Don’t Cut Too Far?

Over the past few weeks I have heard the term “Business Survival” several times referring to keeping a business going during these economic conditions we are in.  I think that the term fits pretty well.  When there is so much uncertainty in the market, a basic human instinct of survival surfaces and in this case people start cutting expenses.  They trim the cable bill, shorten or even cancel their vacation, spend less on groceries and try to use less power.

In the Hospitality industry there are some very smart cuts to make and some that I warn against.

Turning hoods, lights, ovens and fryers on and off at smarter times, trimming the amount of garbage pick ups, taking a very close look at schedules, lowering the amount of inventory you have on the shelves, and getting the best prices you can on everything you order are all smart decisions but DO NOT cut anything that will effect the following:

  1. The core values of your business – the things that you are well known for or that you truly believe in.
  2. The quality of your product.  Do not bring in a different shrimp because it is cheaper unless you are happy with the quality.
  3.  The portion of your food.  I know that there is a lot of guest feedback stating that they would rather have smaller portions instead of higher prices but this has to be done correctly.  If you simply cut back on your portions and keep the same prices, your guests are going to feel slighted.  If you introduce new menu items or lunch portions than this is completely acceptable.
  4. Anything to do with service.  Your guests will always want and expect fantastic service.

Our economy is a roller coaster ride of ups and downs and it is very hard to predict what is in the future.  The hospitality industry is hard enough without the added pressure of uncertainty but one thing I am very certain about, you have to understand what your guests think and feel and follow that through our current market.  Do not cut anything that will take away from who you are and how you treat your guests and when things turn around, you will be stronger for a bright future.

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