4 Reasons to Keep Your Work Desk Clean

A clean and neat work desk

Organization in the workspaces is something we all honestly want. Actually doing something to clean up your own work desk is a different matter altogether.

The truth is that isn’t a matter of being innately clean and organised. Sometimes, it’s a matter of things getting too hectic that we set aside organisation for expediency. After all, when the deadlines loom and the workload is heavy, is there any real compelling reason to bother about work desk cleanliness?

Apparently, there are in fact 4 really great reasons why work desk cleanliness should be your priority. So much so that it’s the very first concern that you need to attend the second you get into the office—before anything and everything else.

1. A clean desk helps you relieve the stress of the work day

If you have ever tried to work on a cluttered desk, you know how annoying it can be. After all, your state of mind, in a sense, is reflected by the clutter around you. Imagine if there was one particular thing—like a pen, a file, a printed document, an invoice—that you needed to find in a jiffy. Having everything scattered about makes it harder to find. You literally have to trawl through everything to find what you need.

On the other hand, if you set everything about neatly and in proper places, you lower the amount of effort needed to find these important things. That means less stress for you.

Man organising his things
Photo Courtesy from Pexels Image by Unsplash

More than that, organisation also leads to visual synergy—your eyes aren’t jarred or easily distracted by disorder. This helps you stay calm and cool no matter how stressful and overloaded your work day might actually be.

2. A clean desk gives off a great first impression

Ever heard the saying that first impressions last? It is usually used in the context of dating or meeting other people for the first time. However, it is very applicable to your office life, as well.

When a client or your boss walks about and sees the clutter and mess on your desk, it doesn’t present a very good image of you and your work.  It doesn’t matter how hard you actually work, a cluttered desk tells others that you’re messy internally.

Photo Courtesy from Pixabay Image by Free-Photos

The opposite is true too. When you are organised when it comes to your work desk, it gives the impression of control, dependability, trustworthiness, and organisation.

Naturally, it helps if you actually posses all these qualities, but the impression is equally important whether you’re angling for a promotion or helping your office close a great deal. So, take the time to fix up. If not for your own sake, at least for the rest of your company.

3. A clean desk inspires others

Be the one to set the bar for the proper desk organisation in your office. If your desk is cluttered and messy, it sends the message to other people that that kind of behaviour is a-ok.

A ruler and a notebook on top of the table
Photo Courtesy from Pexels Image by Jeff Sheldon

People might not even notice their own negligence until their own desks start filling up with clutter too. This is an even bigger problem if this starts happening to a manager. It sets a bad example which—if built upon by the people under you—will have terrible consequences.

When you set the example of a clean desk, you also inspire other people to do the same. While it’s mostly psychological, you end up brightening up your workspace a great deal. And when everyone’s desks are clean too, it has a very pleasant appearance and a positive effect on the overall office morale.

4. A clean desk is healthier

Anything that’s cluttered creates nooks and crannies where dust and dirt can collect unnoticed. And if there’s one thing you need to know about dust and dirt is – it can have really bad effects on one’s health.

While this is especially true for those with asthma or allergies, they can be just as bad for those who don’t. Some particularly nasty effects include sore throats, runny noses, and itchy eyes.

Woman blowing her nose
Photo Courtesy from Pixabay Image by Mojpe

When those things hit a person, it makes it very hard to focus on work. Productivity can suffer badly from something as “innocent” as a dirty desk. When things are neatly organised and set in their proper places, cleaning becomes an easy task. That’s because you eliminate any hidden places and spaces where dust and debris find their hideouts. Additionally, keeping things organised lets you easily see what’s clean and what’s not.

At Alsco, we know perfectly well how important the workplace hygiene is. We’ve been helping Australian businesses maintain high levels of workplace cleanliness for years.

We provide cost-friendly solutions your company could use to improve the lives of your employees. Everything from safety to hygiene is covered by our extensive product line.

Give us a call today and we can help find the purchase or rental package perfect for you specifically.

Photo Courtesy from Pixabay Image by donterase

13 Ways to Fight Work-Related Back Pain

A man massaging his colleague

Sooner or later, everybody will experience some sort of a back pain.

It all depends on many factors, which include your genetics, shape and lifestyle.

Since your back is a significant part of your body, not all back pains are the same.

You can have pains in your pelvis, lumbar, or even neck. It all counts as back pain.

Among the most common causes of the backaches in the office are poor posture and prolonged periods of sitting, especially in positions that are unhealthy for your back.

Severe back pain is a crippling and annoying condition that renders you unable to perform regular daily tasks. That is why you should do everything in your power to prevent this from happening to your employees.

Another reason is purely business-related: chronic back pains cause absenteeism and influence your company’s productivity. Among all the simple techniques to improve your employees’ performance and productivity, you will always find something that points out the importance of proper posture and exercise.

Here are some of the effective ways to prevent and fight off work-related back pain and keep your employees happy and healthy.

1. Ergonomic Office Furniture

Home office with ergonomic chair
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by jnyemb

Your employees spend a better part of their day in their office chair. This means that their chair is very important when it comes to correctly supporting their spine and back muscles.

Ergonomic chairs are not hard to find these days, because a lot of businesses recognised their great effects on the wellbeing of their employees. A good ergonomic chair should enable the correct sitting posture of its user.

It needs to have appropriate lumbar support, adjustable backrest and seat tilt. This will prevent painful episodes because it will prevent back muscles and ligaments from being too strained.

2. Help Employees Correct Their Posture

When sitting, your back needs to be leaned on the backrest. The spine needs to be held straight, shoulders relaxed. Thighs should have support all to the knees, which should be bent under 90 degrees and resting on the floor. No slouching and bending forward. Elbows need to be in line with the wrists while typing.

The easiest way to figure out the best standing posture is to stand with your back pressed against a wall. Move your heels around 15 cm away from the wall and push your head, shoulders and back to touch the wall. Draw in your abs. That is how a good posture feels. Keep that in mind and mime it until it becomes your habit.

Correct posture at all times prevents vertebra from slipping from their natural position. This can grow into a very painful condition if not prevented and treated.

3. Install Standing Workstations

A man working using his standing workstation
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by John M

Sitting can place more pressure on your lower back than standing does. So, it is very important that your employees have the option of standing while working. The best option is to change between standing and sitting while working.

Standing workstations don’t take up much of your office space. There is a benefit to your employees’ health, so they should definitely be a part of your office furniture.

4. Consider Moving Desks

Offering your employees standing workstations is a great option. Switching from sitting to standing and the other way around is great for your back. However, what if your employees aren’t that keen on using the standing desks? Try moving desks.

By installing moving desks, you are forcing your employees to change positions which does wonders for their back and prevents back pains. Moving desks automatically fall down and rise up to force people to stretch their legs and back.

5. Encourage Employees to Do Yoga

Yoga helps relieve back pain
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by U.S. Army

Yoga has many benefits on the human body and mind and it does wonders for your back. By making your ligaments, bones and muscles more flexible, you will prevent strains and back injuries.

But how to inspire your employees to do yoga often? You can hire somebody to come to your office and do practice there. You can help your employees by making a deal with a yoga centre and workout a discount. There are many ways, you just need to think creatively.

6. Reinforce Regular Stretches

Regular stretches are a first step in the fight against back pain. Everybody should stretch at least once for 2 minutes, every 35-40 minutes of sitting.

People forget this. They think they don’t have the time. Employers see it as a waste of company time. But, if such a short break can improve productivity and prevent days off due to excruciating back pain, isn’t it worth the trouble? Encourage your employees to stretch regularly.

7. Put up Posters with Proper Lifting Technique

Poster for proper lifting technique
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Image by Unknown

Lifting heavy objects is not really a part of everyday routine around the office. Still, it makes it even more dangerous, because when such a thing occurs, people are not ready for it.

There are bad ways and the proper ways to lift things. Hang posters with proper ways to lift objects, because it will prevent a lot of injuries and back pain.

8. Bring Out Those Cushions

It is very important that you have proper lumbar support when you are spending your time sitting down in the office. A lot of ergonomic chairs have it, but at times, you have to improvise.

If there’s no money for proper chairs, you can always have cushions. Even a folded towel between your lumbar area and the chair will help you maintain proper sitting position.

9. Proper Positioning of the Computer Monitor

A employee working using his computer
Photo Courtesy of Pexels Image by Startup Stock Photos Unknown

One of the reasons for frequent back pains and even headaches is the way you hold your neck. If you bring it forward too much, you cut prevent the blood from circulating and you press on the nerves.

Why do you do this? Because you are trying to see your computer screen. Computer screen needs to be positioned properly. Make sure that it is in your eye level, so that you are not forced to look down or up to use it.

10. Using Paper Holders if Necessary

There are some jobs that require from your employees to look at a paper and a computer screen at the same time. This means a lot of neck twisting and turning. This results in neck pain, back pain and headaches.

To prevent that from happening, you have to make sure that there is a holder next to your screen, so that all the things you need to look at while working on your computer are right there in front of you.

11. Provide Headphones with Mics for Telephone Conversations

Four working call centre agents
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by Holidayextras

Another thing that causes those back and neck pains are constant phone calls that your spine needs to endure. If you want to do something about it and feel better, make sure that everybody in your office has proper headsets.

This will allow your employees to maintain healthy posture while talking over the phone. Those that work in call centres and use phones in their everyday work constantly, need to come up with this sort of solution or it will reflect badly on their health.

12. Bring in the Expert to Teach People Breathing Techniques

Learning breathing techniques is important as it improves many health aspects of people’s lives. It relieves stress, muscle tension and even builds abdomen muscles. This last benefit is what makes proper breathing a great prevention strategy when it comes to back pain.

Abdomen muscles help you keep your body straight. They also ‘pull their weight’ and relieve the pressure your entire body puts on the spine. Proper breathing strengthens them and it also forces your body to assume a proper posture.

