Running a restaurant is a dream come true for a lot of people, and for good reasons. It’s an incredibly rewarding profession, bringing together creativity and business in a way that makes for an exciting kind of daily life. However, many people don’t realize just how much there is to learn when it comes to this – from the day-to-day operations to the financial side of things, you need to know a lot in order to keep your customers happy and your business growing. This article is going to go over a few key things that you should consider when starting off in this line of work, to help make sure you give yourself the best shot at success.
1. The Right Tech
There are so many things that need to be done in a single day – let alone on a monthly basis – when it comes to running a restaurant that it just doesn’t make sense to do it all by hand. Instead, investing in the right tech – a good restaurant management software, a solid POS system, and more – is going to make all the difference in terms of how well you can both run your restaurant and grow it. Because there’s so much to do, making sure everything is as automated and streamlined as possible is not only useful when it comes to better time management, but it can greatly influence your bottom line as well.
2. Design Considerations
It’s true that great food will bring people in, but it can’t hurt to have a few design factors that keep them coming back. Creating the right atmosphere is key, and it all starts with ensuring your customers can be as comfortable as possible. One of the first things you need to consider when it comes to the interior design of your restaurant is what kind of furniture you’ll need in order to achieve this. The best way to answer this for yourself is to think about what kind of customers you want to attract and go from there. Apart from that, make sure you’re taking into account what kinds of things are going to make your restaurant stand out from the crowd – whether it’s an interesting color scheme or something as simple as having good lighting so customers can see what they’re eating without it being overly bright. You want your restaurant to be a place where people not only want to grab a quick bite to eat but at which they want to come back to often in order to have a great time overall.
3. Establish Good Customer Service
The way your employees treat your customers is essential in order for everything to run smoothly. This is why it’s important for you to establish a good customer service standard, and there are a few ways to go about that. For starters, you can do some research and see which policies and practices tend to work best for other, similar restaurants and try implementing them in your own space. Along with that, you can always train your employees on how they should be engaging with customers, so they learn the most effective ways of doing so. Some key things to implement include always greeting customers with a smile, being as flexible as possible, knowing how to engage in light conversation without being inappropriate or overbearing, and knowing what to do when a customer has complaints. These will ensure your customers come back time and again, which is good news for your business.
4. Creating A Menu
If you’re not a chef yourself, creating a menu isn’t something you should do on your own. Instead, make it a collaborative effort between you and the head chef. By combining your business sense and their cooking expertise, you’ll be well on your way to creating a great menu that people are going to love. When doing this, it’s important to remember that quality always trumps quantity. It’s much better to have up to five exceptional dishes than it is to have thirty mediocre ones. The two other important factors to consider are the availability of needed ingredients as well as the dietary preferences of your target audience. If some ingredients are hard to come by, or simply cost more than you can sell them for and still turn a profit – it’s better to scrap that particular dish. On average, you should be able to sell each dish on your menu for three times the cost of making it. Of course, depending on whether your restaurant is a fine-dining establishment, a fast food place, or anything in between – those numbers should be adjusted accordingly.
5. Costs Vs Experiences
When deciding which features you want your restaurant to have – whether that’s related to food and beverage options, the server’s uniforms, the decor, or otherwise – it’s important to understand the relationship between the cost and the experience that addition is providing for the customers. A costly addition can be just the thing that brings more people in and works well for the bottom line, while something that’s pretty affordable (at least until you add it up on an annual level) can prove to be an unnecessary drain on your budget. However, sometimes the opposite can be true as well. That’s why it’s important that everything your restaurant offers – from the wall decor to the seasoning used in a dish – needs to serve a purpose, and that purpose is always the bottom line.
6. The Services You Need
Having a reliable accountant, lawyer, produce and alcohol suppliers, a cleaning crew, and other such services is key to keeping your business running smoothly and successfully. While all of these are absolutely necessary for any restaurant, which companies or individuals you hire should directly correlate with what kind of restaurant you want to create, as well as the budget you’re currently working with. For example, if you want your restaurant to be a fine-dining establishment, you need to have high-quality wines in your inventory. However, if you’re just starting out – going for boutique wines and even splitting the cost with other restaurants is a much better idea than going for well-established labels that will cost you an arm and a leg. The same goes for a lot of the other services that restaurants need. It’s also important to know that this is where a large chunk of your investment capital is going to go, so make sure you’re doing everything you can to maximize it.
Image Source: https://cdn.pixabay.com/photo/2021/09/26/13/47/table-6657853_960_720.jpg
While there’s much more to running a restaurant – like taking proper care of your inventory and creating a good marketing strategy – these are the basics every food business owner must know about to get started. So if this is something you want to do, make sure to keep these tips in mind! And if you want more information on the topic, there are plenty of useful resources available for free online.