Hedging against the risks of running a restaurant
After the rollercoaster ride that the foodservice industry has been on in recent years, the start of 2024 has offered some reasons for a collective sigh of relief: The National Restaurant Association’s most recent economic reports highlight that sales have been trending higher for the tenth consecutive month, while 300,000 jobs have been added. Still, the success of a restaurant is often more closely connected to the performance of its local economy and the quality of its competition – and as the pandemic demonstrated, unexpected events can throw a curveball at even the most successful restaurants. So now is a good time to fine-tune your risk management plan. In a recent Modern Restaurant Management report, an auditor advises restaurants to focus in a few areas: Partner with a diverse set of suppliers (including some back-up suppliers) whose compliance and supply chain management practices you trust. Implement a quality control process that includes regular facility inspections, product testing, and reviews of temperature-control and cross-contamination risks. Finally, let data drive your product development, branding and marketing strategies. To protect your business, you need to understand your place in the market. Collect and analyze data about your local competitors and guests so you can develop more targeted, well-priced offers that will help you drive traffic and compete. Shoring up your business against the risks you can anticipate will place it in a stronger position to weather those it can’t.