13. Have a First Aid Kit and Ice Packs Ready

Alsco first aid kit

Bad posture and inactivity are causes of many cases of back pain. However, injuries and accidents are also high on the list of causes. If that happens, you need to have a first aid kit and ready ice packs to soothe the damage made by an injury.

You are obliged to have a well-stocked first aid kits, purposefully positioned throughout your venue. It’s just so easy to forget that you need to restock it and that it needs to be compliant to the rules and regulations.

Call Alsco. We will rent you all the first aid kits you need. Moreover, we will help you determine how many you need and we’ll make sure they are always compliant and well-stocked.

Photo Courtesy of WikimediaCommons Image by Michael Dorausch

7 Ways to Keep Foodborne Diseases from Killing Your Business

Serving a slice of pizza

Restaurants are places where people go to have a great meal and a great time. Unfortunately, they are also the places where the majority of the 5.4 million Australians contract some form of food poisoning every year.

This number is worrying and it makes people think twice before entering a restaurant. Don’t allow your restaurant to become a part of this statistics and do everything in your power to diminish the chances of ever making any of your customers ill.

This requires, among the other things, the perfect kitchen and washroom hygiene, flawless sanitary conditions and meticulous care about the food and ingredients, and regularly sanitised staff uniforms.

Here are 7 excellent ways to keep your restaurant in the business and stay clear of random cases of foodborne diseases that can hurt your customers and kill your business.

1. Salad Bar Needs to Be Done Properly

Salad bar for everyone
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by NatalieMaynor

While salad bars are self-serving options, you need to make sure that there are members of the staff there that monitor it and take care of the food safety. This prevents people from using the same silverware or even their hands to take more food.

These staff members should also keep away the flies and make sure that the temperature of the salad bar is under 5 degrees Celsius or lower for cold foods and 58 degrees or higher for hot foods.

2. Be Extra Careful When Offering Buffet

Delicious buffet with different food menu choices
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by Krista

The same rules for the salad bar go for the buffet, as well. However, the person tending the buffet should also make sure that no food offered forms a crust. If that happens, the dish in question should be removed and a fresh serving offered.

3. Colour Code Your Wipes

Green, red, and blue food wipes

Not all wipes should be used for all types of work around the kitchen. Some are used only for handling raw food, others for cooked food and some are just for wiping glass. It is very important not to mix these up.

Using the same wipes to handle raw and cooked food may allow some microorganisms to get transferred to the cooked food and contaminate it. Colour coded wipes prevent contamination.

In this way, it is always obvious which wipes should be used for which tasks and the possibilities for mixups are minimised. This further contains possible contamination.

4. Insist on Flawless Hand Hygiene

Many of the diseases are transmitted via dirty hands. This means that handling food with anything else than perfectly clean hands is a serious issue and possible health hazard.

If you want your employees to be diligent about their hand hygiene, you need to make it easy for them. This means that you need to have a perfectly maintained washroom with installed soap dispensers, hand sanitisers and hand drying options.

Also, don’t forget about the hand cream that should be available, as well. It will protect your staff hands from cracking, especially around the nails. These little cracks can sometimes bleed and that’s not something that should end up in food.

5. Dress Up Your Staff

Happy employees wearing their neat and clean uniform

A lot of things that should not ever reach your food are right there on your clothes. The same goes for the clothes of your staff. To prevent all the germs you carry with you from the outside to get in touch with the restaurant food, make sure your staff has good uniforms.

Good uniforms for the kitchen staff are only as good as they are clean. Chef uniforms need to be comfortable and flawlessly sanitised. They get their hands dirty and they wipe it on their aprons. That stains and stains made by food can sometimes be perfect for breeding bacteria.

Regular washing won’t cut it. You have to make sure that these uniforms are washed on a professional level. That’s why it pays off to rent uniforms from Alsco as we will wash them for you regularly they way they need to be washed.

6. Don’t Compromise Safety Because of the Turnover

People eating in a restaurant
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by Rein Ketelaars

Usually, some foods go slower while other are in high demand. If you want to have a diverse menu, you have to be ready to dispose some of the food that hasn’t been ordered in a while because it is not entirely fresh. Foods cannot be stored forever, as you very well know.

It may cause some of the prices of your specials to rise and that may slow down a business. On the other hand, think about how much a case of food poisoning would slow down your business. You cannot risk it. So, don’t sacrifice the safety because of the turnover. It’s not worth it.

7. Keep the Washrooms Spotless

Safe and clean washroom

There is no way hygiene can be perfect if the washrooms are a mess. That means – invest time, money and effort to make your restaurant washrooms absolutely sanitary and clean.

To keep the washroom clean, you should contact Alsco and we will explain everything about our intensive biological treatment services that is bound to make your restaurant washroom the cleanest ever.

Alsco will also deal with your staff uniforms, hand hygiene, and food wipes. We offer amazing floor mats and many more services that will allow you to make your restaurant a greener, safer and cleaner place.

Moreover, all that we offer doesn’t require capital investment. We’ll simply rent it to you! All those uniforms and wipes – not your problem anymore. We supply you with it and we pick them up and sanitise them.

Say goodbye to foodborne diseases and hygienic health hazards. Call our representatives and agree on a monthly fee that covers everything you need.

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay Image by Rupesh

126 Expert Ideas For Your Restaurant Business Plan

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The fact that everybody needs food and that this need occurs every day, makes running a food business fun, exciting, and so full of possibilities.

But just because food is a universal need doesn’t necessarily mean every food business is bound for success.

With so much competition in the food business industry today, it’ll all boil down to which restaurant serves the best food at the best price and at the best location possible.
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Create Your Restaurant Business Plan B

Creativity and resourcefulness are key to making your restaurant business a success.

That is why Alsco stresses the importance of coming up with a solid restaurant business plan. Whether you are just about to start your food business venture or want to improve your existing business,  a good plan is essential to success in such a competitive industry.

Alsco are experts in the industry. We help the restaurant and catering industry by providing clean and hygienic linen, food & glass wipes, catering workwear, various kinds of floor mats, continuous towel, first aid and washroom services.

But not just that! We’ve put together a list of great ideas that will help you when starting up and managing a sustainable restaurant business – increasing your profits and potentially turning your restaurant into an integral establishment in your local community.


Create The Perfect Ambience

1. Choose the best location

Quay Restaurant is one of Australia’s top restaurants with best views. Credits to Business Insider Australia

The location is a key factor to keep in mind when opening a restaurant.

Having the best location can be the decisive factor in the success of your enterprise. An ideal establishment would be located in a busy neighbourhood with easy access. Somewhere central which offers facilities such as parking or easy access to public transport is ideal.

You should choose a location that meets specific physical characteristics that can be adapted to the requirements of the concept and budget of your restaurant.

2. Décor and design matters

Michael Shen, restaurant reviewer and food photographer of ImStillHungry shares that service and décor are important factors in your customers’ minds. While both come second to food quality, it is these two aspects that can really seal the deal when it comes to making a memorable experience. This is how Michael Shen rates restaurants.

If you are going to need professional help with the design and decor of your restaurant, Alexandra Morris, a Sydney-based Commercial Interior Design, adds that it’s important to always appoint a great designer that has a portfolio of hospitality projects.

“Not only will they maximise the best use of your space, they will guide you through the procedures involved with council regulations as well as making sure the overall design meets Australian Standards and food codes.” Alexandra Morris

Espresso Room Woden designed by Morris Selvatico.

3. Plan before doing fit outs and buying equipment

Before you plan your kitchen and the equipment that you require to fit it out, make sure you have a design and cost analysis of your menu and style of food offering.

Peter Giannakis of www.thehospitalitycoach.net said:

“I often see new business owners who were sold equipment they just didn’t end up fully utilising. The style of food will also dictate the layout and workflow when designing your kitchen.”

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4. Space constraints shouldn’t be a problem

If you think your space is not big enough, it’s okay. Having an available seating under 10 is still a great way to cut costs not just on your fit out but also on the long-term costs of running your restaurant.

Design your restaurant space to give it a stunning and welcoming atmosphere. Make up for the space constraints by offering a “takeaway” service. This will help you spend less on staff and reduce the need for table service and clean up.

5. Optimise your space

Observe and evaluate the areas of inefficiency in your space to identify where you need to make changes or renovations. Even small changes in your space can lead to a reduction in the number of staff members you need per shift without affecting the service speed or food quality.

Kitchen work triangle illustration.

Julia Gouye of CafeIdeas.com.au recently wrote about a concept called the “kitchen work triangle”. It combines design, functionality and efficiency, making it easier for restaurant owners to determine their kitchen layout.

Consider making your kitchen an ergonomic work area to reduce the distance and effort required for your staff to work effectively.

6. Put up a service well

This works best if you have a long bar. Having a service well on both sides will help servers get drinks easily.

7. Re-organise the kitchen

Make sure your kitchen is laid out so that your staff can work efficiently and even multitask – e.g. working on the fish station and the fryer at the same time.

8. Consider an open kitchen

Open kitchens have become a trend these days because customers love it when the cooking process is part of their dining experience. They appreciate being able to see how their meals are prepared. Aside from assuring your customers of your kitchen’s hygiene, this setting develops trust, creates atmosphere, and further adds value to your restaurant.

A friendly reminder from Alexandra Morris of  Morris Selvatico Interior Designs – don’t put in an open kitchen if you don’t have any theatrically-interesting cooking to showcase. They might be in fashion at the moment, but there is nothing worse than seeing into an unclean or uninteresting kitchen.

9. Get Instagram-worthy tableware and table linens

Customers love sharing their food on social media. The more picture-perfect the presentation of your dishes are, the more likely it will get posted on Instagram or Facebook.

