3 Big Challenges Facing The Restaurant Industry (And How to Beat Them into Submission)

Nobody ever said running a restaurant was easy, and if they did we’d like to have words with them.

Big Whiskey's Franchise Blog

Nobody ever said running a restaurant was easy, and if they did we’d like to have words with them. There are always issues facing our industry and the most successful restaurants find ways to adapt and grow with every new issue that comes up. At Big Whiskey’s, we pride ourselves on being agile and strategic in navigating the constant change that is present in the restaurant world. Here are three of the major issues restaurants are facing this year and how we plan to beat them into submission. Let’s go!

Labor Shortages

Unless you’ve been living under rock, you’ve probably heard a business owner talk about how hard it is to find help. Hell, even if you were under a rock, we know some people who’d lift it up and still tell you about it. We get it. According to the National Restaurant Association’s 2022 State of the Industry report, 7 out of 10 restaurant operators reported not having enough staff to support customer demand. Good people in the restaurant industry left in large numbers during COVID to pursue other opportunities, and the restaurant industry wasn’t alone. The Great Resignation hit many different sectors throughout the pandemic.

So how does a restaurant owner fight this? At Big Whiskey’s, we focus on retention. If we’ve already invested in training a staff member and they’ve already invested in learning our system, we’d be throwing away time and money by not paying attention to their goals and aspirations. We’ve also heavily invested in technology to provide our managers the tools they need to make scheduling and availability easier for both parties. When it comes to hiring, we invest there too. We write engaging job descriptions, use quality photography and include specific duties. Then, we make sure the right people see our job opening with highly targeted advertising. We take a sniper approach rather than a shotgun approach so that our franchisees have plenty of options to hire the right people at the right time.

Big Whiskey’s recently signed on with CareerPlug, a job posting distributor that hits dozens of the most popular job sites and niche industry sites. This allows Big Whiskey’s to do all of our interview scheduling, communication with applicants, and advertising in one place.

Inventory Supply

96% of restaurant operators surveyed in the NRA study cited inventory shortages as a major concern in 2021. Nearly every restaurant in the country had to make adjustments to accommodate an irregular supply chain. At Big Whiskey’s this impact was minimal.

In our fifteen years, we’ve built lock-step relationships with our key providers. Our corporate office is tight with suppliers like US Foods and Coca Cola, with excellent negotiated pricing and terms for key products and supplies. Our franchisees buy direct from our suppliers at Big Whiskey’s preferred pricing with no mark up. When many of our competitors resorted to menu changes during the pandemic, the Big Whiskey’s menu remained fully intact. This is another benefit of maintaining strong vendor relationships.

Customer Retention

One of the things that drives us crazy about the restaurant industry is how little some restaurants do to make it easy and enticing to order their food online. If your restaurant’s website is a f#$%ing Facebook page, no one is going to choose you online. According to a 2021 study by Statista, online ordering accounts for nearly half of all restaurant sales, so it had better be easy and efficient.

At Big Whiskey’s we’ve created a robust online ordering system that caters to many different user behaviors online. For the truly digital audience we have implemented technology that allows customers to order their favorite meals in one click. We’ve added our own delivery service to cut down on costs. We’ve also created a loyalty program that is incorporated into our ordering system. The loyalty program increased our average ticket value by more than $8 per order in its first 6 months.

Change is gonna happen whether we like it or not, but we’ll be ready with a counter-punch to whatever the industry throws our way. More often than not, we’ll beat it into submission.

If you’ve ever considered owning a franchise restaurant and want to learn more about becoming the next Big Whiskey’s franchisee, check out our investment deck and let’s grab a drink.

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