How the Best Restaurant Operators Make Adjustments at Halftime 2023

While you still have the power to impact restaurant results in 2023, use it.

At this point in July, you’ve had enough time to digest your company’s results for the first half of the year.

Did you exceed plan? Did you fail to meet plan? Did you even have a plan to measure against?

Whatever your results so far, you still have enough time left in the year to make decisions that impact your success the rest of the year – whether you continue on your path or correct your course.

Things to Do Now

What I tell my clients and my Restaurant Owners Success Club members now:

1. Know yourself. Identify and leverage your company’s strongest aspect. Krispy Kreme now identifies as a doughnut logistics company – a perspective that changes their whole business.

I recently pivoted a client from being an operations company to being a sales and events company. That mindset makes the difference between average and outstanding performance.

What kind of company do you run?

2. Never forget guest count. Our industry’s current revenue increases come from menu price increases. If you are one of the few exceptions to that (I have a few outlier clients), count yourself as a rare example in this economy. For everyone else, getting guest count on a positive trajectory back to historical norms remains paramount. 

Don’t just track your sales, COGS, and labor; track your guest count with equal care. That will inspire you to focus on increasing the most critical number.

3. First 90 days of employment. When you look at retention rate and employee turnover, attrition, or churn, you may be glad you have a liquor license – because you might need a drink. 

And if you also look at retention during the first 90 days of employment, you will tell a significant story about how you choose, enroll, onboard, and educate people. This inspires action.

So don’t just look at the farsighted annual statistics; look at the nearsighted 90-day numbers.

Improvement Never Ends

The recipe to having a great year that anyone would be envious of consists of focusing on:

  • Continuing annual plans that work and making immediate changes to those that have not worked
  • Acting on the core of your corporate identity
  • Guest count
  • The first 90 days of employment

You’ll see new revenue, service, and profit possibilities.   

Quarterly results don’t just evaluate publicly traded companies. Taking a view of the first two quarters as a whole – while there is still time to write your own ticket for the rest of the year – is what the great restaurateurs I work with do.

Over to you. What did you learn during the first half of the year? How will you put those lessons to work along with a focus on your identity, guest count, and 90-day employee retention rate during the second half of the year? 

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