Nice table setting with clean table linen from Alsco.

Aside from influencing the food tastes, nice tableware and table setting will also encourage customers to talk about you. Simply serve dishes that will excite your customers and they’ll be more than happy to share their experiences with their entire social networks.

Here are useful tips for buying restaurant tableware

10. Improve your lighting

According to Alexandra Morris of Morris Selvatico Interior Design, lighting is often overlooked by restaurant business owners – especially if they are on a budget.

Make sure you don’t make this mistake as it is one of the most important elements when designing a restaurant/café.

“Lighting sets the overall mood and atmosphere so don’t leave it to the last minute. Remember that less is more and this is certainly true when it comes to lighting – remember to always put lights on dimmers so that you have control over lighting levels through the day and night.” – Alexandra Morris of Morris Selvatico

11. Get stylish but functional chairs and tables

Mary Todd of Ke-zu Furniture shares her insights on the best chairs to use in a restaurant.

  • Apart from the aesthetics, make sure the chairs are functionally suitable by considering the dimensions, materials, and finishes carefully.
  • When considering chairs be mindful of the design from the back. That is what you actually see in the space.
  • On a practical level chairs with a gap between seats and back allow for easier cleaning.
  • Tables with central bases as opposed to legs provide greater versatility in table arrangement and allow people to get in and out of chairs with greater ease.
Custom built Aqua Bar project by KE-ZU.

12. The psychology of colour

Niccolo Borgonovo of Protech Hospitality also shares a great business plan tip on using colours in a restaurant.

Colours play an important role in generating a hospitable environment in cafés or restaurants. The colour that is rarely seen in cafes is blue and the reason behind that lies in its ability to distract one’s mind away from food. On the other hand, colours like orange, red and green stimulate the appetite and increase cravings. This is why the right colour combination will not only help you maximise hospitability but will also generate customer satisfaction.

Interior design tips for every business by Kreativ.

Get a PDF copy of the Expert Ideas for your Restaurant Business Plan

Keeping an Eye on Your Supplies

13. Order Wisely

This is the best way to control food costs. Keep an inventory that will tell you the details and quantities of supplies. Assessing your expenses to manage food costs is one key strategy to boost your bottom line. You can also order in bulk for certain items that are used in large quantity.

14. Count and weigh delivered supplies

Always count and weigh food when they are delivered to make sure that you are getting what you paid for.

15. Do a make-or-buy analysis

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Restaurant business plan tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au.

You may also want to reconsider your kitchen workload by coming up with a thorough make-or-buy analysis. Make a list of which items you can make from scratch and which ones you can just purchase prepared. Aside from cutting costs, this move can also ensure a higher quality of food that you serve your customers.

16. Talk to your suppliers

Communicating with your suppliers will help you get the best deals for your business. Don’t be shy to discuss with your suppliers about reducing your costs. It’s also okay to let them know that you are getting quotes from competitors.

17. Develop relationships with local farms

Products from local farmers are a lot fresher and often cheaper as the middle-man suppliers aren’t necessary.

Find a local farmer close to you via the localharvest.org.au

18. Be kitchen intelligent – understand how money is spent and where.

Kirsty and Matthew Krueger of iChef share a few restaurant business plan tips on ‘kitchen intelligence’:

  1. Come up with regular reviews of menu costs to makes sure you are not selling your menu short.
  2. Conduct weekly stocktakes to determine food cost percentage so you know what changes you need to make.
  3. Set stock holding levels for particular days of the week. This will help prevent stock loss due to over-ordering.
  4. Setting preparation par levels over kitchen preparation is as important, this will ensure freshness of food products.

Put Your Finances In Order

19. Track your inventory and food cost

It may be best to track food costs on a daily basis so you know where they are each day. E.g. if you start noticing that food costs are 5% too high, you know that you’ve had a soft month and have been selling too much of this or probably not enough of that.

It also helps to look at what menu items are not selling so you know if you will need to make adjustments on ordering, dishes, and the menu to compensate for food costs.

Here’s a helpful video about how to calculate food cost percentage.

20. Menu item sales report

This report tells you what your customers like and will be very useful for your chefs and kitchen managers as it allows them to plan better daily specials and prepare only popular, best-selling dishes.

This is also the best way to find out what you need to place on your menu to increase sales, directly influencing what customers want to order and how much they are going to spend.

Here’s a sample of a Restaurant Weekly Sales and Labor Report from Restaurant Resource Group.

21. Hourly staff labour report

Having an hourly labour report will improve your work scheduling. Keep track of the total hours a staff worked, the category of his/her task, and part of the day. Since labour is one of the biggest costs in running a restaurant, having an hourly labour report will give you an idea when you will go over the budget of hours and if a staff member will have to go over his scheduled hours and work overtime hours.

22. Go easy on the discounts

Giving up on discounting will have an immediate effect on your bottom line. If you always offer discounts, what’s the point of having a regular retail price?

Discounting costs you money and it gives people the impression that your normal prices are a rip-off. Discounts will devalue your product.

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Special discounts for special occasions. Contributed tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au.

Think about rug retailers that are always advertising massive discount sales on TV. How often do they say, for example, “up to 80% discount on all floor stock! Final clearance sale! Old stock has to be sold ASAP! Trouble is, people become oblivious to all these sales when they become the status quo. They cease having an impact. They are no longer believable.

Rather than discounting, simply offer more add-on value instead. You could consider something like “buy a coffee – get a free slice”, “Spend over $10 and get a free coffee”. Freebies are far more tangible and effective than a hard-to-prove discount.

“Selling is not about price. It’s all about value”

Get a PDF copy of the Expert Ideas for your Restaurant Business Plan

Making Them Go ‘Ooh!’ With Your Menu

23. Always mention the major ingredients

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Think Culinary posted about menu tips on Instagram.

Mention the major ingredients in each dish. If they fit, use ethnic names as they add an authentic flair to the menu description.

24. Put a lot of thought into menu design

Your menu is a reflection of your restaurant. Its fonts, colours and layout should match your restaurant’s concept, location, and theme.

iChef’s Kirsty and Matthew Krueger also shares the following ideas when designing a menu:

  • Create something that will excite your guests, involve your regulars, it gives them some ownership.
  • Use the specials board as your menu design drawing board

Another great tip for your restaurant business plan from Murray Wright of MurrayWright.com is to make sure your menus can be read and understood.

With in-house printing, we can squeeze a lot on a A4 paper – but in the evening with lights low, and the more mature customer having forgotten their reading glasses, (or not wanting to show they need them) things get hard. Make sure the typeface is big enough. With descriptions, be careful of technical terms – if people don’t understand, they won’t ask and just order the steak or schnitzel. Ask yourself why the term is needed – is it to genuinely inform the customer or make myself feel good?

25. Positioning items on a menu

Be smart when positioning items on your menu.

Murray Wright and Associates shares that people tend to remember the first and last items more easily when they read a list.

So make sure to put the dishes you want to sell the most (highest $ margin) first and last on the lists.

Here are tips and tricks for making the most of your restaurant menu by BuzztimeBusiness.

26. Rate your dishes on how well they sold

Another great idea from iChef is to rate each of your dishes and keep a tally. This will give you the pros and cons to their suitability for the menu.

27. Have a specialty menu on special occasions or holidays

You can put together a menu unique to special events, holidays or occasions.

This will allow you to keep control over your costs and inventory while expanding your meal selection.

Special menu at Bistro One46.
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Finding restaurants and eateries with healthy foods made easier through Gluten Free Eating Directory.

28. Offer healthy options

Offer healthy options on your menu. Healthy food choices are becoming more important for customers’ restaurant choices, so make sure you have particularly healthy menu options available.

Offering meals with whole grains, vegetables, and fresh seafood on your menu is also another way to impress your customers with your varied range of dishes.

You don’t necessarily have to remove items from your menu. But you may want to consider adding low-fat, low-carb, low-calorie options such as lean meats, poultry and fish. Smaller meal portions at lower prices are also a great way to cut the calories and the costs for your clients.

Vanessa Cullen of Forward Thinking Design has some great insights to share on healthy food offerings:

“Wholefoods plant-based clean eating is in and here to stay, even with non-vegan or non-vegetarian consumers who are just seeking lighter, healthier and/or more sophisticated meals. Leading futurists forecast this as the top trend in the immediate and foreseeable future of food and it is being embraced by both the best chefs globally and small start-up ‘fast’ food companies popping up ahead of the curve.”

Vanessa also shared a few examples of healthy dishes:

  • A vegan veggie burger or falafel wrap with option for gluten free bread
  • Bringing in a vegan cheese option which allows you to easily convert many pizza and Mexican-style mains
  • A tofu or lentil veg stir fry, hot pot, casserole or curry, etc.
  • Raw vegan desserts and non-dairy based ice creams can easily be bought in from a growing range of suppliers

Having more options like these will add variety to your menu and appeal to a wider array of customers.

29. Trim down your menu

Track the sales of every item in your menu and remove those that aren’t selling well. Use containers and ingredients efficiently to minimise food spoilage while keeping food costs under control.

30. Keep a balanced menu

Analyse each item on your menu to figure out your major food costs and how you can make cuts. Make sure your menu has a balance of both low and high-cost items. Adjust these to meet food cost targets. Avoid high food cost items on slow months as much as possible.

Here are some tips from HowCast on how to design a menu.

31. Control portion size

When it comes to targeted food costs, the small things add up. Portion size is one of them.

Make sure that you are portioning everything in your meals at the proper weight. This makes sure you are ordering the right quantities, keeping costs down, and reduces the need to raise prices and potentially turn your business into a really profitable one.

Improving Your Marketing Game

32. Make the most of the Internet

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Contributed tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au.

Today, people turn to the Internet for nearly everything, including looking for great eating spots. Taking advantage of that is near-essential for your restaurant business.

