The start of a new year is the perfect time to assess, set goals, and make plans to execute. Generally, this is a brief reprieve in the busy season, and diners are content to hibernate at home, recoup their own finances, and take a post-holiday breather. While restaurant traffic lulls a bit, it presents an opportunity for restaurant owners to address upcoming needs and challenges for the coming year, perfectly aligned with the season for cleaning slates.
At National Restaurant Consultants (NRC), our team members are experts in creating smart budgets and reasonable business plans. We can assess, not only the new year’s goals you set for your business, but our restaurant consultants also understand market conditions that may impact these goals and how you accomplish them. For example, though inflation has leveled since last fall, many restaurants are still reeling from the effects, both on restaurant operations and consumer spending.
One such establishment was Cracker Barrel, which, despite slowing inflation, continued to see profits decrease due to commodity costs through the end of the year. According to this article from Nation’s Restaurant News (NRN), inflation affected Cracker Barrel’s overall sales and growth through all four quarters of 2022. This means the restaurant chain will have to make adjustments to recover and succeed in 2023.
In fact, this is exactly what the company plans to do, with a closely monitored budget and new marketing ventures to start the year, including new digital strategies and the launch of a boutique brand called Maple Street Biscuit Company. “Despite some of the challenges, Cracker Barrel is confident in its growth strategy, particularly for Maple Street Biscuit Company, with a planned 12-17 new restaurant openings planned for 2023,” the NRN article states quoting an interview with Cracker Barrel’s CEO, Sandra Cochran. Digital developments include a new user-friendly app, complete with a loyalty program.
Despite the reopening enthusiasm post-Covid, 2022 proved a difficult year for many in the restaurant and hospitality industry, and larger chains like Cracker Barrel were not exempt. With inflation on the rise, prevalent supply chain issues, and a labor shortage on top of pandemic recovery efforts, restaurants faced many challenges. But it is a resilient industry, as our restaurant consultants have seen in their decades of experience.
At National Restaurant Consultants we guarantee results. The coming year presents an opportunity for recovery and growth—all it takes is planning and creativity. At NRC, our restaurant consultants have these skills and expertise in multiples. Our operations analysis is a complete report of your business’s status, which can easily be compared to the current market. Our restaurant consultants are financial experts and have a finger on the pulse of dining culture, able to anticipate the trends that are worth jumping aboard. If your business could benefit from a budget adjustment, a menu redesign, an exciting new marketing plan, or just some fresh eyes and ideas, contact us to work with a restaurant consultant today. Don’t let the challenges of the past impact your restaurant’s future. Instead, just like Cracker Barrel, let it open you up to a world of new ideas that guide your hard work into 2023 success.