Many who have worked in the restaurant industry dream of owning their own restaurant someday. While owning a restaurant offers you the benefit of being in charge of how your restaurant operates, there are still quite a few considerations you need to take in if you want to achieve a successful restaurant.
Here are six tips to starting a restaurant:
The biggest factor to operating a successful business is the location of your restaurant and how practical the building is. For the most part, restaurants need to be seen in order to grow in popularity. While there are a few exceptions to this rule, the majority of businesses must be in a target location in order to succeed, because if your business is not easily accessible, people will seek out something they are more familiar with.
A restaurant needs to be practical in order to succeed. The facility you choose either needs to come equipped with the restaurant equipment you need, as well as bar facilities and the proper licenses. Certain locations are not zoned for all restaurant licenses, such an alcohol license, thus it is important to find a prime location that also meets city requirements.
Another aspect to opening a successful restaurant is the restaurant’s concept. Just like any other business, what does your restaurant have to offer that sets it apart from the rest? A killer chef? An innovative menu? An interactive dining experience? While your restaurant concept does not necessarily need to be groundbreaking, it does need to be executed to the greatest degree. If you plan on opening a barbecue restaurant down the street from another barbecue establishment, you need to execute your concept perfectly in order to rival your competition.
- Capital Needs
Restaurants are expensive. Before opening the doors to your restaurant, many in the restaurant business suggest having at least six months of working capital in your hands. Restaurant expenses add up quickly, and many restaurant businesses fold because they could not afford to keep the restaurant running.
From rent to utilities to employees to food costs, there are numerous financial aspects to running a restaurant, and being unprepared for them can lead to an early closure. Another aspect to keep in mind is your business’s long-term success. Many restaurants see success early, and expand too quickly. The initial success from a business is not always long lasting, and investing your profits too quickly in a second restaurant or a building expansion can lead to an unstable financial situation.
- Value Your Guests
When it comes to your guests’ dining experience, it is crucial you pull out all of the stops. While many restaurant owners attempt to save money in the early stages of the business by cutting back on certain amenities, such substituting lower quality ingredients in certain dishes for more expensive ones, or hiring fewer waitresses and waiters, the most important aspect to your business is your customers. Do not skimp on areas that affect your guests, for they are your ticket to success. Their experience at your restaurant will dictate whether or not they come back. Offering them a subpar meal or poor customer service will often keep them from coming back to your restaurant, and they will also be quick to share with their friends about their less than satisfactory experience at your restaurant.
In order to run an efficient business, your business must be organized. There needs to be an efficient systems of operation put into place in order to run a successful restaurant. Where restaurants have the most trouble with organization is in the kitchen, which can lead to improperly prepared meals, wrong orders, and even dangerous accidents. Make sure your head chef is in control and can authoritatively run the back of the kitchen. Train waiters and waitresses thoroughly, as to make sure they understand how orders are placed and picked up. Establishing a system and adhering to it will keep your restaurant running smoothly.
As a restaurant owner, you will most likely be teaching more than anything. As your restaurant grows, you will be teaching new employees, new chefs, new sous chefs, etc. As the business evolves, your position as the owner will evolve from a less hands on role to the role of an educator. Effectively teaching techniques to new employees and other staff members will allow your business the chance to flourish.
These six tips can help grow your restaurant substantially and set the stage for a long, healthy future.