So now’s the right time to make the most of all that the Internet has to offer. Create or improve your website or try online advertising. Creating a mailing list to send your customers regular deals, discounts or updates is an affordable way to keep them coming back.

33. Use Wi-Fi marketing platforms

Cody Hicks of Turnstyle shares how Wi-Fi marketing platforms can be surprisingly effective at helping restaurants build their email lists quickly.

You can get contact information from guests who sign-in to your Wi-Fi in exchange for a free wireless connection. This way, you can send out updates, messages, and coupons, giving them more reasons to keep visiting your restaurant.

34. Spread the word

“Word of Mouth” can be a very influential element that can drive purchase decisions. Consumers recommend a restaurant to their friends and family if they’ve had a great dining experience. If you have loyal customers, loyalty cards/membership will make them 70% more likely to spread the word about your business.

Here are 5 Principles of Word of Mouth Marketing:

35. Use SEO to grow your audience

Carlos Swinton-Lee of Bar & Restaurant Consultants shared that using SEO and digital marketing are still the most effective ways of growing your audience.

Claiming your Google places page early and keeping your site updated with fresh, relevant content will always help you rise to the top. Respond and encouraging reviews from Zomato, Trip Advisor and the other 3rd-party platforms will also keep you more current in the e-world of food. Likewise, using SEO tools on your website to target local searches will help you gain exposure on Google..

“Converting your audience to paying customers is a little more tricky and cannot be done with marketing alone, reputation will always spread far and wide so concentrating on a quality experience with great service and a fantastic product is paramount.”Carlos Swinton-Lee

36. Make the most of Facebook

Mr. Wong Restaurant’s Facebook page gains a lot of visitors, page likes and followers.

According to Carlos, Facebook is a great tool for highly targeted marketing. You can define your offer with variables such as age group, area, behaviour, and time that people are online. Particularly powerful is the fact that Facebook allows you to segment your marketing and open areas of your business up to other customers without damaging your core business.

The founder of Marketing4Restaurants.com, James Eling reminds us that:

“Remember, Facebook marketing for restaurants is not about how many Likes you have, it is about having the right objectives, and that is usually finding more new customers and turning them into repeat customers.”

37. Organise blogger events

Bloggers – potentially those with large online followings – can help you create a buzz around your business. Have a new menu? Set a menu launch and have food and lifestyle bloggers over to try your new offerings.

Aside from coming and experiencing your new menu, these bloggers would write about the whole experience on their blogs, share photos of the place and food on their Instagrams, or even tweet about your restaurant and your new menu.

FCBA Food Critics & Bloggers Australia Facebook page.

38. Put up a food/recipe blog

Blogging about your restaurant can be a great way to spread the word and attract more customers

There are loads of ideas for blog posts. Recipes, events or stories about how you started, your staff, or behind the scenes in your restaurant are great starting points.

You can mix it up however you like. Give your blog an authentic voice that matches your brand personality and it’ll do wonders in marketing your business.

39. Start a birthday club

When a customer comes to celebrate his/her birthday in your restaurant, reward the birthday celebrant with a free meal. This is a huge opportunity to encourage other prospective customers to celebrate their birthday party at your restaurant with their friends and family.

You can also use your mailing list to invite whoever is celebrating their birthday in any given month to do it at your restaurant.

40. Set-up an email sales machine

The goal is to stay in your customers’ minds. Come up with creative ways to get customers to give their email addresses (like having a birthday club or setting up a blog)

You can use this email list to update customers on your latest menu additions, promos, blog posts, upcoming events, holiday specials, and a whole lot more.

Growing Digits tweets about the Email Marketing for Ecommerce.

41. Reward loyal customers

Rewards give your customers a good reason to keep coming back to your restaurant. Come up with a loyalty program installed on your Point of Sales (POS) System that will record what customers purchase so they can collect points and rewards.

If your customers know that they will get something in return for always eating at your place, they’ll not only keep coming back, they might invite their friends to visit your place, too.

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An article written by Miles Hobson in Business2Community about Customer Loyalty: Don’t Use Gimmicks, Provide A Real Reason To Return [Infographic].
In winning loyal customers, Nicole Kelly of the Restaurant & Catering Industry Association, says we can make guests feel special by remembering their birthdays (via Facebook) or their favourite dish or wine style – this will drive loyalty and repeat visitation.

Winning Loyal Customers - remember their birthdays
Win loyal customers by making them feel special from Flicker Image.

A recent survey was made on 2000 businesses with different loyalty programs. 14 million visits from 1 million customers were recorded. According to the study, loyal customers (those who visited at least 10 times) only make up 20% of the total customers. However, that 20% drives a whopping 80% of the total revenue and 72% of total visits.

42. Be on social media

Restaurant businesses simply can’t afford to skip on social media. Make sure that you both engage with your customers and staff. You can share your staff’s photos at work, your special dishes, or any important event happening in your restaurant. Focus on appealing content that adds value

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immineodigital posted on Instagram about the importance of social media presence in every business.

Use social media to drive visitation – photos of dishes should be posted daily – photos of staff having fun, mixing cocktails, receiving new or interesting stock, visiting the markets. – Nicole Kelly of Restaurant & Catering Association

Social media agencies can take care of engaging with your customers on social media on your behalf. However, there’s the risk you’ll lose authenticity if customers find out they’ve been talking to strangers rather than the business owners all along.

You’ll lose your authenticity when customers find out they’ve been talking to strangers all along, and not those who really own and run the business.

Here are a few helpful things to consider when joining social media:

  • After creating a restaurant profile on the most popular social networks, don’t leave them dormant – stay active and post regularly.
  • If you’re only starting up, you can still interact with your future customers before opening your restaurant.
  • Keep people up-to-date on the latest in your restaurant.
  • Get your customers engaged by having them vote on things like menu items, specialty dishes, as well as cocktails.
  • You can also throw in contests and reward those who will share about your restaurant on their social network.

43. Work with influencers

Work with “Influencers” such as bloggers, Instagrammers, and Youtubers. Those with large followings on social media can serve as a great channel to reach your target customers. Come up with creative ways to get these “digital celebrities” to talk about you and your business on their social media channels.

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
Contributed tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au.

Kochie’s Business Builders tips to keep in mind when working with influencers to get customers.

  • Focus on building relationships and ambassadors
  • Don’t just look for celebrities
  • Involve your influencer’s followers
  • Trust the influencer

44. Create an email marketing campaign

This is one of the most powerful tools you can use to both retain and attract customers. The quicker you become established, the better – your competitors are slowly picking up and applying the same email marketing techniques.

Here are the basic things you need to run an ideal email marketing campaign for your restaurant:

  • Build and manage your contact list
  • Think of a creative mailing strategy
  • Create effective content and attention-grabbing calls to action
  • Measure and analyse the results

45. Update your free and paid directory listings

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-essential-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
Contributed tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au.

Aside from social media, don’t forget to regularly update your listings on free and paid directories regularly. Directory listings like Zomato (UrbanSpoon), TripAdvisor, Yelp, AGFG, TrueLocal, FourSquare, TimeOut, PartyStar, Venuetohire, VenueMob, and TheHappiestHour help people when searching for a restaurant or café, making these an easy, low-effort way to attract more customers.

46. Spruce up your mobile image

Millennials are an influential customer demographic and therefore should be important for your restaurant to attract. Technology is a constant part of their lives. When it comes to something simple like where to eat, the information millennials find online has a huge influence. Be it Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, you want to have a presence on the platforms they visit.

47. Create a website for your restaurant

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. How would you find a good restaurant online? ‘Google it’ has become synonymous with finding, well, nearly anything. If you don’t have a website, you are guaranteed to miss a large number of potential customers

Set up a website for your restaurant as this will help convince customers to visit.

Clueless on how or where to start in building your restaurant’s website? Here’s a simple guide on learning what important things your customers need to see on your website.

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Key points to remember when creating a restaurant website by Online Store Guys.

There are many free website templates available on the Internet that are tailored for restaurants. You can also pay a webmaster who will create a customised website for you.

48. Accept online orders and offer online bookings

Customers who are too busy to go out prefer ordering online.

“The Free Restaurant Online Ordering system is completely free for restaurants to use. We have taken thousands of orders and most importantly saved Restaurants thousands of dollars in commission.” – James Eling, founder of marketing4restaurants.com

Add a booking button to your website so that visitors can easily make reservations in just a few clicks. Unless you are open 24/7, then it’s best that you have an online booking system.

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Image of a man facing his tablet from OBEE – an online booking system for restaurants and cafes.

Having an online booking system will make everything easy, practical, and fast for your customers. Give them that kind of convenience and they are surely going to remember you.

49. Get listed on popular food guides

It’ll make it easier for your customers to find you, especially those who haven’t heard of you before.

Reference guides such as TheFork or TripAdvisor are just some of the websites customers run to when they need to find a good restaurant.

Here, they can search by location, price range, type of food, and the service offered. The key here is exposure.

50. Manage your customer reviews

Online reviews are a critical factor for your customers. If your restaurant has a lot of good reviews, then you have a greater chance to attract new customers – customers who may not have even heard about you before.

So, make sure you stay active on these listing websites and keep building a good online reputation. Respond to negative reviews constructively and encourage positive reviews. Show them that their feedback matters to you, and they’re far more likely to trust and respect your business.

Gimmicks

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Contributed tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au.

51. Wine tasting and wine specials

On quiet periods, you can approach local wineries to see if you can collaborate on your special wine event.

Another great idea from Nicole Kelly of Restaurant & Catering Association would be to use bin-ends as a special ‘wine-by-the-glass’ to move stock no longer listed. That way you will get a return on unused stock and offer diversity for your guests.

