In Australia, the F&B industry has always been highly competitive. With more customers switching to online delivery for their orders because of the pandemic, the industry is facing a period of enormous transformation.
It is estimated that more than 12,000 restaurants in Australia may never get the chance to reopen their doors when the pandemic clears. To remain successful during difficult times, restaurants have had to find new means of generating revenue. Good food and a strong atmosphere are no longer enough for success.
Here at Chef Collective, we’re at the epicenter of F&B innovation in Australia with our CloudKitchensTM delivery kitchen. We’ve seen restaurants thrive and others fail, and we know exactly what it takes to find success in such a challenging market. Here are our 10 pointers to bring your restaurant to the next level.
1. Open Your Very Own CloudKitchensTM delivery kitchen
No matter the size or genre of your restaurant, CloudKitchensTM delivery kitchen can be a viable solution. In short, these are places where you can operate a delivery-only kitchen, skipping out on all the extras of a dine-in location like offices, toilets, walk-in areas, and more. After you cook your food, a third-party or an in-house delivery service brings your food directly to the customer.
The benefit of using CloudKitchensTM delivery kitchen is simplicity. They boil a restaurant business down to its basics and allows food entrepreneurs to focus on cooking good food – not organising painstaking logistical issues and time-consuming paperwork. They’re also far cheaper – both upfront and operationally, allowing restaurants to find greater profit margins of 15% or more, a stark comparison to just 3-6% for traditional catering.
2. Take The Time To Locate Better Suppliers
All good restaurants have good suppliers behind them. Finding suppliers that offer the best quality ingredients at a reasonable price will help your restaurant not only produce better quality food but improve profit margins. Spending the time and effort to find the best suppliers possible for the ingredients you need will pay off in the long run.
3. Uphold A High Standard Of Food Production
If you’ve impressed customers with good food on their first visit, you’ll need to maintain that quality in order to keep them coming back customers. All it takes is one negative experience to turn a customer off your brand.
Factors like food quality often shift during times of expansion. Put measures in place to ensure that no matter where your store is, your food remains consistent and of a high standard.
4. Partner With Third-party Delivery Vendors
One huge aspect of F&B innovation is the surge in online food-courier platforms. In Australia, these platforms are estimated to make $300 Billion AUD in the next year alone. If your restaurant isn’t already working alongside a food courier service of some kind, it’s time to investigate doing so. Those that don’t risk falling behind in the direction the industry is headed.
5. Give Your Website And Content Some Love
Having an online presence that you can control is key to bringing your restaurant the success it deserves. A good website is well designed, visually appealing, user-friendly, and comprehensive. It should include contact information, opening hours, information about your restaurant, and an accessible menu. Make sure your menu is regularly updated with any changes to perfectly reflect the food you’re currently offering. Don’t forget to include yummy descriptions of the food too!
6. Use Online Reviews To Your Advantage
Online reviews are some of the first things that people look for when weighing up food options. Whether this be a more detailed review on a platform like Google or a simple star rating directly on third-party delivery apps, encourage your customers to show their love for your food.
7. Data Analytics
Collecting data is easy if you’re in a CloudKitchensTM delivery kitchen and a bit more complex if not. However you get it, keeping track of restaurant data gives you valuable insights into streamlining and improving your restaurant. You’ll be able to tell what dishes are most popular, where the bottlenecks are in your kitchen, and what items are giving you the most significant profit margins. With this information, you can expand your F&B business and grow profits you didn’t think were achievable.
8. Have A Bank Of Attractive Photographs And Videos
One factor that nearly all successful restaurants and food delivery businesses have is attractive visuals. Sometimes, an appetising picture can be what persuades someone to order from you rather than your competitor. Consider hiring a professional to give you photographs and videos that you can use and reuse on several platforms all at once.
9. Utilise Promotional Techniques
Utilising seasonal promotions is a fantastic way to ensure you have strong brand awareness and attract new consumers. Think about creating a recurring event that consistently attracts customers to your outlet, i.e. Taco Tuesday, or offer bang-for-buck birthday events.
For delivery-only businesses, you’ll have to get a bit more creative here. Consider creating seasonal dishes or offering services like party catering for those who want to host gatherings at home.
10. Value Your Staff
Your employees are your most important asset. Without a driven labour force, your productivity will fall and you will find your F&B business goals are difficult to achieve. Offer your employees benefits that not only give them an incentive to work harder, but help them feel as invested in your restaurant’s success as you are.
Should there be anything that you are curious about, don’t hesitate to ask. We are leading experts in the industry, and are very open to giving advice and critique to help you get started in expanding your restaurant through embracing new innovations in the F&B industry like dark kitchens.