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Three Productive Steps to Realign Your Hospitality Business Strategy

E3 Commercial Kitchen Solutions

Photo via E3 Commercial Kitchen Solutions

As we pivot and shift our businesses to respond (quickly) to the current environment and new consumer demands, we often lose our footing. If you’re sensing this may be happening, it’s probably time to revisit your business strategy with a detective’s magnifying glass, focusing on what’s most important before forging ahead.

This three-step investigation will help you reconnect to your mission and vision and reestablish how you deliver your unique hospitality experience.

Benefits of this proven process
-Inspires you to see your business through a fresh set of eyes
-Reveals areas for immediate improvement
-Provides informed direction helping your operation to emerge stronger from these challenging times


1. Re-Clarify Your Concept
To get a sense of this, ask these questions:

How is your business viewed by your community?
-Call five people you trust and ask them how they would describe the experience at your foodservice operation.
-Send a short survey on social media to hear from customers.

Do these views reflect what you think your current business concept is?
-What surprised you?
-What perceptions would you want to change?

What is the one thing (i.e. dish, flavor, sauce, story) your guests receive from your business that they cannot get anywhere else?

Hint: The answer is not customer service.

2. Find What Data is Most Important

Questions to ask:

When was the last time you spoke with your vendors?
Hint: They can work with you to find the best available products for your business. There is no harm in asking for better products or pricing.

What is the plate cost of your five most popular items?
List your top five selling food menu items right now and recalculate the actual cost of ingredients used in the standard recipe for one serving, based on this week’s pricing. Be sure to include the cost of to-go containers.

Have you reviewed your beverage costs?
Compare inventory to sales on a daily basis. Consider a third-party vendor like BevSpot, a food and beverage management software for inventory, to make this process even more streamlined and automatic.

3. Redefine Your Strategy

Questions to ask:

What is your job description as an owner and/or general manager?
Write out your job description as if you were about to hire someone to lead your business and/or have someone who knows you well write it for you. What would you want to change moving forward?

What roles of your current team? How will these roles need to change as you shift your operations to adapt to the current environment?
-Write down the name of each role you currently have, each on a separate sheet of paper.
-Add a few bullet points about what that position does within your business.
-See if there are any tasks that multiple people do or any critical tasks that only you seem to remember or that you always have to remind people to do.
-Compare roles to determine if you will need to retrain on any duties or if you could cross-train certain employees to take on the duties of two positions.

To see how RealFood inspired a client to pivot and grow in innovative ways amidst COVID-19, see the Case Study: Reopening and Rebuilding with Purpose.