52. Theme breakfast, lunch or dinner

Show people that your business is anything but boring. Throw theme parties whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner. Make sure to rave about it, mentioning the event on both social media and in person. Make sure that there is always something going on in your business. Stay active and creative.

53. Offer an Instagram #FOTT (Food Of The Day)

You can also do this on your quiet days. Offer your customers specials each day and promote it with a creative name that’ll catch in your customers’ minds.

This is a good way to build curiosity – customers will be dying to return to see next days special!

Brunetti Caffe Instagram account.

54. Set up or join food markets

Join food markets or food bazaars. This is a great way to get yourself out there and be discovered by a whole new demographic. If there are no food bazaars in your area, you can set one up yourself at your place.

You can then invite small homemade food businesses to join and sell their homemade food – creating more connections and attracting more customers in the process.

55. In-house promotions

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
Contributed tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au.

Why not slip a promo flyer in with the bill? Or maybe have a table talker on the tables? How about a poster in front of your restaurant? The ideas are countless.

While a customer is already inside your cafe or restaurant, you should make the most of that time. By the time they come out, they already know all the great deals and delicious meals you offer.

56. Send it to the media

Never let that great new deal go unnoticed. Write a press release and send it to media outlets, local publications and bloggers who cover food, drink, lifestyle and the local area.

57. Master the art of upselling

Remind your staff that you are all a part of a business. An extra dessert or appetiser can make a positive impact on your profits. Upselling dishes is an effective way to encourage further spending from existing customers.

Observe and identify your top-performing staff and have them mentor the others to improve your sales further. However, we wary not to put too much pressure on your customers. Good upselling is almost undetectable.

Another great idea, shared by Nicole Kelly of Restaurant & Catering Association would be to have a staff competition on upselling. You can offer a bottle of wine (that you have received as bonus stock) as an incentive for the staff that sells the highest yield dish.

We are competitive by nature so this will keep things fun for your employees and drive additional sales.

58. Communicate and engage with your employees

It’s important that your employees feel that they are an integral part of your business. Because, in truth, they are one of the most critical elements to your success.

Make sure you have open communication with your staff. Let them know about your plans for the business, how the sales are doing, or how the bottom line is looking. You can have these short meetings before each shift.

“To win in the marketplace you must first win in the workplace” – those are the words of Doug Conant, CEO of Campbell’s Soup.

59. Get those first-time customers to come back

Train your staff to look out for first-time customers and ask these people how they discovered your business. Make sure that they receive the perfect service from your crew as it could be your first and only chance to make a good first impression.

Make sure they are greeted with a smile and give them a discount coupon they can use on their next order.

60. Free meal

Raffle off a free meal by picking a lucky customer at random. This is an easy, affordable strategy; for the cost of one meal, you get more people coming in for the chance of winning the next free meal.

Free meal raffle from Abdul’s Kitchen.

61. Live music

Keep your customers entertained and you’ll be sure to see them coming back for more. Entertainment like live acoustic music featuring local artists before will not only draw people in, it’ll also make them want to stick around and, potentially, invite more friends.

62. Contests

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
Contributed tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au.

While contests can easily draw people in, make sure you create desirable contests that people will actually want to take part in. Come up with smart and creative games or contest ideas such as “Caption This” or “Name That Meal” contests, a Best Photo challenge, or anything that would encourage people to be creative and witty. The winner may get a free meal but everybody else is going to be paying!

63. Bring-Your-Own night

Have a bring-your-own night if you don’t serve alcohol. Simply extend your hours and provide glasses and you’re guaranteed to have people coming in your door all night.

64. Offer samples

Some customers are afraid to try something new. Offer them a free sample. You never know… if they love it, they just might purchase a full order!

65. Offer a take-home option

Take-home options can easily increase sales of sit-down restaurants. Come up with a take-home offer for lunch or dinner which could include an entree, side, and dessert and is packaged for travel with proper heating/serving instructions.

 

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
National Restaurant Association provided these essential tips for every restaurant on how to start or grow a takeout business.

Building Your Own A-Team

66. Use an app or a system to create flexible schedules

Consider seasonality, holidays, marketing campaigns, and other changes in your business when creating schedules for your employees. Flexible schedules instead of fixed weekly ones help in keeping you within your budget. Additionally, this helps your employees achieve their work-life balance.

Sassco,  a Hospitality POS developer shares:

alsco-au-greenroom-article-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-premium-content

67. Monitor requests for switching shifts

If it can’t be avoided, frequent switching of shifts should be monitored regularly. These requests can lead to employees working a lot of overtime hours which can quickly drain your budget.

68. Look for loyal employees

When hiring, look for candidates that have loyal work histories. Loyal employees who will stick can be trained as they will stay longer, making them worth investing time and money on.

alsco-au-greenroom-article-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-premium-content
An inspiring message from Frederick Reichheld sourced from Brand Autopsy.

69. Go for experienced candidates

Donald Cooper, an international management speaker and business coach

“Not hiring the right people carries a huge cost in missed opportunity, wasted training costs, inefficiency, destroyed morale, frustration and wasted time. And getting rid of ‘bad hires’ is costly and disruptive. ”

Also, consider a candidate’s work experience when hiring. Experienced employees will need less training and the time that could have been spent on training an inexperienced new employee can be better spent on focusing on guests and other important concerns.

70. Mix full-time & part-time employees and consider outsourcing

Balance both part-time and full-time employees. Part-time employees tend to be less committed and less reliable. Have them help with tasks that don’t require too much expertise and commitment instead – reducing the risks and stresses for your business.

You might also want to consider outsourcing. According to Murray Wrightwho specialises in executive coaching and leadership development:

“You can basically outsource anything these days, from having the books done to doing simple errands. If you find yourself or people in the business spending time on a lot of non-core tasks – ask the question: Can someone else do this quicker and better and free us up to do what we are best at? If the answer is yes get online and find the help you need.”

71. Keep your employees healthy

Frequently ill employees will increase the amount of sick leave you pay that could’ve been saved. Keep your staff healthy by making sure they have a clean and germ-free environment to work in. Keep your commercial kitchen clean and sanitary at all times with an Alsco clean and hygienic tea towels and linen.

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-essential-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan

Make sure your staff wears properly cleaned uniforms and that there are hand sanitizers in the washroom and kitchen so that they can keep their hands germ-free before and after handling food.

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-essential-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan

72. Avoid overstaffing

Always remember – even minimum wages add up quickly however small an expense a few employees may seem. Having too many staff on the floor might also mean your servers will receive less in tips, easily deflating their morale.

alsco-au-greenroom-article-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-premium-content
Chris Tacon of Go Roster ( an online rostering system for hospitality business) 

73. Focus on training and development

Any under-performing employee, new or a veteran, will cost you time and money as you have to improve these employees through training. The key to a successful business, after all, is to surround yourself will brilliant and talented people.

Attract and keep productive and talented employees
Work and family are important so teach your employees to balance both.

“Give them the training, resources and encouragement to do their job well and then empower them to do it. When we don’t train our staff properly, we’re telling them that how they perform isn’t important. And, if we don’t think it’s important, why should they?“ Donald Cooper

Ben Carroll of Applejack Hospitality also shares that while recruitment strategies are important, it is working on culture, training, and development that guarantees staff retention, and staff retention means less time and money spent on recruitment.

On the training side of things we run a group internal cocktail competition, the 6 finalist battle it out at an event held at one of our venues with great prizes up for grabs (Trips to Melbourne, Booze etc). The cocktail bartenders work with the groups bars manager (Lachlan Sturrock) to help create the perfectly balanced drink whilst also having to name it and price it to ensure it has the correct GP. We run these comps quarterly and have invite down industry celebrity to assist with the judging. 

The benefits of this competition are fantastic. So good, in fact, that we are looking at starting up something similar for our chefs, like a ‘mystery box’ competition.  From the roots up there are training and development strategies in place for every position in our company.

74. Do regular staff reviews

You will always find something to improve on in your team by doing regular employee evaluation. Set management priorities and predetermined references to evaluate as this will help your team consistently deliver excellent service.

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Successful Performance Appraisal System by Cognology

75. Provide task checklists to your staff

Checklists encourage people to start good habits. This would help your staff focus on their daily or weekly tasks, follow important restaurant procedures, and remain accountable.

76. Have regular staff meetings

Hold regular meetings with your staff to announce important things such as changes in the menu, new policies, and even small victories. Do it every day, pre-shift. Having regular huddles with your team will help reduce mistakes and power-up everyone’s motivation and efficiency.

77. Create a solid employee handbook or an employee training plan

This handbook or training plan will make it easier for you to evaluate individual employee performance. Steps or processes such as initial guest greeting up to handing them the check should be included in this handbook. Having a solid training plan will also help you get rid of unnecessary steps or inefficiency. Here’s a useful template you can follow when crafting a restaurant employee handbook from Toast.

78. Manage unwell employees

You can’t force sick employees to work. Aside from risking their health, you will also be risking your business. If a staff is showing signs such as diarrhoea, vomiting, or fever, send them home to get rest and make sure not to assign them to tasks that involve being in direct contact with food. Remind your employees that it’s essential to inform the management whenever they feel sick.

79. Create an employee recognition program

Celebrating small victories and sharing success stories will help foster camaraderie among your employees. It’ll bring the team together and make everyone feel a greater sense of job satisfaction.

Get lots of employee recognition ideas from this Pinterest board by Gregory Smith

 

Matt Gimpel, the owner of Temp Chefs Australia, has these 4 great tips to add:

80. Set clear expectations

Make it crystal clear what your staff can expect from you, and then what you expect from them in return…Do that and they will deliver what your customers expect from your establishment. – Matt Gimpel

81. Have mutual respect

Respect each team member and they will not only treat you with respect, but treat your customers that way too. – Matt Gimpel

82. Lead by example

Keep in mind that nothing and no one is below you. As their leader, you wouldn’t ask them to do something you wouldn’t do. The standard you walk past is the standard you set. – Matt Gimpel

83. Catch your staff doing something right

Nothing breeds success like success. Influence more positive behaviour by positive reinforcement of even the smallest examples of great customer service. – Matt Gimpel

84. Have your emotions under control

A great tip from Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable.

