The new year – and new decade – has arrived, and with it many good intentions for making changes to your business. The internet abounds with forecasts and predictions for what is on the horizon, and these aspirations can be inspiring
By: Kate Edwards
The new year – and new decade – has arrived, and with it many good intentions for making changes to your business. The internet abounds with forecasts and predictions for what is on the horizon, and these aspirations can be inspiring. So, while you’re thinking about making change in the new year, take a moment to address the thoughts, systems and processes that are outdated in your business. Being up to date is key to staying current and excelling in the coming years.
There are a number of things you can do to update your business right now. I spoke to members of NYCHG to gain some insights on some essential alterations so you can get your business ready for the new decade.
Everyone has a website and Jimmy Page, of Hudson Creative, wants his clients to focus on text, not images, in 2020. “As the internet continues to evolve, how you utilize text on your website will be pivotal.” He points out that “the big trend of 2018-19 was image-heavy website designs that include Single-Page Websites and Parallax Scrolling that limit text.” But, he shares, “websites that utilize text in creative ways are rewarded in search engines like Google” and on apps like Google Maps. You want new customers to find your business easily and including thoughtful text will help make that happen.
We think of cyber security and hacking as being limited to big box stores and national hotel brands. But this is incorrect: any business with IT-based systems are at risk. This makes restaurants particularly vulnerable according to Contango IT’s, Danny Mizrahi. “Owners have to stop treating cybersecurity and hacking like it won’t happen to them. Everything in a restaurant is IP (Internet Protocol) based. Lighting, HVAC, security cameras, point of sale, computers, and wifi” are all vulnerable to hacking and abuse. “Restaurants are easy targets because they’re public facing and easy to identify online and in Google maps.” He urges all restaurants to ensure that their “firewall and infrastructure is patched” and he advises that it is worth doing a penetration test with a Certified Ethical Hacker to ensure your business – and guests – are safe from harm.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance:
One of the threats to restaurants is employment lawsuits and they are not likely to slow down in the next 10 years. This is a great area of risk for operators and Derek Sherman of E.B. Cohen Insurance (and director of NYCHG) has seen businesses get crushed by wage and hour lawsuits. “Although not required by a bank, landlord or other entity, employment practices liability insurance should be perceived as no longer optional” he shares. “The financial impact of labor-related claims has been, and will continue to be, financially devastating to hospitality companies. Transferring this risk to an insurance company is essential.” It’s not a matter of “if” it will happen but “when” and protecting your operation is not just a good idea, it’s good business.
Create a Timeless Design:
Kash Singh, of Aerial Design and Build, is an advocate for his clients throughout the buildout process, from signing a lease to delivering a fully functional restaurant. One thing he advises clients is to curb expense on designer high-end materials such as lighting, wallpaper and furniture. All these items are transitory since your lease is 10-15 years and over that period people’s taste & designs change.” He advises clients to “find a way to make things beautiful and functional while thinking of a way to update the décor as time goes by.” This allows you to save money for more important investments (like your HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems) while not looking outdated as your business grows and evolves over time.
Changing Your Growth Mindset:
“Growth isn’t a destination; growth is a journey” shares Nandu Awatramani, Growth Coach and Business Advisor. In order to evolve and grow, Nandu advises his clients to change their mindset about what growth actually looks like. “Growth doesn’t only mean opening more locations, necessarily. Growth also looks like maximizing revenue and profitability in current locations, creating super-talented teams, or having more time with family. By widening the definition of what growth looks like you create space to focus on what and why growth matters and how to do it the right way and get results that matter.” As the owner or operator of a restaurant your ability to make small changes to your mindset is crucial and will take you to the next level of success.
Unify Your Vision (and your Consultants)
Something that Douglas Riccardi of Memo sees with a lot of his clients is that they engage consultants individually which creates segmented rather than unified vision. “I find that many owners see themselves as the main point of contact with outside consultants, selecting them separately, managing their schedules separately, managing their deliverables separately.” This can lead to a guest experience that isn’t unified or consistent. He advises owners to work with consultants who have worked together in order to limit stress and create brand cohesion. He shares that when you can “find consultants who have worked together and are in sync, then they’ll be less inclined to be territorial and will favor the overall project experience rather than just their own purview.” Updating your approach to hiring outside assistance can remove extra stress from the opening process and help you achieve a vision you can be proud of.
Success in 2020 comes down to updating your methods and mindset. These small but essential adjustments are crucial to maximizing your business and keeping it safe, profitable and stable in the future. Keeping you up to date and ready for the next decade…and beyond.
About the author:
Kate Edwards is an author, executive coach, educator and consultant and is the founder of Kate Edwards & Company. Her company offers coaching, training, and practical solutions that help hospitality businesses define their mission, update their culture, empower their leaders & elevate their customer service experience.Back to Blog Posts
Established in 2009, The New York City Hospitality Group ("NYCHG") is a New York City-centric organization dedicated to serving the restaurant and hospitality industry. NYCHG is comprised of the best in class professionals that act as a resource to each other and the hospitality community.
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