The following is an excerpt from our monthly newsletter sent by Will Fleming, President of GSS.

I often get emails around this time of the year from restaurant owners asking my thoughts on the coming year as they put together next year’s strategy.

I am not a soothsayer, but I have been in the restaurant industry for many years – long enough to see trends and know what’s working and what isn’t.

This year, I thought I would share with you some of those thoughts to consider as you plan for 2021. 

What’s In

Delivery/off-premise dining: This is an obvious one, but it isn’t going to change anytime soon – even if the vaccine comes out tomorrow. Invest in your delivery and off-premise experience today, and get dividends for years to come.

Ghost kitchens: This is a trend that started in 2019, but due to COVID picked up steam in 2020. Many restaurants have been forced to adopt the model with success. [read more]

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Technology: Virtually every restaurant that has made it this far has done so because they have been able to successfully adopt technology into their restaurant. [read more]

(Perceived) Healthy food: Health is obviously on the mind of customers, and that doesn’t end with PPE. Customers are demanding healthy foods from restaurants more than ever.

What’s Out

COVID surcharges: As food prices rise and costs for PPE mount, many restaurants have added “COVID fees”. This is a mistake as many restaurants have learned. [read more]

Buffets: Buffet-style dining has never had a reputation for cleanliness, and that has been their downfall this year. There are some new models popping up, but we can all agree that it’s not a model to adopt. [read more]

Real estate: Restaurants have struggled to pay their rent this year and the sharp drop in revenue has left them with few options. Surveys of restaurants in New York, for example, show that 88% of respondents couldn’t make October rent. [read more]

High rate bad debt: Debt management has always been important, but restaurants that didn’t manage their debt well before the pandemic likely out of business at this point. It’s more important than ever to manage your debt well, and good accounting is the start to that. [read more]

The Core Principles Remain the Same

A lot of things have changed in 2020, but not everything has. It’s important to take a step back and ensure you don’t lose sight of the core principles of running your restaurant. 

Things like accurate and timely accounting, predictable cash flow, and reliable reporting on performance have been and will continue to be absolutely essential.

Ready to Start on a New Restaurant Accounting in 2021?

These are just a few of my thoughts on the coming year, but if you want to talk about these in more depth or have any more thoughts to share, please reach out, I’d love to chat.

All of us at GSS hope that you have a safe and happy holiday season as we head into 2021. It’s going to be an extraordinary year!

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