Don’t let your emotions, specifically anger, get the best of you. Understand that you have control over your emotions. When you feel your emotions welling, “snip it”, like Jerry Posner says in episode 273. Give people the benefit of the doubt until you fully have your emotions under control. Then as Stephen R Covey says, “Seek to understand, then be understood.”

An animated book review of Stephen Covey’s “Habit 5 – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Seek first to understand, then be understood”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TpNbW9MAarQ

WAYS TO KEEP CUSTOMERS COMING BACK

85. Treat solo diners with care

Make sure single diners don’t feel uncomfortable dining alone at your restaurant. Be particularly welcoming with these types of customers. Avoid asking if they’re waiting for someone else and never act surprised that they aren’t. This can make solo diners uncomfortable.

86. Quick service

Nothing irks customers more than slow service. Make sure your staff provides not just personalised service, but quick service.

Improving operational efficiency in every part of your business. You cannot be price competitive and profitable without developing world-class operational efficiency …even in a small business. – Donald Cooper

87. Offer FREE wi-fi connection

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Restaurants with Free WiFi in My Parramatta.

Today, diners are rarely without their smartphones, tablets, or computers. They will appreciate it if they can use their gadgets while they eat, especially those who are waiting for important work-related emails and notifications.

88. Go the extra mile for single diners

In Japan’s Moomin House Cafe, you’ll never dine alone. Credits to CNN Travel

It wouldn’t cost you too much to try to give single diners a little more TLC. Adding small extras, for example, is a good way to make them feel a little more welcome and special.

After all, these little favours are insignificant when you consider the volume of customers you serve. Plus, that single diner you just went the extra mile for will want to come back. Who knows – they might even bring friends next time!

89. Be aware of your business score

Always check sites like TripAdvisor or TheFork as these kinds of sites are where both satisfied and unsatisfied customers leave their feedback about restaurants they’ve previously dined in.

Being aware of your business score on these sites will help you determine whether your prices match the quality of your offering.

Do check the “Value for money” section as this is where restaurants generally get good scores.

If you have a bad score, that means customers have not been completely satisfied with their dining experience and may even feel like they have been ripped off. This is also a sign that you might need to adjust your prices.

My scoring system is really tailored to what I value in a restaurant. Some may value the food even more, or the service, or some other intangible aspect. Scores are in the end just numbers, and shouldn’t be too heavily-relied upon. In the end, it’s really a way to help me categorise and rank the many places I visit. I think any consumer should reasonably expect at a first – good food, followed by service. Any interesting ambiance/décor aspect is tertiary and should not outweigh what matters most. In other words, a fancy fitout won’t save a restaurant serving mediocre food or providing subpar service.  Michael Shen, the restaurant reviewer of ImStillHungry.net

90. Do a satisfaction survey

Sample surveys from Snap Surveys.

It always helps to understand your restaurant’s weaknesses. Don’t worry, every restaurant – at one point or another – experiences these.

This is where conducting customer satisfaction surveys help. You will learn what your customers focus on most. And if you do understand these concerns, you’ll know exactly where to improve.

Guest Satisfaction Surveys featured the Fazoli’s Guest Experience Survey.

You can send a satisfaction survey to customers via email after they leave the restaurant – or, perhaps send those out through your monthly email campaigns.

91. Ask about your customer’s dining experience

Another way you can get feedback from your customers is by asking them directly about their dining experience. You can do this in a natural and non-commercial conversation.

You can also give away cards or flyers with a list of websites they can leave their reviews on your restaurant. Check your customers’ reviews on a daily basis on the internet, Facebook, social networking accounts and especially on specialised sites.

92. Analyse your competition

Get to know your competitors and look at their approaches. This way, you’ll discover exactly how to learn from them and, more importantly, differentiate yourself as a business.

93. Create a unique selling proposition (USP)

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
Contributed tip from Howard Tinker of restaurantprofits.com.au.

Shared by Eric Cacciatore of Restaurant Unstoppable, come up with a unique selling proposition or what Seth Godin calls a “Purple Cow”. Something that is truly unique and special that you have to offer your local community.

The best brands create USPs that are intangible; things like relatable core values, missions and visions. Appeal to the consumer’s mind and heart. Ask, “how will this make the guest feel?” or “how will the customer think they are being perceived by society when they align themselves with your restaurant’s brand?”

94. Stand out

When consumers choose one restaurant over another, it’s usually because that restaurant has something unique to offer. Be that restaurant that consumers are going to choose every time:

  • Provide the best possible service
  • Offer added value, get creative
  • Perhaps specialise in a type of traditional cooking from a particular country
  • Or pick a theme for your restaurant

A unique offering, a lot of hype build-up (I’m a sucker for following trends), or restaurants whose cuisines are aligned with my preferences (e.g. Japanese) – Michael Shen of ImStillHungry.net

Make sure that guests leave the restaurant with a memorable dining experience. This will not only keep them coming back, this will also give you a competitive edge over your rivals.

Another great tip on standing out from Murray Wright is to come up with a signature item. It can be a dish, drink, décor, service approach, uniforms or a combination all of these things.

Be famous for one thing that gets people so excited that they talk about it to their friends and recommend you or if they see it being served in the restaurant they want to order it. (If a dish make it a high dollar contribution item!)

Cleanliness & Hygiene is Key to Customer’s Happiness

95. Steam clean the cooker hood

Grease and bacteria can build up on the cooker hood over time. The best way to keep it clean and hygienic is through a steam cleaning method. Keep in mind that the wire mesh underneath should be cleaned with warm, soapy water.

You can also use the same cleaning method for extractor fans that have a removable mesh.

For those extraction fans that use paper filters to soak up grease and grime, the best thing to do is to clean the mesh and replace the old filter.

Don’t forget to soak and scrub all washable items with non-abrasive brushes to avoid damaging the material.

96. Polish all stainless steel surfaces

Avoid damaging stainless steel exteriors by using microfiber cloths when cleaning and polishing. It is also best to use high-quality commercial cleaning products for a better finish.

Here’s a handy guide to cleaning stainless steel surfaces from Hospitality Design.

97. Keep carpets, curtains, and linen clean and stain-free

Always check your carpets, curtains, and linen for obvious and unsightly wear and tear.

  • Stains can be removed by high-pressure cleaning, heat and steam extraction
  • Vacuum carpets regularly to keep them free of debris such as dirt and dust that could tangle in the carpet fibres
  • Make sure all curtains and window dressings are properly laundered

Alsco offers managed floor mat rental services for your restaurants so you don’t get to worry about cleaning dirty mats. Mats are cleaned and maintained regularly.

Alsco’s personalised mats are an effective way communicate nearly anything.

98. Clean the fridge and freezer regularly

When cleaning, make sure to remove everything from fridges and freezers and check every item’s expiration dates.

Use multipurpose cleaners and damp cloth to clean and defrost shelves where necessary using a multipurpose cleaner and damp cloth.

Only a damp cloth is needed to wipe down the exterior of these appliances for a perfect finish.

99. Staff Uniforms

Customers notice how your staff present themselves. Make sure they don’t only have nice uniforms to wear, but also that these uniforms are always kept looking neat and professional.

A well maintained uniforms can help improve morale, self image, performance and customer service.

100. Get rid of grease in your fryer and grill

Grease that builds up on your fryers and grills can become a fire hazard. Clean the baskets, filters, hangers and tank racks separately and keep the interior surface of your fryer and grill free of signs of oil by wiping it with paper towels and a wet sponge soaked in warm soapy water.

You may also soak your grills in soapy water for 24 hours to remove hardened deposits and blackened carbon.

101. Keep stockroom and storage organised

Regularly check your stockroom shelves to see if items have reached or are nearing their expiration dates, if containers are worn out, or have cracked lids, and broken labelling.

102. Clean your washroom and toilet every hour

Customers remember restaurants with clean washrooms and make a point not to forget those that aren’t. You want them to remember yours as one that is up to par with hygiene standards.

Bathroom cleanliness signage
Denny’s restaurant restroom sign from Yelp’s website.

Clean your washroom and toilet every hour. Never miss important ‘touch points’ like handles, switches, and faucets as these are the areas that are most prone to the spread of bacteria.

  • Any fixture or fitting that people touch, including on and off buttons of hand dryers, should be thoroughly cleaned with disposable disinfectant wipes to avoid further spreading the germs around.
  • Also check fixtures, taps, and toilet seats for damages that may need repairs or replacement.
  • Get rid of those loose toilet seats as they are considered as health hazards, fix broken door locks, brush the grout between tiles with a hard-bristled grout brush, and do something about those cracked mirrors and tiles as they can house thousands of germs too.
alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-essential-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
Urinal and Shower Deep Clean by Fresh & Clean.

Use Fresh & Clean’s managed washroom service to make your washroom maintenance effortless. No need to constantly worry about refilling soap dispensers, bad odour, and overflowing sanitary bins.

103. Powerwash and prettify your exteriors

A restaurant that looks clean outside gives customers a good impression of what’s inside. Keep the outside area of your restaurant clean as it will make a serious impact on passers-by.

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
The Grounds Guys are experts in cleaning and brightening business properties in a snap through Commercial Power Washing.

The best way to get rid of dirt from walkways, pathways and exterior walls is to blast them clean with a power/pressure washer. Don’t forget to clean exterior doors and repaint them if they look worn out.

