Nearly every restaurant, fast food chain, pub and any other eating venue will need a refit at some point in its life. After a few years, the restaurant furniture can start to look a little old, the paint begins to fade and the floors lose their lustre. So schedule in time for a revamp and get your food outlet up to first class standards.
It’s all well and good arranging to close down and get everything refitted, but the time you choose to do it can make a huge impact on your business. Obviously, for the time that the outlet is closed, business will be lost so the timing of your closure needs careful thought. You might want to shut during November ready for the Christmas rush but consider that people are often out doing their Christmas shopping almost as soon as the nights start to draw in. One of the quietest times of the year is mid-January, when people are trying to play catch-up from the present splurge of the earlier winter months. Paying off credit cards can cause people to stay in so closing for a two-week period around this time will get your venue looking fresh and modern just in time for people digging into their wallets again.
Ultimately, your venue is going to need relatively regular re-fits to keep it looking up-to-date so don’t be afraid to go for an ultra-modern, on-trend design. It will depend on the type of venue you own, as a fast food outlet will probably need more refits than a high end hotel restaurant so you can go a little crazier with the design. Trying some funky paint patterns on the walls or using a whole different colour theme will freshen up the place and won’t break the bank. If you want to keep things a bit more classic, stick to a similar colour theme but make some changes to ensure the refit is noticeable. If customers can’t tell, it may have the same dreary, unappealing look as before.
When the venue is closed for a refit, it can be difficult and costly to know what to do with the staff. If they are unable to do their jobs, consider temporarily transferring them to other branches of the company. This will give them the opportunity to interact with new people and could benefit both their knowledge and their skills. Alternatively, take the chance to give them some training. Customer service should always be a top priority in a customer-facing position so ensure they are up to date with what is required of them.
A teambuilding day may also be useful to gauge how well your staff work together and can also help to overcome any issues. While the venue is closed, get to know all the staff as well as you can. Everyone is busy when they are at work so with that element temporarily removed, get hands-on with the team and work on making them feel comfortable with each other. Encouraging them to have a skill-exchange will give them the chance to possibly learn something new, and make them feel like a valued member of the team.
Author: Alec Cooper – You can also follow him through his Google + profile.