If you run and grow a culinary business you know that things can easily get overwhelming.
There are many facets in this food and hospitality industry that need to be in synergy. It’s not just about food and customer service. Most business owners wear several hats (bookkeeper, customer service agent, marketing manager, logistics specialist, procurement specialist, operations manager etc.) thinking that carrying all the various roles within a business is a smart thing to do. In reality, some roles need more dedicated time and focus, leaving little or none to others. This juggling of roles only complicates things making the business suffer in the end.
Here are five common scenarios (and solutions) when you juggle roles within your food business.
1. Losing track of profit and loss
Solution: Have a good accounting system.
Every food business owner should have a good understanding of what bookkeeping is. It helps business owners understand their business’ net worth. When you are on top of the financial runnings of your business, you are in control of the finances. Information such as bills, customer invoices, payrolls and other financial entries should be clear to you. You can either personally track your book or hire someone to do it for you. Either way, you need to be on top of it.
If you maintain a good accounting system and have an accountant take a look at everything at least once, you save up time and energy from having to do a lot at the end of the year.
There are many efficient software, apps and computer programs for accounting that can help you streamline your work on the back end. Check out this link for ideas.
Always be aware of where the money is going and how much you are spending.
2. Absent (or not enough)chefs
Solution: Connect with reputable chef agencies
Manpower is a never-ending challenge for most food businesses. The turnover is very high due to the challenges of the job which include long working hours and low salary wage leading to many businesses losing their chefs or kitchen staff faster than ideal. Not to mention the emergency leaves that can disrupt the usual kitchen and serving operation.
How do you quickly fill up that vacant slot?
A time and business saving solution is to get in touch with reputable chef agencies such as Anytime Chefs to provide you with short term hire chefs. Short term hire chefs are relief chefs who can quickly and temporarily work for your kitchen as additional manpower (such as during peak hours or special events) or to fill up a vacant slot. This is the specialty of Anytime Chefs. With our growing network of professional chefs, we can match and provide you with the right chef to support you during:
- Peak periods, functions or special event
- Emergency occurrences, or to cover annual leave
- If you just need some extra help for a few hours per week and can’t find a great reliable chef for such short shifts
Knowing that you can immediately resolve staffing issues can help lessen stress and help you focus on what matters.
RELATED READ: 5 Cross-Training Tips To Resolve Your Staffing Problems
3. Complicated business systems and operations
Solution: Make technology “decomplicate” your system
For you to focus on what matters, you need a streamlined front- and back-of-house operations.
With the current COVID-19 health crisis, some food businesses are able to safely serve their patrons through the use of technology. People are now getting into online ordering and contactless/mobile payment availability. For dining guests, the pay at the table technology helps decrease unnecessary interactions ( a sad necessity during these times) and create an overall efficient service for guests in terms of speed and convenience.
Technology should empower business owners to be productive and efficient and not complicate their systems. Check out this list of apps and programs that help many restaurant owners up their tech game. Use these resources to streamline your operations.
4. Brand recognition or recall is weak
Solution: Strengthen social media presence
We are living in an age where social media consumption takes up a huge chunk of people’s daily lives. Check out this 2021 social media demographics guide to give you an idea.
When COVID-19 started last year, many businesses fell into monetary difficulties. Many survived through activating and strengthening their social media presence. For businesses, social media serves as their marketing tool for doing brand promotion activities and deals. Many use Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads to target their specific customer demographics such as age, gender, location and others. For Facebook, in particular, you can join Facebook Groups to get you interacting with different people of common interests. Social media can also serve as your customer care service hub since it is becoming far easier to get in touch through these platforms compared to calling your number or emailing you. It allows you to talk to and hear directly from your customers and followers.
If this is all too overwhelming for you and hopefully, business is so busy that you do not have time to do it yourself, you can hire a dedicated social media manager to handle your online presence. They can work hand in hand with you and your marketing team to analyze your competition and develop marketing strategies. If you are lucky, you can find that one person to do that all for you.
5. Needing more business support
Solution: Reach out to or join professional industry associations
When problems arise within the food industry, restaurants and hospitality services are affected. Professional industry associations such as Restaurant and Catering Industry Association of Australia Inc. help represent the interest of employers, owners and operators of restaurants, cafes and caterers, supporting the continuous elevation of standards in this field and speaking up for its members when necessary. Another idea is to connect with a network of other business owners in the industry who have walked the walk, not just about culinary knowledge but in the business department as well.
Many business owners fall into the trap of taking on too many roles within their businesses. This is especially common during start ups. Chefs who own their businesses often find themselves juggling between kitchen works and the administrative ones. Over time, it can lead to complications, overwhelm and even failure. Often, the best solution is the simplest. Examine your business processes and simplify your systems. Get outside help by hiring people who are more proficient in the areas that you find challenging so that your overall operations will be more efficient.
That’s it for this week.
As always, Professional Chefs on Call at Anytime!
Ciao for now,