  • If you have space, outdoor and garden furniture that can endure adverse weather conditions make great investments
  • Artificial plants, flowers, and hanging baskets will also cost you less
  • Add patio benches or welcome planters to attract more people into your restaurant.

104. Wheelie bins need regular cleaning too

Regularly clean your bins, inside and out. You may also want to power wash them to ward off unwelcome pests and keep them looking fresh. Make sure your bins do not collect water as this attracts rats and other animals. It is best to hide your bins from view with a bin store or secure them with fences.

105. Use the correct method to wash hands

Regular hand washing should be a habit in your restaurant. Make it 100% sure that your employees understand the importance of keeping their hands clean and sanitised at all times.

Put up reminder posters in the kitchen on when they need to have clean hands:

  • Before, after, and while preparing cooked food
  • When handling meat, uncooked eggs, seafood, and poultry
  • After they go to the toilet, sneeze, blow their nose, touch garbage
  • After assisting someone who is sick

Or maybe reminders on how to properly wash hands, in case they forget. Here are free, print-ready hand washing posters that you can post in your kitchen and in your washrooms.

Sparkle and shine. Wash your hands every time!
Download and print poster

More hand washing and hygiene posters here.

106. Follow HACCP principles

Make sure that everyone in your restaurant is aware of the HACCP food safety management system principles and the practices in keeping and preparing food to prevent the growth and spreading of bacteria.

Not only will these practices help ensure that the food you serve is kept sanitary, they will also minimise the risk of spoilage and cross contamination of food while in the storage, or during preparation and cooking.

107. Clean surfaces and utensils

After use, every single utensil used and every surface in the kitchen should be thoroughly cleaned. Use hot, soapy water and disposable paper towels to clean up spills and if you are going to be using cloths on other surfaces, make sure these are washed using a hot cycle on a washing machine.

108. Sanitise smaller kitchen items and utensils

Consider investing in a commercial dishwasher that will help you sanitise utensils and other small kitchen items. When it comes to eliminating bacteria, high temperatures are necessary.

109. Cleaning commercial kitchen floors

Grime and bacteria mostly build up on kitchen floors. That’s why you should make sure all kitchen floors are mopped regularly. If you are going to be mopping the floors regularly, you might want to apply a non-slip coating to prevent staff from slipping when moving about.

110. Improve your ‘mat game’

Alsco’s Anti-Fatigue mats are designed to offer your people the utmost in comfort and safety.

As basic of a necessity they may seem, mats play huge and important roles in every restaurant. Invest in quality mats that prevent your staff from slipping, prevent dirt from outside get inside the restaurant when customers come in, or prevent atigue or exhaustion for staff who need to stand for long periods of time.

Maybe even get a mat that will promote your restaurant better or one that sends a message!

Let you mat do the talking from Alsco
Alsco Message Mats.

111. Have a regular cleaning schedule

Make sure you have a regular cleaning schedule. Also, encourage each employee to never leave their assigned station in the kitchen dirty. For best results, you might want to consider hiring Alsco’s Food and Beverage linen service to deliver clean and hygienic linen for your restaurant every single day. We understand cleaning and will get the job done right.

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-essential-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
Clean and hygienic linens from Alsco.

Achieving your #GreenGoals

112. Conserve water

Start a green initiative in your restaurant and avoid wasting water. Simple habit changes such as running the dishwasher only when it is completely full, loosening dried food by soaking rather than rinsing and installing low-flow faucets and toilets. All of these can help cut down on water, soap and energy – saving your business money.

alsco-au-greenroom-article-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-premium-content
A restaurant case study was conducted by Water Corporation to test how waterless wok technology can reduce water and improve efficiency.

113. Enough with the plastic

It’s about time to stop using plastic materials in restaurants. Lots of restaurants are doing the same – and for a good reason. This ‘green’ move does not just save the environment, it also helps restaurants save on garbage expenses.

alsco-au-greenroom-article-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-premium-content
Sea Shepherd Sydney has a call for cafe/shops and restaurants. 

Paul Kuck of sustainablefoodservice.com shares a great way to use silverware instead of plastic:

“Actually something I used to do with our local Alsco services is collect the silverware that gets into the bags of dirty linens and sorted out at your laundry sites. We would pull out our silverware, then use the rest on festivals where we had a booth so we used reusable silverware rather than plastic.

I’ve also sent several people to Alsco and linen services when they’ve wanted to get reusable silverware at their schools. Donating silverware to schools, soup kitchens or the like would be an awesome program for you to start company-wide. Over the years we collected buckets and buckets – many hundreds of pounds of silverware from one single site.

Before we collected it, the silverware was kept a while, then thrown out because none of the restaurants came to sort through and collect theirs.”

114. Switch to glass

Instead of using disposable plates, cups, and utensils, why don’t you consider investing in glass? It lasts longer, makes a better impression, and helps preserve the environment.

115. Get your staff involved in your green initiative

For your green initiative to succeed, everyone should be involved. Educate your staff about the importance of sorting out recyclable items. Tell them to turn off lights when they’re not needed. Encourage them to bring in their own take-home containers instead of using disposable restaurant packaging.

Get inspiration on how your restaurants can ‘go green’ from Concrete Playground’s list of sustainable restaurants and bars.

alsco-au-greenroom-article-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-premium-content

116. Start using energy efficient lighting

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-2
Save energy using efficient lighting by sa.gov.au.

Make the big switch to energy efficient light bulbs in your restaurant. You will not only save up to $22 per bulb per year, but this wise move can also chip away at your electricity bills.

alsco-au-greenroom-article-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-premium-content
A Tweet by Energy Action AUS.

117. Don’t need lights yet? Keep them off

Make it a habit to keep lights off when they’re not needed. You might also want to try intelligent lighting that automatically turns lights off when an area is bright enough and doesn’t need to be artificially lit.

118. Turn down the thermostat

During the colder months, turning your thermostat down by a degree or two can make a big difference in your energy costs. If going from 72 to 70 is still comfortable, there aren’t any reasons not to do this.

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-2
Ways to save energy by Switch On.

You can also control the heating with a thermostat timer that will warm the place up just in time for opening, and cool down on closing time.

119. Wood-burning stove, maybe?

You’ll be spending a sizeable amount of your energy bill on heating during the colder season and going for a wood-burning stove just might work wonders for your business. Aside from being cost-efficient, they will give your restaurant a cosy look and feel that customers will love.

alsco-au-greenroom-article-137-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan-premium-content
Wood-burning stove oven. A Pinterest collection of Darren Bradley.

120. Drinks just need to be cool, not frozen

Your restaurant kitchen will be needing refrigerators to keep food and beverage cool. Use your fridge efficiently by only keeping the drinks cool as they don’t really need to be frozen.

121. Go for a fridge update

Newer models of refrigerators use less energy than older models, so a fridge update could easily save you money over the long run. Knowing how to maintain your commercial refrigerators will keep them running efficiently now – and for years to come and will save you money in unnecessary repair costs and downtime.

alsco-au-greenroom-articles-137-essential-ideas-for-your-restaurant-business-plan
Information source from sa.gov.au and Canstar Blue.

122. Invest in an efficient HVAC system

It would be smarter to invest in an efficient HVAC system that will consume less energy to heat or cool down a room. This can save on your operational budget and you wouldn’t have to disappoint customers by not being able to cool the room due to energy budgets.

Here’s a video from Coolairaustralia.com with different energy saving HVAC solutions that you can consider for your restaurants.

123. Go for ‘energy efficient’ everything

Energy efficient appliances may cost more but they definitely consume less. In just a year or two, the appliance pays for itself from all the energy savings.

Paul Kuck of sustainablefoodservice.com shares that:

It’s great to purchase Energy Star rated equipment that will reduce the long term cost of your restaurant. Items like refrigeration, ice machines and ovens can be found for the same up-front cost as standard efficiency units.

124. Conduct an energy audit

Do regular checks on everything that uses electricity, including those that use gas or other fuel. An energy audit will help you see clearly where you are spending the most money and where you are overspending, allowing you to make adjustments and lower your overall expenses.

Watching Your Waste

125. Be creative with the scraps

Educate your employees on the importance of not wasting food and encourage them to use as much of each ingredient as possible.

126. Manage Kitchen Waste and Spoilage

Too much waste in the kitchen means higher food costs. That’s why it’s important to always remind your employees of the common practices that prevent food waste:

  • Store and handle food properly
  • Accurately measure portion sizes
  • Avoid preparing large quantities of food in advance
  • Avoid purchasing too much inventory.

What can we do about food waste? Fresh facts for restaurant, catering and hospitality staff.

Train and monitor your kitchen staff. Pay attention to what appears in the kitchen’s trash cans so you know what’s being wasted. This will help you keep your food costs under control.

Now that you have all these great tips and ideas to choose from, coming up with a strong business plan for your restaurant shouldn’t feel like a total burden anymore!

We bet you’ve even thought of your own great ideas as you were going through this list, right? The key is to be one with your business – to know exactly what it is, inside and out, so you know exactly what your customers would love and remember about your restaurant.

Come to think of it, there really are countless of great restaurant business ideas out there just waiting to be discovered! This article was just meant to open the door for you and give you a little push! Again, with creativity, resourcefulness, and being wise with every decision you make, you’ll be set to create a great business plan for your restaurant

Download this Expert Ideas for your Restaurant Business Plan

22 Ideas for Soothing Work-Related Stress

A woman thinking on something while working

Not all stress is bad. It is a normal response of your body to extreme situations from its surrounding. You can think of it as a ‘red alert’ state of your body. It is quite useful, if you are truly in danger, but it becomes a problem if this state is prolonged.

It works something like this – if, for some reason, your body thinks that it’s in an immediate danger, it takes some pretty severe measures of protection. It draws the blood from the peripheral areas and directs it it to the body core.

