Cardinal Advice for Restaurant Owners, Before you Open

Cardinal Advice for Restaurant Owners, Before you Open

Cardinal Selling Services has provided asset liquidation services in the restaurant industry for 10+ years. From selling assets, to sourcing assets for our local clients, we have developed a marketplace for buyers and sellers to come together. Working with clients through these years, entrepreneurs come to us for advice, coaching and so many other services small business owners are looking for.

It is always a good plan to start small, start with a simple business plan which outlines your culture, mission, marketing strategy, layout of your business, budget and funding needs.
Have a business plan, even if it is simple. Revisit the plan year after year.

Most importantly, remember to treat your business as a separate entity. As an investment. Don’t let personal connections, and other non-important feelings allow you to miss out on the core function of the business. Making money. Small business is harder than ever, yet in today’s climate with the right planning, execution and of course a team of employees, your business can thrive.

With your plan, know how your business will be different and be ready to express your difference in your initial advertising offers. Make an assessment of local competition. Your business plan should address competition and how your business speaks to the communities needs and competition.

Be sure you have taken and passed the servsafe certification for Your state. Consider the hours you will be open, and consider the needs of the community you will serve with the hours you will be open in.

Have you considered a digital media strategy or a wave campaign? A wave campaign is meant to use many channels to attract customers to you. From emails with offers to paid Facebook advertising to local print ads, Door knockers, parade hand outs to radio, there are many ways to start out on the right foot.

Guerilla Marketing can not be ignored. It is the lowest cost way to reach your clients, and in smaller communities makes starting a business easier. Yet as always, location, location, location. Small communities often mean smaller income and profit. Can you permanently place billboard signs advertising your business daily that only costs you once when you set up? Will you consider marketing during every festival or parade in your town, or going door to door inviting the community to try you out? These are Cardinal Strategies that can set you apart from the competition.

Payroll gets expensive, and it is no doubt a necessary evil. Ask for family volunteers to get your business started out right, and to ensure payroll isn’t a big burden in the beginning. Ask for the highest qualified experienced help to assist you in peak hours for premium wages. They can also assist with training your less than experienced employees.

Posting a daily special keeps your audience of supporters engaged. Offer a family deal also, feeding 4 People for a $28.99 type offer. Volume is the win, and from this offer may your next bigger offering be to local businesses and also catering type offerings. Even starting with smaller functions, a sale of 50 plates can help you scale your revenue. Always be ready to train your team to up-sell with add on items. With the volume sale, family type offers be mindful of the cost to package the dinners to go, this can eat up profits if you are not careful.

Understand the equipment you buy will need maintenance, a maintenance schedule with a reputable technician can save big repair dollars. It can also save downtown in your kitchen which also saves in the end.

I can’t emphasize enough train your people well. Train them to be salespeople,
Everyone needs to push selling. When an employee hears of an event or gathering or a chance to pitch your business, be sure they have a business card in their pocket or wallet and incentivize them to make sales for the business. Could be a simple free movie ticket to a holiday off they expected to work.

Hire slow, Fire fast. Be sure to vet your people, ask if they have goals and always ask them how they feel your business could serve the community better. Where are there training gaps, marketing or service gaps that need to be addressed?

Know your numbers, Know your costs. If you have projections for the year, be sure your marketing and advertising speak to the projections. Be sure to staff your help with the plan to get your sales to the projected Level.

Portions with servings are so important. Weigh portions, cost them out and be sure the final
weight of a plate prior to serving, meets the manager's expectations. Explain the difference between a 12 oz plate cost and the plate being sold with 3 oz more of meat than budgeted. This mistake can cost the entire profit of the sale.

Employees need a job. Employers need help. Be sure you as an employer outline the value added tasks each employee does. Assisting a customer is more valuable than taking out the trash. An employee who sells A catering job to a friend's connection is worth more money. Let your staff know what actions contributed the most to your business’ profitability.

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Need assistance with your grand opening launch?
Cardinal Grand Opening Marketing Support:
Package which starts 7 days before startup, ask for more information. Packages range from $695-$995 and include print and radio ads.

We can also assist you with financial planning from health insurance to estate planning.
Business plan support to: Monthly marketing support. Cardinal is your one stop shop for small business needs.

Author: Vicki Wiederkehr

23rd Nov 2022 Vicki Wiederkehr

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