Creating great food relies on the choices you make, the right ingredients, preparation and cooking time. The same goes with operating a profitable business – you need to choose the day-to-day activities and selling strategies that make your business thrive.
Juliet Tadiaman from Mama J’s Kitchen, located in Dundas, has been working with Realise Business Advisor Tim Noye to review elements of the business that could be changed to make the restaurant stronger and more successful.
Like other Parramatta business owners during the recent downtime, Juliet found that it was a good time to review her business and plan for a productive outcome. She commented, “Although COVID has been difficult, I feel we used the quieter time wisely. This is the first time I have had a chance to further look into my processes and make real improvements.”
The restaurant’s activities
Tim and Juliet updated the restaurant’s menu so that it focused on products that suit their customers.
They also created a food-costing template tailored to the business. This has helped simplify and reduce raw material costs for food and beverages, as well as the cost associated with training staff.
They put in place a schedule to prepare food in advance that makes use of staff quiet times. Analysing staffing hours also helped Juliet reduce costs, by identifying quiet periods that can be used to cross-train staff.
The restaurant used the time to reinforce Health and Safety protocols to highlight a consistent approach to customer safety through the introduction of a temperature chart and health and safety manual.
These changes have already made the business more productive and profitable.
The restaurant’s selling and marketing strategies
Tim and Juliet also reviewed how the business markets its activities by:
- Identifying the restaurant’s ideal client so they can tailor products and promotions accordingly.
- Using the restaurant’s Facebook page to promote their exciting new menu.
- Creating restaurant flyers they can deliver to the local area to cultivate a better relationship with potential local customers.
- Taking advantage of the TfNSW new marketing campaign ‘Dine Scan Win’. Customers can download the Activate Parramatta app and every time they make a purchase at a participating business they automatically go in the draw to win a weekly prize.
- Ensuring consistency with fast service and appropriate handling of complaints to enhance positive word of mouth for the restaurant.
- Monitoring the competition so Juliet can develop new strategies to sell what the restaurant has to offer to current and new customers.
- Developing and promoting a new Happy Hour Menu, available between 5 pm and 7 pm (Wednesday – Friday), offering hot or cold rustic dishes from $7 to $12. This will help with foot traffic and positive relationships with locals.
- Enticing customers to purchase from the restaurant by updating the food display with fresh salads. This will also promote a visually welcoming atmosphere, encouraging more customers.
- Changing menu offerings every couple of weeks, such as introducing seasonal winter warmers like ‘beef hotpot with roast root vegetables,’ ‘homemade butter chicken with saffron rice’ and ‘vegetable stir fry with silken tofu and honey glazed cashews.’ This keeps their menu fresh and interesting to Juliet’s local repeat customer base.
Tim believes that the Mama J’s Kitchen Happy Hour promotional strategy will encourage customers to pick up their food, bypassing expensive delivery platforms and keeping business local and to date sales have increased for the happy hour menu by 40%.
Ready for success
The review of Mama J’s business has given more structure to the way that the restaurant runs and promotes itself.
Juliet is happy that she now has a better grasp of her business and a strategy to improve services immediately and in the future, commenting, “I feel like I have a better understanding of the business as a whole and am really excited for the future!”
Realise Business advisors can assist you in reviewing the moving parts of your business and improving how it operates.