How to Upscale Your Restaurant: From Fundamentals to Finishing Touches
How Is Upscaling Beneficial?
Firstly, it’s healthy for businesses to change it up from time to time and step outside of their comfort zone. Even if the changes aren’t permanent, they refresh the staff as well as the routines that can become too set in stone and loose around the edges. Upscaling your restaurant is a great way to test a new way of running your establishment with a different approach to service, decor and, of course, the food!
Upscaling your restaurant is a great shout because it can lead to greater customer retention. Customers will appreciate their experience more if you’ve decided to provide a higher quality service and if you rethink things like how you set the table, the decor and changes to the menu. Not only this, but these happy customers will likely go away and tell their friends and you’ll begin a positive word of mouth chain that naturally brings in more customers.
Even though it can be expensive to upscale your restaurant, you can do this in stages. Start with the most fundamental parts like the menu and the restaurant’s layout and postpone more expensive factors like the lighting until further down the load. Things like service quality can be altered virtually for free and the benefits will be experienced almost immediately. Hence, it’s important to prioritise your upscaling to ensure it’s manageable from beginning to end.
Plus, should your upscaling project be successful, you’ll be able to charge higher prices which will help in terms of recuperating the money you spend on the business. Put simply, people won’t mind paying higher prices for a higher quality service.
Back to the Drawing Board: The Fundamentals
If you’re looking to upscale your restaurant then you’ll want to first consider changing your menu. You don’t have to change absolutely every dish on there but it’s important to carefully consider how your dishes complement one another and whether they suit the quality of establishment you’re aiming for. It’s also vital to keep in mind that a little often goes a long way. It’s better to have four or five choices for each course but to execute these brilliantly than to provide customers with dozens of choices that are simply ‘good’.
You should also think about your restaurant’s layout and whether it’s appropriate for a higher-end establishment. Many restaurants nowadays include a few different seating options so they can cater to a range of customer demands. For example, booths are great for families and round booths are good for larger groups of diners. You may also want some more intimate one on one table options that can be separated for greater privacy. Depending on your budget and how creative you’re willing to get, you may even wish to implement an open kitchen where customers can sit at a continuous bench and are served straight from the kitchen with full visibility.
Top Tip: Whatever you do, just make sure it’s easy for your customers to traverse your space and that they can find the toilets and entrance easily.
It’s also a good idea to reconsider your decor and whether it matches both the food you serve and the physical building itself. If you’re in an old, historic building then lots of bright colours, lights and contemporary decorations might not fit very well. Vintage furniture, historic paintings and relevant art might fit better in this instance. Whatever you do, it’s important to be consistent and that your decor fits both your branding and your restaurant layout.
Top Tip: Mirrors are a great way to make a space feel larger than it actually is, which is partly why gyms use them so frequently!
When it comes down to practicalities, one of the most effective changes that can be made is to approach your service from a different angle. Retrain your staff to have the appropriate serving etiquette in mind when they serve wine, conduct tableside service and clear and lay the table. This principle also boils down to how your staff clean crockery, cutlery and glasses to avoid any fingerprints or marks, for example.
Top Tip: To encourage your employees, remind them that upscaling their service will result in better tips!
Every Little Count: The Finishing Touches
Setting the Table
If you’re looking to upscale your restaurant then it’s crucial that you set the table appropriately. Forks go to the left of the plate and knives and spoons to the right, with desert cutlery to the top. This cutlery must be laid in the order it’ll be used in, starting from the very outside and working your way inwards. Water glasses are to be placed to the top right of the plate with wine glasses to the right of this. If you’re serving bread then a bread plate and bread knife should be placed to the top left of the main plate. Finally, a serviette should be placed either on the plate itself or to the left of the forks.
Customers sitting down at a table that’s meticulously laid will subconsciously feel like they’re at the table of a luxurious, Michelin star restaurant. This will especially be the case if you choose to use a linen hire company like Johnsons Stalbridge. They will be able to provide you with serviettes that match the colour and quality of their tablecloths. Plus, they’ll launder your linen for you, ensuring that your fresh batch is of top-quality so that you’re always providing your guests with the best service possible.
Uniforms do what they suggest in the name - they give the impression that the restaurant works cohesively as a unit. Even if your customers don’t see certain members of staff very often, such as a kitchen porter, it’s still important they wear their uniform correctly as it encourages a certain level of professionalism. Johnsons Stalbridge can supply you with everything from chefs’ whites and trousers to aprons and polo shirts. These are made with sustainability and cleanliness in mind and are available in a range of colours to suit your requirements.
Lighting is often overlooked but it leaves a lasting subconscious impression on the customer. It plays a big part in their being comfortable in their surroundings. For example, if the customers are on a romantic date then they’ll likely appreciate intimate lighting, whereas a larger party or a family may put a brighter light to the middle of the table. You’ll want to consider what kind of ambience your lighting gives off and how you can change or alter this to better fit your layout and decor. It’s a subtle factor but one that must be capitalised on if you’re serious about upscaling your restaurant.
The Effectiveness of Linen Hire
Here at Johnsons Stalbridge, we’re proud to make a positive and lasting impact on our clients’ businesses and operations. We provide sustainable linen hire options at affordable rates which make for a cost-effective laundry system for your business. We have a ‘no contract policy’, allowing our clients to cancel or make changes to their plan whenever they need. We’re also happy to change your stock levels as you see fit because we understand the seasonality of a lot of hospitality businesses.
If you have any further questions about how our services can help you upscale your restaurant then don’t hesitate to get in touch with us by calling 0800 093 9933 today!