How to Run a Successful Deli
Deli businesses thrive on good food and fast service. These tips on how to run a successful deli can help your business stand out.
Focus on Food Quality
Keep your eye on the prize and focus intensely on food quality. Anyone can make a sandwich—what makes your sandwiches better? Fresh, in-store made bread and unique toppings and condiments turn an ordinary turkey sandwich into an artisan event. Add your own signature sides or homemade condiments, and develop a brand identity for your offerings. Perhaps you have a special secret for spicy mayonnaise or a super supplier of tasty bacon for your BLTs. Capitalize on the freshest, unique ingredients to build your reputation for quality.
Consumers appreciate healthy choices. Know your market, and determine whether vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free options would be big sellers in your service area. Don’t take on more complexity than you need to, though. Keeping it simple with a few, quality options is better than trying to do more than you can realistically handle.
Hire Great People, and Provide Superior Service
Learning how to run a successful deli isn’t that different from learning how to run any other restaurant. All restaurant businesses rely on hardworking, devoted staff. Enthusiasm, loyalty, and dedication are as important, if not more so, than experience. A sincere desire to create quality food for your customers is the sign of a great deli staff member.
Reliance on delivery has expanded exponentially during the COVID-19 crisis. Make sure you have a system for keeping customers informed about the progress of their orders. Be transparent about the extra steps you take to ensure safety for your staff and your customers. When your delivery driver shows up wearing a mask and gloves for contactless delivery, your customers will know you care.
Make It Shine
Deli operations can get messy when the rush is on. Pay attention to your layout to ensure that the staff has enough room to move, supplies nearby, and the ability to keep the meat slicers clean and sanitized while they keep the food coming. Even if customers can’t come into the shop right now, they want to see that the shop is clean, sanitized, and sparkling when they pull up for curbside pickup.