If you own a restaurant or you're thinking of operating one, then planning for its long-term future is probably a big concern of yours. Just like any business, the restaurant industry is full of challenges and changes that affect of its' lifespan. To ensure its continued success, a well-thought out plan is definitely a must!
The restaurant business needs a market analysis before its set-up and during its operations in the market. The said market analysis would generally tackle various factors in the target market such as: age; gender; occupation; income; and education among others. By identifying these factors, the people running the business will have an idea on how to serve their customers and thrive in competition with other restaurants catering to the same target market.
To do forecasts of the restaurant industry's long term future, it is important to first analyze the current situation of the business. In fact, there is a need to study its operations and various conditions as it progressed from “Day 1” to the present. And this can only be done through assessing and updating of the restaurant's business plan.
For starters, it is best to identify the various factors involved:
1. Business summary highlightsxzy2. Company historyxzy3. Analysis of Marketing strategies through the years – product, price, place, promotionxzy4. Detailed comparison of competitors xzy5. Complete products and services offered and its evolution to what is available at presentxzy6. Sales strategy and forecastsxzy7. Quality assessment of management and operationsxzy8. Study of financial plan, records of profits and loses, and the likexzy9. Others
Change is constant, and to ensure the long-term success of the restaurant industry, then changes in various areas of society have to be factored in present conditions and future forecasts. These are said to include the fluctuations in variables affecting the target market and in everything else that the business encompasses.
Moreover, a business plan that caters to the long term future of the restaurant industry must be conceptualized.
A good restaurant business plan will entail the following:xzy• Outline of company's goalsxzy• Competent understanding of the company's nichexzy• Organized plan that allows room for growthxzy• Incorporates changes and other societal conditions xzy• Viable and realistic financial planxzy• Other pertinent data
Specific answers to the following questions must be answered by the forecasts:
1. What are the market trends in the restaurant industry?xzy2. How are these trends changing?xzy3. What is the future market trend forecast based on population growth?xzy4. What are the predicted characteristics of the target market in the long term future of the business?xzy5. How is the restaurant seen to evolve with various changes in the market?xzy6. What are the product and service changes seen down the road?xzy7. How have the competitors evolved?xzy8. What are the financial projections?xzy9. How will financial support be strengthened and maintained?
Various marketing strategies will help in ensuring the long term success of a restaurant. Many restaurants have actually implored the use of some of these marketing tools.
A. Use of In Store marketingxzy• Launching of productsxzy• Promotional items and discounts in the store xzy• Posters, flyers, leafletsxzy• Restaurant design
B. Use of community marketing xzy• Community programs and charity workxzy• Promotions for localsxzy• Sponsorship of local events
C. Use of Mediaxzy• Press releases in magazines and newspapersxzy• Product featuresxzy• Advertorials xzy• Advertisements and commercials (if applicable and within budget)xzy• Celebrity testimonials and/or client testimonialsxzy• Billboardsxzy• Brand exposure through sponsorship
Aside from the above-mentioned marketing strategies; it is important to take note that the quality of products and services must be maintained and developed. In fact, to ensure long term success, there must be brand equity and a strong loyal customer base.
To recap the long and laboring process; ensuring the long term future involves updating the business plan of the restaurant industry, quality control of products and services, brand development, application of various marketing strategies, and the like.
Staying in the restaurant industry may prove to be a very satisfying and rewarding experience. On the other hand, mismanagement and incompetent analysis of the market may also lead to huge financial losses. Thus, every step taken in this competitive industry must be carefully weighed and properly implemented.