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Heather Donovan

What are the 3 biggest concerns faced by restaurant owners?

Asked 1 week ago by in Community Discussion

I'm curious to hear from other restaurant owners or managers on what they feel are their 3 biggest concerns when it comes to their business. My husband and I opened our own healthy cuisine food truck last year, and our biggest challenge has been finding the right balance on our menu. We either have too many items or not enough after we make adjustments. What other concerns should we have, and what is the best way to handle them? Thank you.

James Bishop
James Bishop  With too many choices do you have an inventory/stocking problem? With too few, do you lose sales? What is the impact of the swings and maybe we can offer better answers. A restaurant must be profitable; sales, food expense (these two can be called pricing), shrink/waste, overhead, labor all impact that.
3 days ago

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Kiri Hawes

Kiri Hawes 1 week ago

Hi Heather,

Other than menu engineering, the second concern I have seen most restaurant owners have is stock control.

Have you done a menu analysis to see which items are acutely making you the most money based on the sales mix?

Also, are you able to report on the number of stock items purchased vs the amount wasted?

These sort of reports are sometimes available in a really robust POS, but often involve a specialised inventory control system to dive into extreme detail.

It is very hard to balance a menu without the data directing you where to go, as we often have biases towards the dishes we personally prefer, even if the customers don't.

Hope this has helped, and not just confused you more.

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David J Dunworth

David J Dunworth 1 week ago

Tracking, as mentioned by Mr. Cox suggests is the best way to determine the dogs, and the winners. Gather as much feedback from your customers as possible to continually work on your offerings.

Obviously, food safety is primary, albeit unspoken.

Marketing never seems to be a concern for most small restaurants, when it should be. Rather than trade customers (always looking for new customers) you should be focusing on loyalty and retention. Raving fans tell their friends, which in turn grows organically. It's far easier to keep customers than to find new customers, so seek loyalty programs like mobile-punch card loyalty, mobile couponing, stuff like that. I can help direct you to great restaurant loyalty programs if you like.

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Robert Bob Cox Jr

Robert Bob Cox Jr 1 week ago

Your Point of Sale system should be able to help you once you get some history with your truck.... How long has it been open?

Right balance on your menu I would suggest understanding the concept "That elephants don't bite, it is the flies and gnats that kill you." Or said differently. "we always have 2 many items of one kind, not enough of the others." Are those items specialized? It goes to the restaurant business loss or spoilage, so understanding the dishes you are serving, which ones have the best chance of maintaining its place, and which ones are so specialized that you cannot forecast in any pattern requires you think about getting a pre order and looking for Just In Time service from your vendors....

Hard to forecast, without seeing your business plan.... A score counselor would help you here....

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Fasahat Ali Khan

Fasahat Ali Khan 1 week ago

The top three concerns would be:
1- Menu Engineering and offering (customer will decide whether your food is healthy, tasty and value for money.
2- Direct cost including food cost; ( this is directly linked with your menu, purchasing and inventory controls)
3- Customer aquisition and retention. ( your competitive advantage/location would play a role here. In majority of cases customers would give your food a try in response to your marketing campaign but if you are unable to deliver your marketing promise and as a result can't retain those initial customers, it will be a very difficult task for your business to become profitable. )

All these concerns address a host of related issues which require careful and ongoing planning/attention.

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Majdi AL-Sayed

Majdi AL-Sayed 1 week ago

As your business Truck cuisine food, your choices are limited, you need to go for specialty wide choices not workable with your business, you have to concentrate on limited no of qualities taking into consideration fast & easy repair, I think you have to think of two points 1. easy & fast repair 2. searching good locations to park, this way people will get used to your food after some time, this way you can minimize your cost & increase your profit .

Wish you all the best .

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Berry Enloe

Berry Enloe 1 week ago

Bankruptcy, Bitterness, and Divorce are the first three that come to mind.

I guess some people make money in the industry. But they are like lottery winners- you hear about them but have never met one.

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Andreas Koutsoudakis

Andreas Koutsoudakis 1 week ago

As a restaurant owner in NYC, restaurant lawyer, and restaurant tech founder/CEO, I see a wide range of issues facing operators. From operations standpoint, managing and controlling food cost is top of the list. Labor and overhead can only be controlled to a certain extent, but food cost is completely within your control and it can make the difference between whether you are profitable (sufficiently) or not. Our platform - TradingTable - solves this problem.

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