Consider these Five Resolutions for 2016

Consider these Five Resolutions for 2016 https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/socialmedia500-509x198.jpg

By David Faro

It’s early in the year and a time for both reflection and fresh starts. Take the opportunity this month to think about what you will do differently in 2016 to up your game, and then make the commitments you need to increase your success. Here are five possible resolutions for hospitality owners and operators and resources to help you achieve them.

  1. Put a better social media marketing plan in place.

Even if you already have a healthy online presence, the social media landscape is dynamic and changes from day to day. Robust social media marketing no longer simply means having a Facebook page. A broad range of social platforms from Twitter to Instagram to YouTube can provide access to new markets. Companies like WRA member Via121 allow for targeted marketing through a number of platforms that can dial right in to your neighborhood and amp up your local appeal while also offering guests online ordering that integrates with multiple social media sites. Be resolved. Increase your social media presence and reap the rewards.

  1. Use more tech.

With the recent changes in credit card liability laws promoting EMV compliance, many hospitality businesses are retooling their payment and point of sale systems. Use this opportunity to take a broader look at technology and find out what is available that could help improve your bottom line. Tech investments are often hard to swallow, yet companies that make wise investments experience rewards that keep on giving. If one of your resolutions this year is to bring your organization into the 21st century, WRA-member companies like Maître’d and Dinerware have a range of options to fit most budgets. If this isn’t your year for serious upgrades, make the resolution to at least explore the hospitality tech that is out there.

  1. Focus on your human resources.

The success of your whole operation balances on the ability of your employees to deliver outstanding customer service and a great dining or lodging experience. Since your staff is one of your most important assets, ask yourself some important questions: Have you been investing enough time to help employees deliver value? Are your new hires ready when they hit the stage? Do your current employees feel as if there is room to advance? Are you providing enough training or mentoring opportunities? Do you have a recognition plan in place? If you invest in their success, your employees will invest themselves in yours. And with the increasing competition for talent, it is a smart business practice to invest in understanding what makes your staff tick and how you can empower employees to support your brand. In 2016, resolve to identify your needs with regard to training and retention, and then create a plan to meet those needs. The WRA Consulting Network (www.warestaurant.org/resources/consultant-network) and the WRA Marketplace (www.warestaurantmarketplace.com) are great resources for expert HR, operations and customer service information and guidance.

  1. Get organized.

After the breakneck speed of the holidays, managers often return in January to an office where it looks like a bomb went off. Becoming more organized is a common New Year’s resolution, and it is a worthy one to try to follow. Break it into small bites. Walk through your entire operation and ask yourself, what did we do well this week? What could we improve on? What is coming in the next two weeks that we need to be prepared for? Agile organization that allows for the dynamic and ever-changing hospitality environment helps employers be at the top of the policies that keep their staff and operations streamlined. There are all sorts of organizational techniques that can bring your work load into a manageable enterprise. Now is the time to find what works for you.

  1. Employ change.

Make a commitment in this new year to test a few fresh ideas. You don’t have to go nuts, or break the bank, or come up with a whole new brand, you just have to attempt to do something that you have not done before… and carefully monitor the results. Perhaps that new cocktail you were thinking about will be a hit? You won’t know unless you try. Thinking about offering some gluten free or vegan fare? Thinking of a new staff configuration? How would that work? You won’t know unless you try. Experiment and then build upon your success. Keep an eye out for the next issue of your Washington Restaurant & Lodging Magazine which will feature food, menu and lodging trends.

(Source: Washington Restaurant & Lodging Magazine, January 2016)

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