaurant and the first people your customers encounter. Delicious food alone is not enough to keep guests coming back if the service is poor. From hosts to servers, each employee should make providing superior customer experience their goal.
Hosts are seating masters, so a good goal for them would be to have the table numbers and sections memorized. A host should also be friendly and personable to every customer or group that comes in, so you could make it a goal to better train each host to be welcoming.
A server’s job is all about anticipating the needs of the customer and providing excellent service. Since servers should have extensive knowledge of the menu to help customers when they ask questions, make it a goal that each server has the menu memorized in a certain amount of time. Additionally, you could create a speed KPI for clearing tables that they could work toward meeting.
Safe food handling and restaurant sanitation should be an important goal for every employee in the business. There are daily, weekly, and monthly tasks that need to be completed to ensure that the restaurant is maintaining health code standards. The best way to reach these sanitation goals is to implement checklists for each task set and train your employees to correctly follow the process.