7 strategies to finish strong in 2016

2016-06-23 17:36    

Most foodservice companies set goals and measure progress the same way we live our lives: by the 12 months in a calendar year — Jan. 1 to Dec. 31. And in case you haven’t been paying attention, it’s nearly July, and half the year is gone. 

Like most of us, your company began 2016 with detailed goals designed to improve your people, performance and profits over last year. Guess what? There are only six months left to hit those targets. So let’s assess our progress and, most importantly, detail the steps necessary now to make the most out of the six months remaining. Analyze the past, but plan for the future. 

Here are seven strategies to make sure that Dec. 31 arrives with the satisfaction of targets hit and jobs well done, and not the disappointment of priorities dimmed and opportunities squandered.  

1. Start dividing by six. Whatever goals you set on Jan. 1, now is the time to divide them incrementally into the remaining months. Let’s say you had a target of growing 2016 sales 20 percent more than in 2015. That means you should see year-over-year sales increases of at least 1.67 percent per month. Hopefully you hit 50 percent of your sales goals (a 10-percent total increase) by June 30. If so, you’ve got a 10-percent bump left, so align your teams and training to the behavior necessary to exceed each upcoming month’s targeted goals. Seek out the low-hanging fruit first, such as raising beverage incidence and dessert sales. Design monthly sales contests for your teams, and be sure to post progress reports/scoreboards daily and make selling a focus at every pre-shift meeting. 

2. Hire power. As unemployment numbers shrink, so does the available labor pool. Therefore hiring and retention will continue to have the highest priority for the remainder of the year, and in 2017 as well. Elevate the importance of hiring and retention to the same level as food safety. If your goal was to reduce turnover by 25 percent this year, replicate what worked in the first half of the year in the second half to cut churn 2 percent each month for the remainder of 2016.

3. Focus on what’s important, not just what’s urgent. I detailed this stra