The premier goal for a seafood restaurant is the same for any business -- make a profit. The restaurant industry generates $660 billion dollars a year as of 2012. Nearly all, 93 percent of the locations, have 50 or fewer employees according to the National Restaurant Association. Seafood restaurants may be family-oriented, fast food or gourmet dining experiences. No matter what type of seafood restaurant you own, setting goals and establishing strategies to achieve the goals are important keys to success.
An increasing market share means increasing revenues, which leads to more profit. Keep track of the demographics of your current customers. When you know who your customers are, develop a marketing campaign to expand the base. For example, you might find that professional couples are your base and they dine in the early evening. Advertise early bird specials for seniors in the late afternoon to fill the tables. Attract families with less expensive and smaller-portioned children's dishes. Not everyone likes fish. Offering chicken and beef dishes, as well as pasta, increases the likelihood that a family with a member who doesn't like fish will still dine with you.
Setting a goal for customer satisfaction is a challenge. Customers don't necessarily tell you when they're pleased or dissatisfied. Looking at restaurant review sites gives you some idea of how customers feel. A better method is to ask customers to fill out a survey in exchange for a discount for the next meal. Add a touch of humor by using a rating scale of one to six fishes, shrimp or clams for each question. Conduct the surveys monthly and track the changes. Set a goal for improved service and a decrease in complaints. Happy customers are more likely to return and spread the news about your restaurant to other potential customers.
High employee turnover is expensive. Retain employees by giving them more than just the basic training and encouraging them to provide useful information to customers -- and develop their sales skills. Educate employees about the different fish you serve and cooking methods. For example, salmon has an intense flavor while halibut is a mild fish. A customer new to fish may not realize that. The employee can assist her with making the best selection. Give recognition and bonuses to employees who consistently go out of their way to provide superior customer service.
Growing the restaurant is an important business goal. Stagnant businesses have a tendency to deteriorate and lose customers. Growth creates an atmosphere of excitement that keeps everyone in the organization -- from the owner on down -- motivated. This growth can come from opening additional locations, increasing the size of the restaurant, offering takeout and catering and extending the restaurant hours to include a Sunday Seafood Buffet or a Friday Late Night Fish Fry, for example.