How to Adapt to Ongoing Change in Your Restaurant Business

April 7 2020

Change is on everyone’s mind in the restaurant industry. There’s never been such an intense time of pivoting and adapting done by so many. While some businesses are shifting with ease, others are finding the road to profitability a little more difficult. Many restaurants are adapting to the changes with creative ideas and entirely new business models, but they aren’t sure if the steps they are taking are actually profitable or sustainable.

While navigating through the immediate moment, you need to make sure that the decisions you make now will keep your doors open long into the future. The next seasons of your business will include doing things differently – whether it’s adapting your menu for takeout, shifting staffing needs for delivery or making guests feel safe and comfortable in your dining room, when you are allowed to reopen.

With rapid change also comes opportunity, and smart operators are using this time to take a hard look at their business and where improvements can be made. Addressing weakness in critical functions – like accounting – will help keep your business on track no matter what the future holds. Now is the time to set foundations for the new normal and be prepared to make phased shifts as things continue to change.

Now more than ever, restaurant operators and CFOs must be laser-focused on controlling costs and evaluating whether new programs are actually helping the bottom line. Waiting until period-end to review P&Ls means that you’re flying blind and missing opportunities to course correct where needed. But does your accounting system, and your accounting team, have the ability to easily provide these insights?

It’s become clear that today’s restaurant business needs two things to help navigate our new normal: real-time access to quality data, and mobile access to the system itself.

Quality data is essential because restaurant businesses are working in an untested environment with new guidelines and goal posts. The changes you adapt to now will form the foundation for your business in the future, so it’s essential to gain quick insight into your financial performance. Is it worth it for your restaurant to rely on third party delivery services or should your employees handle delivery? Should you convert to family style meals or is your current menu still profitable? These questions and more can be answered with data, and accessing that data quickly and easily is more important than ever before.

Mobile access to your accounting and back office software is important as well. As we move toward “opening up” as a nation, enabling your administrative staff to work remotely will help you meet social distancing guidelines and minimize disruption to your business. It will help you be prepared no matter what occurs in the next few seasons. Having access to data from anywhere will help your team and other decision makers see into the profitability of new strategies and make adjustments in real time. This all creates a stronger foundation for the new normal. 

At Tablespoon, we understand the unprecedented challenges facing our industry. We have a goal of providing ongoing support and financial solutions to create room for growth, strategic thinking, and more profitability for your restaurant company. Speak to an expert today to go beyond basic business reporting to restaurant insights that make a difference.