Smart Survival: A Bold, New Approach To Staying Afloat

Smart Survival: A Bold, New Approach To Staying Afloat


With unstable economic situation in the region, many restaurants are facing the greatest challenge of survival for the foreseeable future. Manal Syriani, shares four keys to survival in turbulent times.


Given the difficult economic climate, business owners are turning to cost reduction in order to maintain breakeven and sustain minimum profit margins. Such practices, however, risk generating damage to the concept and can easily translate into poor customer service if not managed wisely. Surviving smartly is what’s needed.


4 ways to survive

  1. Manage labor costs
    Trimming back office staff alone will put pressure on service teams to complete reports and support tasks, which might affect the quality of the moments of truth with clients. Subsequently reducing front-line staff will certainly affect the quality of service. Therefore, any reduction in staff should be accompanied by a redesign of the internal processes in order to meet the best combination of multitasking that is most efficient to the specific restaurant operation.
  2. Manage fixed costs
    Management should also explore the possibility of rescheduling payments for fixed financial obligations, so as to maintain positive cash-flow. Such tasks could be accomplished by trading services where possible or consolidating certain contracts to selected suppliers/providers.
  3. Manage menu engineering
    Understanding your menu performance, consumers’ demands and your sales margins will give you an insight into how to maximize your profitability. Re-engineering recipes to use lowercost products without compromising on quality will play an important role in increasing your bottom line. On another note, menu choices could be reduced to capture the core of your concept.
  4. Dare to diversify
    While the economic downturn will likely lead to shrinking our client base, it is a fact that dining out remains a leisure activity enjoyed by many. Opening up to a new target clientele and a new generation will make a crucial difference to your bottom line.
Manal Syriani

“Surviving smartly will require opening up
to new target clientele and generation”

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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