This April marked the 20th annual Restaurant Leadership Conference hosted in Phoenix, Arizona. Over 2,000 attendees gathered to present and discuss innovative ideas within the restaurant industry. We take a look at the top takeaways from this year's conference; from labor costs to customer satisfaction, RLC talks the business of food.
1. Will This Be For Pickup or Delivery?
It's all about convenience. Customers want what they want, when they want it, all the while never leaving their couch. All types of food, restaurants of every size, big or small, are expected more and more to have some sort of delivery option whether they offer it themselves or via third-party services. This is where things get tricky. Whichever delivery service you choose is a reflection of your business and brand. If something goes wrong on their end, it may be a reflection of your business as well. This is why restaurants should really be conscious of the company they select and evaluate if their values align with theirs as well.
2. Time is Money
Labor costs are every operations manager's nightmare. The importance of controlling labor costs and liabilities are becoming more and more pertinent in the restaurant industry. So how does one stay on top of such a variable factor? Technology and organization can help. Learning how to optimize schedules, control overtime, and decrease turnover is essential.
3. Culture 101
Maintaining a positive workplace culture is a main ingredient in the recipe of success for a business. This process starts from the moment an employee starts their training & development. If you create an optimistic environment for your employees from the beginning, they will feel encouraged and confident in their capabilities.
4. Streamlining and Automation is Your Best Friend
Why waste your time on arduous and repetitive tasks when you can automate them and focus your attention on more important things. Anything from payroll to training, keep it simple and use technology. I think most managers would be pleasantly surprised by how many of their daily tasks can be simplified or even relieved with certain tools and applications.
5. What the Future Holds
The future of the restaurant business is an unpredictable yet exciting one. Even more reason for you to stay up on the latest trends, apps, marketing methods, and so on. Never take your eye off the ball and always be researching how you can work smarter. There's always improvements to be made, especially in such a fast-paced industry.
To keep it plain and simple: the restaurant industry is extremely challenging. However, where there is a big challenge, there are even bigger problem-solvers. This business is full of tough cookies ready to take on the most stubborn of problems and find quick, efficient solutions.
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