As another year has come and gone, most of us tend to look toward the upcoming year with a new goal or resolution. Whether it’s a personal or professional goal, we’re likely to see the beginning of a new year as the perfect time to become a better version of ourselves. The “New year, new me” saying can be applied to any aspect of your life, which can certainly include your restaurant business. If you’re starting to think about goal setting for this upcoming year, it's important to set clear and achievable restaurant goals that will help your business succeed and grow.
If you’re looking to learn more about goal setting or just want some ideas to create your own restaurant goals, look no further. Now without further ado, let’s create goals for 2024!
Goal setting is the process of identifying specific and measurable objectives that an individual or organization wants to achieve. Effective goal setting requires clear and realistic objectives, a plan for achieving them, and ongoing monitoring and adjustments to stay on track.
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound objectives. They provide a clear and actionable framework for setting and achieving targets. By making sure that each goal is specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound, you can increase the chances of achieving them, while evaluating the progress along the way.
For example, "increase sales by 10% this quarter" is a SMART goal. It has a specific and measurable goal (10% increase) that is realistically achievable (based on past growth), it’s relevant to the business’ performance (revenue pays the bills), and it has a period that it must be completed by (end of the quarter).
When setting goals for your restaurant, it's important to consider both short-term and long-term objectives. Short-term goals may include increasing daily or monthly sales, boosting customer satisfaction, or launching a new menu item. Long-term goals may include expanding the restaurant to multiple locations, increasing brand recognition, or reaching a certain level of annual revenue.
On top of short-term and long-term goals, there are area-specific goals that you can apply to your restaurant as well. These could include: financial goals, customer-related goals, marketing and sales goals, operations goals, staffing and labor goals, and technology goals. It’s important to set goals depending on the needs and performance of your business, since restaurant goals are not “one size fits all”. A small family-run restaurant would have significantly different goals than a national restaurant business with multiple locations. To adapt to the changing landscape of the restaurant industry, it’s recommended to review and adjust your goals regularly.
Goal setting is important because it helps to clarify what you want to achieve with your business, establishes a clear direction for focus and effort, and provides a way to measure progress and success. It also helps to make data-driven decisions based on your restaurant’s performance and identify new growth opportunities.
Now that you understand goal setting as an overall concept, here are 7 ideas for goals that your restaurant can set this year to boost profits and attract new customers.
Increasing net restaurant sales would be considered a financial goal. This goal can be either a short-term or a long-term goal. A short-term goal would be to increase daily net restaurant sales, while a long-term goal would be to increase monthly net restaurant sales. In this case, both short and long-term goals complement each other, which makes it possible to work towards one while achieving the other! To increase net sales for your restaurant, you’ll have to determine specific objectives to focus on. For example, you can add online ordering options, or upsell by offering modifications or add-ons for an additional fee.
Similar to the previous goal, optimizing profit margins would also be considered a financial goal. One of the first objectives to work toward this goal should be to identify your most popular menu items. From there, you can build objectives around either increasing revenue or decreasing costs. For example, you can increase menu prices to boost revenue or you can cut costs by making ingredient substitutions, sourcing a new supplier, or simplifying the cooking process.
Implementing a customer loyalty strategy can fall into multiple categories. It could be considered a financial goal, a customer-related goal, and a marketing goal. Talk about efficiency! Research shows that return customers spend on average 67% more, which means customer loyalty strategies can help increase net restaurant sales, all while keeping your loyal customers happy. On top of that, this goal can be used towards your marketing strategy as a promotion. An example of a customer loyalty strategy could be to offer 10% off on every fifth visit.
You’re probably aware of the influence that social media can have on society. Considering that 4.74 billion people use social media for an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes per day, it’s worth reviewing and perhaps revamping your digital marketing strategy. Objectives for this goal can include improving user experience on your restaurant’s website and using a search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. If you’re brand new to social media marketing and don’t know where to start, check out our guide to social media marketing for restaurants here.
With staff turnover at an all-time high of 75%, restaurants are significantly understaffed. Cross-training your front-of-house staff to do multiple job functions is a staffing and labor goal that can help both your bottom line, while increasing service efficiency. Keeping your staff engaged with different functions can also help reduce turnover if it’s done correctly – keep in mind that overloading them with too much work is not the goal here.
Take advantage of up-and-coming technological innovations and try automating a process. This would be a technology goal that can positively impact almost all areas of your restaurant business. For example, installing self-service kiosks could improve efficiency by eliminating the need for a cashier. The order goes directly from the customer to the point-of-sale (POS) system in the kitchen, getting the order out faster. Self-service kiosks can also improve the customer experience by reducing wait times and allowing them to easily make the customizations they want, which can increase net restaurant sales if you implement an upcharge for modifications or add-ons.
If you find that you’re spending a lot of your budget on ingredients that aren’t selling, it may be time to revise your menu. It’s important to evaluate whether some less popular dishes are bringing in enough revenue to offset the cost of the ingredients. You can then remove dishes that are underperforming, and either introduce new menu items with less expensive ingredients or find more cost-effective ways to create your more popular dishes. This financial goal seamlessly ties into the goals of increasing net restaurant sales and optimizing your profit margins.
In conclusion, setting clear and achievable goals is essential for the success and growth of your restaurant in 2024. Some important areas to focus on may include increasing revenue and profitability, improving menu offerings and service, and investing in new technologies and marketing strategies. Keep in mind that it’s okay for goals to overlap with each other and they don’t have to act as stand-alone goals. By setting SMART goals that align with the overall vision and strategy of your restaurant, and regularly monitoring the progress, you can ensure that your restaurant is set up for success in the coming year.
Setting and achieving your restaurant goals may seem daunting, but Push can help you achieve them by streamlining your people management and payroll. Want to learn more about how we can help? Book a demo with us today!
“In the labor numbers, we were reporting about a $300 to $400 difference than what we were getting through Push!”
-Tara Hardie, ZZA Hospitality Group, 16 locations