Whether you’re in the food business or not, you’ll know it’s notoriously difficult to make a success out of a new restaurant. Not only do you need impeccable business training, but you’ll also need the best food in town to go with it. When it comes to owning a restaurant, there’s no aiming for second best. It’s one of the toughest industries to stay in because it has the biggest competition. There may be five different restaurants across the street from you. So, how do you stay in business and thrive?
Know Your Basics
Many restaurant owners start off young, perhaps working in a family restaurant or learning family recipes. To own a restaurant, you need to know the ins and outs of everyone’s jobs. Cooking in a restaurant’s kitchen is an intense job and one that not many people are cut out for. It’s stressful and requires constant communication and concentration. The kitchen is where many chefs and restaurant owners start out. The more kitchens you can work in, the more knowledge you’ll have about the different types of food and different ways to cook it. The more you know about this business, the better if you want to own your own restaurant.
Put the Right Team Together
Without the best team running things behind the scenes, it’ll feel like you don’t have limbs to carry out all of your tasks. Running a restaurant isn’t a one-man show, so you need experienced staff you can rely on helping you to make money. As a restaurant owner, there are many jobs you’ll need delegate on a regular basis, so you need to trust the people around you to do the job as well as you know you could yourself. Of course, there will also be jobs that you have no experience in and you’ll need to hire experts to ensure the smooth running of the business. For example, an accountant or a website designer.
Be Willing to Get Stuck In
Every business requires hard work, but restaurant management certainly isn’t for the faint of heart. It would be foolish to underestimate the amount of work it takes to get a restaurant up and running. Suddenly, you have to go from making money for other people to making money for yourself, and while you may be more motivated to make money for yourself, you’ll find it isn’t as easy as it may seem. Being restaurant manager means you have to roll your sleeves up and get dirty on the restaurant floor, as well as putting on your best suit for meetings with board members and bank managers. It’s easy to get swept away by the glitz and glamour of owning a restaurant, especially if people know your work from previous restaurants. However, the best thing you can do is to remain grounded and do what you need to do to build your business up.
Look for the Gap
There’s no point opening an Italian restaurant in an area with three already established and loved Italian restaurants. You’ll be making unnecessary work for yourself. So, you either need to take your restaurant somewhere else or open a restaurant with foods that aren’t already prominent in the area. Do your research and find out which restaurants are most popular in the area and what foods people in the area enjoy. It’s always wise to have a crowd-pleaser on the menu. Your restaurant should have both hearty and healthy foods on offer, and it always makes a difference to put a fresh spin on classic dishes. For example, posh fish and chips with a glass of prosecco.
You’re Being Watched
From your very first day of opening, people will be intrigued as to what your restaurant can offer. Your first visitor should never be thought of as just one person. That one person will go away and describe his experience to family, friends, and colleagues. Therefore, that one person may turn into twenty. Do you want him to recommend the experience or tell people to go elsewhere? Similarly, with the use of social media, your restaurant, its menu, staff, and the food could appear online within minutes of someone arriving. If you haven’t got everything perfect by the time you let guests in, your restaurant may come across as unfinished or unprofessional. Always remember that eyes are on you.
Running a restaurant business will consume you, and there will undoubtedly be days when you want to give up. But, it’s also one of the greatest satisfaction you could ever receive.