May 11, 2017

Hospitality Business Profitability


The anticipated relaunch of Profitable Hospitality was unveiled last month(April 20), bringing to market a fresh new look and tailored content to support hospitality professionals in management, marketing and operations.

The revamped platform comes after a 12-month overhaul of the site’s content and functionality to align with the company’s industry research that identified the key career stages, role types and industry pain points where business owners and managers need support. The site is now structured to support four business stages – the start-up, established, maturity growth and maturity exit – with a mix of free and gated content developed to suit eight key target audiences including café, restaurant, pub and bar owners, franchisees and head chefs.

Profitable Hospitality was founded in 1995 by Australian entrepreneur Ken Burgin, who says the updated site now better meets the needs of an evolved and highly competitive industry.

“Profitable Hospitality has always been a robust business tool for people in the hospitality industry to lean on and learn from, and with the relaunch we are offering a cost effective solution for people to get the advice they need at different stages of their hospitality career,” Ken said.

“The content is tailored to understand and address the concerns and questions that we know people in our industry have, and aims to empower them to set their business up for success and keep them in the black.”

The online resource is backed by specialist equipment funder Silver Chef Group and houses an extensive range of unique educational content where users can download guides, checklists, advice articles, case studies, podcasts, blogs and toolkits from a growing list of more than 90 business tools. Here, Profitable Hospitality’s Ken Burgin gives his top advice to professionals trying to start, grow or exit their business.

1.0 Start Up

Master the layout – This aspect is often overlooked by new business owners, to the disservice of their new venue. Taking the time to think through the logistics and functionality requirements of your business is absolutely crucial, keeping at the forefront of your mind the type of ambience and atmosphere you want to instill.

Tables too close together can inhibit easy conversation, make service more difficult and have an impact on noise levels.

Attract the right staff – It’s no secret that hospitality is a high turnover industry with plenty of competition. From the get-go, it’s important you have a solid job vacancy advertising strategy in place so you can consistently attract the right people. We recommend highlighting the perks of the job in line with your target worker – flexible hours, team environment and fun – and point to what sets you apart from competitors as an employer of choice.

2.0 Established

Address issues promptly – Whether a customer has criticised your food or there’s been a decline in coffee orders, it’s crucial to establish a clear timeframe and swift response process for complaints so they don’t escalate out of control. To get you started, list all the potential issues you could encounter. From here, forecast potential scenarios and how you should respond, who is responsible and what to do if the complaint escalates on social media (which is usually the first port of call for customer complaints).

Establish a solid cleaning procedure – let’s face it, cleaning isn’t a fun task but this necessary evil ensures you maintain a clean and appealing environment for customers while also meeting industry standards. To take the pressure off, we suggest streamlining the process by creating an easy to read and waterproof opening and closing procedure. Keep it in a secure area where all employees know about it, and ask them to check off each item morning and night.

3.0 Mature and growing

Build revenue through monetisation – Smart pricing is a great opportunity to sharpen your marketing skills, cover rising costs and boost your profits. We recommend trialling the ‘soft dollar’ approach, which involves offering goods for services with a high perceived value that cost you very little. Including AV equipment (if it’s yours) in the hire cost of conference facilities, adding special table decorations and not charging for room hire if the party exceeds a certain pending level are some examples – if it gets the deal across the line, it’s good business. You should always have a price beside these items, even if you rarely charge it, to show its value.

Make time for training – Well-trained floor staff should be able to deal with customers gracefully (especially difficult ones), sell any dish to your customers, explain the texture and flavour profiles, make recommendations for interesting meal combinations and, if appropriate to the venue, suggest wine pairings. Quality training is the key to this, so we suggest holding six-monthly meetings with your staff – host a pizza night or a breakfast (a time when the venue is closed), and use the time effectively to educate your staff on the latest guidelines, processes or systems. This is also a great way to strengthen in-house relationships and ask for any feedback.

4.0 Mature and seeking an exit

You’ve decided to sell – what comes next? – There are a number of questions to ask yourself when preparing to put your business up for sale. Writing a comprehensive list of questions and carefully evaluating your answers will bullet-proof the next phase of your plan. Some of these questions include: When should I sell? What do I do to prepare? How can I improve my business before I go? How can I ensure a good value sale? How do I let people know I’m selling up? OK, so I found a buyer…now what? How can I help the buyer? When can I officially celebrate? The more your prepare yourself, the better off you’ll be.

Develop a ‘systems and procedures manual’ – Navigating a new business without assistance from previous owners is a formidable task. Make it easier for them – and your business opportunity even more compelling – by providing new owners with a comprehensive ‘systems and procedures’ manual. This should cover everything that happens in your business from open to close, such as a list of all the current recipes being used, procedure manuals, ordering and supplier lists, staff manuals, workplace agreements and staff contracts for those continuing on.

To visit Profitable Hospitality, head over to today.

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