The cost-of-living crisis will hit casual dining hardest. Here’s how restaurants can survive

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The cost-of-living crisis will hit casual dining hardest. Here’s how restaurants can survive

Recent commentary from turnaround experts says that the casual dining industry is most likely to be among the hardest hit during the cost of living crisis.

According to the Institute for Turnaround’s (IFT) most recent Societal Impact Report, more casual dining establishments may need assistance running their businesses over the course of the upcoming year as a result of the growing number of customers feeling squeezed by rising energy costs, higher food prices, and higher mortgage costs.

Companies House data shows there were more struggling restaurants in the same industry in the fourth quarter of 2022. It was revealed earlier this month that the high-end burger chain Byron had lost £99 million in value over the previous ten years.

While both large and small businesses may have anticipated a period of calm to recover and rebuild after the pandemic and associated lockdowns, businesses are now facing a number of new challenges, with customers experiencing a cost of living crisis and rising energy bills and food costs seriously affecting the hospitality sector.

Here are 10 tips to help your restaurant adapt and survive:

  1. Re-engineer the menu

By creatively using fewer ingredients, operators can make menu changes that increase profits without customers necessarily noticing. Also, cheaper cuts of meat can be turned into delicious dishes with a little creativity.

  1. Don’t try to be all things to all people

Simplifying the menu can reduce food costs and boost efficiency.

  1. Do your operational efficiency calculations

Some more profitable menu items may slow down service. Examine how menu items’ preparation affects profitability and throughput.

  1. Have efficient stock controls in place

A key way for restaurant businesses to stay profitable is by having effective and efficient inventory management systems in place.

  1. Ensure hospitality service staff are adequately trained

Restaurant employees serve as the company’s first point of contact with customers. When it comes to providing waiters and restaurant staff with the tools they need to do their jobs properly, there should be no room for compromise.

  1. Create a screening procedure for all employees, regardless of level

An effective screening process should be implemented for all restaurant staff, from entry-level employees to high-level management This screening procedure should include thorough background checks, criminal record checks, and other assessments relevant to their level of responsibility. This will help you reduce risk by ensuring that the staff members hired are trustworthy, capable, and dependable, as well as legally eligible to work in the country.

  1. Reach out to your loyal customers

Smart business owners should use social media or point-of-sale data to talk to their customers and encourage return visits.

  1. Greater efficiency is needed to combat rising costs

To stay ahead of the competition, operators should use technology to improve customer experience and efficiency. Technology silently manages the entire customer journey, leaving staff to deliver the experience.

  1. Maintain adequate staffing levels

The customer’s overall impression of the restaurant will suffer if staffing levels are reduced. It’s important for businesses to keep in mind that reducing service is not the solution, as the old adage goes, “food brings them in and service drives them out.” It is therefore essential that all staff be adequately trained.

How Capcon helps restaurants and pubs boost efficiency and profits

Capcon offers the perspective and expert advice needed to help businesses in the hospitality sector improve operational efficiency, protect profits, and grow margins.

Stock controls for restaurants and pubs

Capcon’s restaurant inventory management systems enable stock movements between outlets, analysis of recipe costs and theoretical margins, target margins and pricing strategies, and quick reviews with dashboard stock summary reports. Our stock auditing processes provide real-time visibility, including key stock management indicators, to help restaurant businesses detect data integrity, improve productivity, margins, and efficiency.

Employee training for restaurants & pubs

Capcon’s training services to restaurants span a range of areas, from accurate use of the systems, to ensuring processes are adhered to, risk is controlled and that all staff – from management, down – are equipped with the skills necessary to perform at their best.

Pre-employment screening for restaurants & pubs

A restaurant’s reputation is driven by quality service and quality employees. Capcon offers employee screening services for restaurants, including comprehensive hospitality background checks for restaurant managers and employees. This helps to streamline your hiring processes and mitigate the risk and cost of bad recruitment decisions.

All our advice is tailored to each business’s unique needs and risk profile, and we always make sure to equip you with the knowledge and resources necessary to be productive, efficient, profitable.

Find out more and get in touch



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