Stress makes your focus sharp, intensive, and directed to the issue. Mentally and physically, it taps into and drains all your resources.

Picture driving your car with a gas pedal to the ground at all times – you would burn through your fuel quite quickly and the engine will need repair very soon. Something similar happens to you when you’re under stress. You become depressed, anxious, and even less focused which may lead to work-related injuries.

Keeping well-stocked first aid kits will be of great help in those cases, but this problem needs to be addressed at a much deeper level.

Your employees are under constant stress at work. They worry about the work-related issues. They may have troubles at home. Some may even struggle with money. Either way, they should be like parts of a well-oiled engine, but chronic stress will make them unproductive and ruin their health.

If you know anything about leadership and good managerial practice, you know what this means for the company. You also need to know what prevents and eliminates stress. Here are 22 things you must know if you want to have a stress-free workplace and happy coworkers.

1. Identify the Stress Triggers

Some people are as cool as cucumbers most of the time, but they absolutely lose their nerve when it comes to something seemingly minor, like – there’s no more fresh coffee. In other words, everybody has a different way of dealing with things, so everybody has different stress triggers.

Encourage your employees to identify their stress triggers and to deal with them. If you hate the smell of meat, don’t go to the butcher’s.

On the other hand, if you are forced to do something that stresses you out, try to find a different angle of looking at it. To use the same metaphor, if you have to go to the butcher’s, focus on the fabulous lunch you are about to have.

2. Teach Employees Breathing Technique

When stress overwhelms you, you feel that heat coming over your body and you are ready to snap. In that moment, make sure that you are inhaling through your mouth, as if you are sucking through a straw and exhaling through your nose.

This will cool down your tongue and give your brain some more oxygen. It will also give you a chance to gather your thoughts.

Female employee meditating on top of the table
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by Praveen Kumar

There are some excellent and amazing breathing techniques that can help your employees fight stressful situations. Hire a meditation expert to come to your office and teach these to your coworkers.

3. Omega 3 Packed Office Snacks

Omega 3 fatty acid help your brain deal with stressful situations. It nurtures your body in a way that makes it more stress-resilient. You can find this in fish such as salmon or mackerel. Make sure that you have these among your office lunch options, at all times.

4. Practice Proper Dealing with Interruptions

Nothing stresses workers out more than constant interruptions. But, they are a part of everyday work. So, the trick is to find a way to deal with them instead of letting them influence you.

Do not disturb written on a white board with a hashtag
Photo Courtesy of Max Pixel Free Great Pictre

Quickly asses the interruptions and see if it is worth your while. After that, shut it off or accept it and give it your attention. However, don’t get stuck dwelling on the fact that you’ve been interrupted. It will make you think that you have no control and that is what causes frustration and stress. Take control and you’ll feel better.

5. Know When to Stop

Modern world makes us all alway push for more. It is always ‘Go! Go! Go!’ throughout the day. The real truth is that nobody can keep up with that tempo without burning out. Of course, you need to do a lot of work, but some days, enough is enough.

Knowing when to push yourself more and when to just sit back and relax is all the wisdom you need. Learn to work smarter instead of harder and that will save you a ton of nerves.

6. Turn Washroom into a Sanctuary

This takes us to the topic of office breaks. When people want to get away from it all, they usually head to the washroom for some privacy.

Clean and beautiful washroom
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by Sarah Poole

That’s where they can refresh themselves and catch their breath. Washroom is important. And it is important that it is clean, well-stocked and perfectly equipped. Turn your workplace washroom into an oasis of peace.

7. Get Some Office Plants

Properly chosen office plants can offer stress relief in many ways. They provide you with more oxygen which allows you to think more clearly. They offer you privacy and cancel out a lot of noise. Therefore, think about making a green wall between you and the busiest part of the office.

8. Ensure Great Office Lights

Too little and too much light can cause stress, depression, and anxiety at the workplace. Whenever possible, opt for the natural light, but when it is out of your hands, design the office light carefully.

Clean office using natural light
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by K2 Space

Think about hiring a professional to set up ergonomic lighting for your office space. They will do it properly and lighting is essential for the life and work quality of your employees.

9. Eliminate Clutter

Clutter makes people feel messy, overwhelmed and hopeless. That is such a fertile ground for a stress outbreak. So, prevent it and have a strict no-clutter policy around your office.

The same goes for the office cleanliness. Every single room around your workplace needs to be clean and odour-free. That is the only way people can feel good in that space.

10. Green Smoothies in the Office

Greens are good for you. Even your grandma used to tell you that. Scientists agree. Greens positively affect your hormone levels, acidic balance, and are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. In other words, they prepare your body to deal with stress and reduce it.

Healthy green smoothie made from fresh fruits and vegetables
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by Joanna Slodownik

Cooking kills of a lot of enzymes that are needed for the greens to work their magic, that is why it is the best to make some green smoothies instead. Offer the ingredients and the equipment in the office and help your employees drink their health.

11. Set the Example as the Employer

Nobody will believe you when you talk the talk unless you walk the walk! Being a true leader means setting an example. Make all the necessary changes in your life and inspire the employees to follow your lead.

Get that healthy trend going around your office and people will join in no time.

12. Encourage Frequent Breaks

There is a scientific research that deals with the problem of office breaks. It shows that less and less people take their lunch break with the excuse that they are too busy to do so. Moreover, more and more people take their holiday or sick leave.

Talking employees during their break time from work
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons Image by Conny

While this may sound like people are getting more hard working, they are also getting overworked and less productive.

Your employees are approaching the burnout which has far worse consequences to the company productivity than a couple of minutes off within a day or days within a year.

Therefore, do your best to encourage people to take breaks as they pay off on the long run. They do good for you, the company and especially for your employers.

13. Make the Office as Comfortable as Possible

Sitting in an uncomfortable chair with poor lighting. Being too hot or too cold for a prolonged period of time. Standing throughout your shift and enduring aches in your feet and joint. All these induce stress.

Therefore, do your best to make the office as comfortable as possible. Deal with the lighting, get ergonomic chairs, install the AC and rent anti-fatigue mats.

14. Encourage Physical Activity

It is a well-known fact that exercise reduces stress. This happens because, when under stress, our body is in the ‘fight or flee’ state and exercise provides the outlet for all that built up energy.

Two women performing an exercise
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay Image by tanjashaw

Encourage physical activity among your employees. Offer discounts on gym memberships, organise hiking trips and encourage exercise breaks within working hours.

15. Organise Awesome Team Building Activities

People feel much more relaxed when they are among the people they know. That is why team building is a good way of reducing stress at the workplace. The closer your team is, the better they will feel working together.

16. Become a Good Listener

At times, it is not up to you to provide the solutions. It is enough only to listen. Your employees might be under a lot of stress that is not work-related. They are under a lot of pressure to keep their problems at home.

Two male employees talking
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by Matthew Hurst

That is not possible, of course. So, at least listen to what is on their mind and offer your compassion. They will feel a lot better for not having to suppress their worries and feelings.

17. Offer Mediation and Assertiveness Courses

Some amounts of stress originate from the fact that people don’t know how to express their wishes and needs, so they are left unfulfilled. This is where assertiveness courses come a long way.

If your employees learn how to achieve what they want, they will have much less stress build up.

Of course, there are things that cannot be obtained, no matter how assertive a person is. That is when the meditation classes come in handy.

Contemplating on these matters and letting them go means saving yourself from a lot of stress that takes you nowhere.

18. Allow for Flexible Work Schedules

Another big stressor is the inadequate life-work balance. This can be helped by allowing for flexible work schedules. Allow for some days of work from home and similar flexibilities. Your company productivity won’t suffer because of these -if anything, it will increase.

A man working comfortably in his house
Photo Courtesy of Flickr Image by Shane Adams

19. Acknowledge Good Work

Of course, things can always be better and your employees can always work more. But commenting about the things that could be done better puts unnecessary pressure on your already stressed out workers.

Instead, make sure that you acknowledge good work among your employees.

Have the employee of the month, offer small rewards for extra effort put in and announce the praises publically. It will help your employees feel appreciated and they will know they work doesn’t go unnoticed.

20. Be Positive

Positive outlook on the world helps you with fighting off stress. If you look at the brighter side of things, it means that you don’t focus on the ‘danger’ that lurks from those corners.

Consequently, your body and mind don’t need to go into the defense mode and you are not under stress.

A woman writing while smiling
Photo Courtesy of Pixabay Image by jerrykimbrell10

21. Recognise and Avoid Self-Imposed Stress

The self-imposed stress is just what it sounds. The stress that is not caused by the external factors, but a person puts that pressure onto themselves.

This involves all those catastrophic scenarios that you fabricate in your mind when you don’t know what’s happening or you are missing some pieces of information.

For example, you are waiting for a feedback from your employer and he’s not returning his call. You think He must hate my work and now he’s thinking about how to fire me. While in reality, your employer was simply busy.

It is very important to recognise the instances of the self-imposed stress and eliminate it. Introduce this concept to your employees and ask them to think about it.

22. Show that You Care About Employee Safety

There are a lot of things that can go wrong at the workplace. There may be some injuries, seizures and other types of health hazards. Show your employees that you care about their safety.

Make sure that you always have first aid kits all over your office space. Also make sure that they are alway up to date.

Alsco first aid kit

Moreover, organise first aid training so that your employees learn how to protect themselves and everybody around them.

This may sound like a big investment, and if you were to buy all those items, it probably would be. However, with Alsco, you can just call us and we’ll rent you everything you need.

Our first aid kit rental involves a monthly fee and we will make sure that it is 100% law compliant. Moreover, we will replenish it whenever necessary and make sure it is always up to date.

Call us now and we’ll work everything out with you, so that your needs are met and your budget saved.

Photo Courtesy of Pexels Image by Kaboompics // Karolina