inflation

Inflation vs. your restaurant

2 avenues for success even as people dine out less often.

High inflation. You’re feeling it in your wallet and it’s evident in the half-full restaurant tables on a usually busy Friday night.

It’s clear hyperinflation is raising prices and hurting customer spending. But how will this change the foodservice industry? In a space with already-thin margins, restaurant operators can win with better financial management and by enriching the customer’s experience. 

An Ipsos survey found 54 percent of Canadians plan to cut back on dining out due to increased prices. Along with battling labour shortages and continued supply chain disruptions, restaurants must deal with a smaller customer base and decreases in regular visits by focusing on two key areas. 

Accounting for more costs

Financial awareness gets you a long way. You budget for increasing costs and make decisive and accurate calls on ingredients, recipes, menu pricing and staffing. All of these details make ends meet, but there are always ways to improve.

Tracking your accounting data is crucial. Every data point is a snapshot in time, helping managers benchmark costs, income and other financial behaviours.

Combine this data with monitoring point-of-sale system numbers and personal operational insights such as customer traffic and staff efficiency. Taken together, it can be the key to a better bottom line and smart decisions. 

Make every occasion special

Another solution is to enhance the customer experience. Even though menu prices are higher and they are eating out less often, people enjoy dining away from home. Give them a reason to choose your restaurant.

Make sure your guests know they are paying for much more than food. Yes, they can cook at home, but can they match your signature dishes or weekly specials? 

Capitalizing on this concept requires you to market your brand and train your team on creating memorable interactions. Building guest anticipation and following through in your dining room, takeout or delivery enhances the experience and creates repeat visits.

Both of these tactics — financial awareness and guest engagement — are added ways you can weather the dark clouds of inflation.