Five F&B Business Trends to Increase Profitability
With the recent inflation, F&B businesses are facing rising costs in all areas of their business - from food to labour costs. In this article, we will share the top F&B business trends that will help you scale your F&B business and increase profitability by managing all aspects of a business - from improving cash flow, recruiting enough manpower, and improving customer retention to maximising your personal gain from your F&B business.
1. Improve Your Cashflow and Raise Capital
Running an F&B business is challenging due to its ever-shifting nature, and it's getting even tougher now with the COVID-19 situation. Sustaining a positive cash flow is crucial to keep any business running. If you face cash flow issues, talk to your business partners and suppliers about your current situation and devise a plan. Many of them are willing to offer financial help as it will affect their business if your business is affected.
Raising capital is essential to scale your business. Getting a business loan is one option to raise capital. You will need an excellent credit score and run your business for a certain period to get a business loan. Another way is to look for angel investors; they are accredited individuals who fund businesses alone or, sometimes, join other angel investors to do so. Having enough capital helps you with your rental payment, settle payrolls, fund marketing campaigns, and purchase equipment to expand your business.
2. Recruit Enough Manpower
To run an F&B business, it's a lot to do with ensuring having enough staff from front shop operation to kitchen operation. There should be sufficient table turnover to ensure the business generates revenue. Without adequate manpower, the business cannot survive. Providing good customer service plays a part in building customer loyalty. Take Hai Di Lao as an example; one of its unique selling points is its excellent customer service. However, due to the tiring nature of the F&B industry, people are shunning away from F&B jobs. To ease the situation, Hai Di Lao adopted robotic technologies, from online ordering, e-menu and payment to deploying robot servers in their restaurants to serve customers. Adopting automation helps F&B businesses increase productivity. And what's more important is the increased satisfaction for service staff and customers.
3. Improve Customer Retention
Retaining customers is challenging due to the competitive nature of the F&B industry. As an F&B owner, your focus should be to attract new customers and make them fall in love with your restaurant so that they will keep coming back. Retaining a customer is much cheaper than looking for a new customer in terms of marketing dollars.
One way is to provide excellent customer service, as it helps retain your customers. The customer's journey starts when consumers enquire about your restaurant via website and social media channels. Ensure you are responsive to your potential customers who ask about the menu, reservations, etc. Once at your restaurant, servers should greet customers warmly and ensure they deliver the best customer experience.
You can also introduce a customised loyalty program to reward your customers for their loyalty. Connect with your customers by offering welcome points, giving royalty points, sending newsletter, or even gifting a voucher during their birthday. A highly engaged customer is way more profitable than those with low engagement.
4. Predict Customer Behaviour and Trends
Consumers will be more mobile in 2023, rotating between working from the office and home. With this arrangement, at-home consumption will remain steady, and restaurants will see an increase in revenue. However, due to inflation, consumers will find ways to manage and allocate their spending. But it's still essential to digitalise your F&B business infrastructure with the right digital tools to manage takeaway food orders easily. Contactless dining experience will be more widespread, with customers ordering their dishes via QR code. With QR ordering, it helps increase upselling through automatic add-on suggestions and achieve 100% accuracy as customers take charge of their orders. Contactless dining also involves the usage of food delivery robots to help reduce contact with servers. When settling the bill, payment can be made via the ordering platform or at the counter with contactless-enabled debit or credit cards.
5. Maximise Your Personal Gain
As an F&B business owner, you may find yourself in a situation where you don't take any salary in the first few years of running your business. You may also have concerns if you were to take too much, it'd be difficult to scale the business as you will not have enough for marketing, infastructure, etc. An important piece of advice is that owners should pay themselves something, as people must be paid for their work. Not paying yourself leads to burnout; hence a monthly payment is essential. You can start by working out a sum of money to determine how much you need to live on and withdraw that amount. You want to pay yourself enough so that you can sustain the business and your lifestyle. Also, don't forget to increase your salary as you are the No. 1 employee in your company. If you hit the revenue goal, you can increase your salary because the business is growing.
The above F&B business trends are what we uncovered from restaurant owners we have spoken to; if you have more insights to share, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.