Strategies to help your restaurant grow long term

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Maintaining your place in the competitive foodservice landscape is no easy task and, as any seasoned restaurateur knows, you can't survive simply by treading water. Instead, succeeding in the modern marketplace requires constant innovation and your ability to capitalize on the latest trends.

So, as we look toward 2020 and beyond, here are a few initiatives you can use to keep your business moving forward next year and beyond.

Invest in your staff

Your staff is the most vital component of your restaurant’s continued growth and ability to adapt. From the moment guests step in the door, their experience is dictated largely by your team. Proper training is essential to maintain the quality of these experiences, but your training sessions should also be future focused. Tie training to changes in your menu, changes in trends surrounding customer preferences or even to new technologies your business will be utilizing. Be aggressive in your decisions of what training to apply and your organization will be better for it.

Embrace continuous innovation

A restaurant’s innovative opportunities can take on several different forms. From new menu ideas that service market trends to cocktails that give your business a unique identity and set you apart. Innovation doesn’t need to end there, however. Recreating the very look and feel of your restaurant can give your business a more modern vibe and is a great way to keep the aesthetic of your brand prominent in every capacity. Lastly, make sure to include events or promotions as part of your innovations. If it supports your brand’s identity and is sure to bring customers through your door, there’s really no reason not to pursue it actively.

Capitalize on new technology

Throughout the course of your restaurant career you’ve already encountered several new forms of technology. This trend will continue, and our advice is to embrace and utilize them when you can. Just as computerized tickets, automated cleaning solutions and tabletop kiosks are benefiting the industry, new technologies will continue to make your restaurant more productive. Be on the lookout for new technologies and understand what they can do for your business. Adopting the right ones could have a big payoff.

Make use of social media … but not all social media

If you’re not already active on social media, it’s time to establish a presence. The power of this cost-effective marketing platform cannot be overstated — provided you apply a targeted approach. Just as you can’t possibly carry menu items for every cuisine taste, you cannot effectively manage every social media channel. Instead, make sure your restaurant appears properly on search sites like Google and Yelp and then embrace a couple of social media channels you can actively spend time supporting. Commit to regular posting on these select channels and you’ll see far better interaction than if you were to sparsely populate messaging across numerous channels at the same time.

Then all you have to do is keep up your social media presence and you’ll build a community of followers who interact with your restaurant from one innovation to the next.