Lifting Restaurant Profits by Double Digits in Full-Service

The market and the economy will not do your work for you this year. 

So you’ll just have to do it yourself.

While guests are continuing to dine out less often, there’s good news to be found in the demographics most of my clients serve: When people go to restaurants, they want what they want. 

So what do you do now?

Most of my clients operate full-service brands, and they know that the full-service market share has been declining.

Sometimes they wonder if they are like alarm clock manufacturers or record companies selling CDs – part of a business model that’s on the edge of being obsolete.

In 2019, according to Technomic, full-service commanded 24% of the restaurant dollar; today, that has reduced to 21%.

So full-service brands are competing for a bigger share of a smaller pie, with only population growth fueling their restaurant growth, like at terrestrial radio. 

Still, some of the competition is competing in a non-focused way – creating opportunity for the rest of us.

The Full-Service Road Ahead

Before you call a business broker to sell your full-service restaurants now in case the whole thing craters like WeWork, remember all the things to positively love about full-service restaurants: 

  • People never stop wanting to sit down and be served.  
  • Full-service restaurants have much higher revenue potential than limited-service. 

Take this as a challenge, and choose to be really fired up about your impressive power and capability.

It’s simple: Make sure you take care of people better than anyone else, and give them what they want.

Increase Revenue 5% and Profits 2%

I have a lot of initiatives moving forward with my clients. We like to work in the arena where we can lift sales 5% and profit by 2% – or both. 

These numbers, which reflect my typical work, command attention because they translate to a significant double-digit lift in profits, which would make anyone happy – and when we get there, I feel successful!

We are currently:

  • Defining a more effective way to communicate culture to direct behavior and increase the retention rate and service levels, which impact guest count. 
  • Updating branding and messaging that, while it worked for decades, has not kept up with today’s guest perceptions.
  • Re-focus menus to motivate lapsed and non-users to visit our dining rooms. 
  • Re-inventing operations that have become a little bit stale of over the years, are tired after COVID, or are coasting. 
  • Developing new concepts that complement current capabilities, opportunities, and strengths. 

5% revenue and 2% profit turn out to be big, life-changing numbers in terms of pride, accomplishment, and net worth. 

Often my clients don’t believe that opportunity exists until I show them. 

What action can you take in your company to lift revenue 5% or profit 2%, or both? Do the math. What would the outcome be?

Next week: What to Do in Fast Casual

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