June 25, 2024


Think you’ve got the chops to make it in the restaurant industry? Maybe you’re already running a mouth-watering steakhouse or a delicious dessert bar. Whether you’re in the early phases of the business or just starting to plan, you might not be thinking long-term. Short-term successes are important for a new business. But new businesses also need long-term goals to reach for. 

Long-term business goals help you stay focused on the future of your restaurant. They also ensure that you are practicing the activities that well help you stay in business. Here are five long-term business goals for your restaurant.

Create a Signature Dish

Does your restaurant have a reputation for making a specific dish? Creating a signature dish is a must for every restaurant. You need something that people will love. This dish will be the dish that people tell their friends about. Make sure that your signature dish is consistently good, so that no customer is ever disappointed by it.

Improve Inventory Management

If you’ve ever watched Bar Rescue, you know how John Taffer transforms struggling bars in a short timeframe. Many times, he’ll walk into the back of a kitchen and find a disgusting mess that would consistently fail health inspections. And, he also often finds that bar owners struggle with the inventory management aspect of the bar.

Is this happening in your restaurant? Here are some questions you need to answer:

  • You need to make sure that every item served to a customer is fresh. How will you do this? Do you have a system in place for tracking inventory to make sure no customer ever receives expired or spoiled food?
  • Bartenders can prepare drinks differently, causing an inconsistent experience for your customers. Every time a customer orders a drink, it should taste the same. But, when drinks are prepared differently, this can cause the taste to vary, and it can also cause confusion with your inventory. How will you avoid this?
  • Are you ordering too much food? Not enough? The food that you can’t use – that winds up in the trash can – is like money thrown away.

Lower Employee Turnover

When you think of running your restaurant, you may think of the food first. And it’s true, your customers come to you to have a nice meal or to crack open a cold one at the bar. But, your employees are the ones serving the meals and preparing the drinks. Don’t let their efforts go unnoticed. Every time you lose an employee, you’ll need to invest the time and money into training a new one.

Remember that working in the restaurant industry means sacrificing your nights, weekends, and holidays. Do your employees feel valued by you? Here are some ways to reduce employee turnover:

  • When employees express concerns, listen. Ensure that their concerns will be held in confidence, as much as possible. Take action when it’s appropriate.
  • If an employee offers a suggestion that you think would work, try it and give them credit.
  • Be flexible as much as possible when employees need time off. Employees want to be able to attend celebrations like graduations and weddings. Unforeseen events, like funerals or illnesses, will pull them away from work, too. Your understanding and flexibility will create employee loyalty.
  • Coach employees who want to take on more responsibilities.

Bonus Tip: Does your restaurant need a new look? Draw inspiration from other bars or idea boards to generate fresh ideas.

Win a Local Award

Every restaurant wants to make money, and every restaurant employee wants to feel like their work is valued. Are your customers raving about your food? Is your restaurant staffed with a great team? If so, then your next goal should be to win a local award. Look for opportunities to compete in any type of contest, such as city festivals, holiday celebrations, church festivals, and more.

Open a Second Location

Did you ever think you could open a restaurant? Maybe it was a dream you had your entire life, and you never thought the day would come. You’ve created short-term goals and long-term goals for your business, and you’re loving every minute of it! Your customers are happy, and your employees are happy. So, what’s next?

It’s time to start planning for a second location for your restaurant. But, before you jump in, it’s important to know that growing too fast can cause failure. Don’t let that happen to you! Slow growth is the best kind of growth because it’s sustainable. You can learn through your mistakes, so you don’t lose a lot of money. You can observe what’s working, and what’s not. You can create a plan, and build upon it. As you start thinking about opening a second location, you’ll need to answer some questions first:

  • Where do I want to open my second restaurant?
  • Can I comfortably finance this?
  • Should I hire a co-owner or co-manager, or can I keep doing it all on my own?
  • Is now the right time to do this, or should I wait?

Bonus Tip: Opening a second location is a big decision. If you’d like to learn more about decision-making in your business, check out our resource: 5 Types of Business Decisions You Should Understand.

Totaling It All Up

Running a restaurant business can be a fast-paced venture. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the day-to-day. However, every restaurant owner should create long-term goals for their business. Creating a signature dish, improving inventory management, and lowering employee turnover will help the business stay profitable. Winning a local award and opening a second location can also be points of pride for any restaurant owner.

Erin Shelby on Twitter
Erin Shelby

Erin Shelby is a writer and blogger based in Ohio. Follow her on Twitter @ByErinShelby

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