Restaurant Success: Reflect and Plan

Did Mother’s Day deliver your vision of restaurant success?

If it did, that’s great! If it didn’t you have a super opportunity to step back, review what worked and what could be done better. I call it a “Reflect and Plan” restaurant success moment. As usual, I might suggest that you start with a series of questions to identify where you can get better in several areas: marketing, products/services and operations. In our restaurant, for example, we gave out a special gift for Mother’s Day. This year, it was a long stemmed single rose tied with a ribbon and a bounce back promotion offer for a free mimosa. After Mother’s Day we sent out a questionnaire  to our managers and assistant managers with about a dozen questions.

Restaurant Success depends on a great experience!
Restaurant Success is about more than just the food, it’s the experience!

What can you do to improve  your restaurant success?

In it, we asked them what went well, what didn’t go so well and what we could do to improve. This will help us plan better next year, and even next big holiday so we don’t leave any mothers empty-handed. We also asked questions about what time the restaurant became busy. For instance, in one of our locations it was like any normal Sunday up until about 8:30 in the morning, and then we got completely hammered. Another location was busy at opening and had a long wait by 8:00. We have a grand total of four locations, using information like this will help us next year, perhaps we need to do a small push on each individual location’s Facebook page encouraging early attendance. No restaurateur wants a cold hour on Mother’s Day!

Here are some of the restaurant success questions we asked in the survey:

  • Were you busy from the get-go, or, at what time did the restaurant become busy?
  • What time did you run out of roses this year? How many more roses do you think you could have given away?
  • What time in the guest service process did you give the roses?
  • Could the timing of the rose delivery be improved?
  • Did you beverage your waiting guests?
  • Were you over/under or perfectly staffed?
  • Finally, we asked an open ended question: Please give two or three sentences on your overall reaction to Mother’s Day, and, thinking about Father’s Day ahead, what can we do to improve the associate and guest experience?

If restaurant success is important to you, ask this of yourself:

How might a structured questioning process help you in reflecting and planning in your restaurant success? Every time you ask better questions, you get better answers! Make it part of your daily restaurant success practice to ask better questions!

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