Restaurateurs: How to Make Adjustments to Have a 2024 that Makes You Proud

So we’re at the end of Q1. Now what?

2024 didn’t start off with a bang; it started off with freakishly cold weather, kids missing days of school, and utility bills that made 2022’s inflation look tame. 

Unfortunately, restaurateurs are still talking about that.  Relegate that to the past where it belongs.

By now you have a sense of what 2024 will look like. Now adjust to make 2024 a year you will be proud of.

When I work with my clients and my Restaurant Owners Success Club members, a lot of our current conversation is about checking whether we achieved what we expected to in Q1, moving the things we missed to Q2, and rewriting plans to take into account actual conditions on the ground.

The expectations we had when we wrote annual plans back in November or December? Not important anymore.

In daily collaboration with groups of owners, operations directors, CFOs, and business managers, we realize that an annual plan that doesn’t update during the year becomes nice, but meaningless – like clothes that look fantastic on your phone and turn out to be low quality when you order them and open the box.

Adjustments We Made

As we move into Q2, my clients and Restaurant Owner Success Club Members have:

  • Identified a sequence of how to improve service levels that will lead to increased guest count and revenue.
  • Quantified culture and brand message in a new way to direct behavior, bond employees and guests to their restaurants, and create a vibe that attracts more people.
  • Changed the way to talk about upselling, PPA building, and increasing revenue to motivate a younger server who never wants to feel like a mercenary.
  • Identified menu development opportunities to attract lapsed guests and non-users.

Not Sexy But Important

Take the time now to consider what you know now that you didn’t know back in November or December – and use that updated knowledge to adjust your annual plan.

Take the time now to do a careful inventory of accountability and what you can celebrate about Q1 successes.

Identify what (and why) some line items generated exceptional results – others didn’t happen. Then move the latter forward or ditch them if they no longer apply.

Or if you never had a plan, or have not implemented your plan, correct that.

This remains the non-sexy work of running a restaurant company that keeps becoming better.

Owning a company that constantly improves is my wish for you.

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