According to recent statistics, one in every four restaurants closes down in the first year. This is certainly a failure rate, as restaurants in their first year of operation equal a failure rate of 60%. Putting together a perfect restaurant is no easy feat. Great food, great location, fantastic atmosphere and great price! However, a year later, restaurateurs are wondering, what happened? Here are some tips aspiring restaurateurs should know.
A clear vision
Your vision for your restaurant should be clear. It should be precise about what kind of restaurant it will be, the type of food you will serve, the kind of patrons it will attract, who will be in charge of front end operations, furnishing decisions, judicious decisions to procuring the right vendors and advertising in popular publications. All this must come together before you go scouting for a great location and taking on a team. It should also be a vision that excites others. Once you have a solid vision going, do your research and create a concept for the restaurant that can be tested.
Any restaurateur should know that capital matters. If you are starting your own restaurant, there should be sufficient capital that will cover expected and unexpected losses in the first two years of operation. Not every successful restaurant had a great start. Some of them had very slow starts. This should not discourage you. Plan accordingly. There are restaurant investors, you can raise money through fundraisers or even receive contributions from family and friends.
Location is magic
It may sound like a cliché, but you need to get your location right! Any successful restaurateur knows the location is what will get patrons through the doors. If you want people to come into your restaurant, it should be in a place that is visible. Not some shack out of town. Whether it is foot traffic, ample parking space or a busy street it will get you the visibility it needs to attract the attention of passersby. This is what you need to be on the lookout for when scouting for a location.
Test your menu
Have a test run of your menu amongst your friends, family and colleagues. This is the primary factor to your restaurant succeeding in the real world. You can create delicious dishes, but it won’t guarantee your guests are going to love it. You need honest feed back and this can be achieved through testing the menu. Do not be discouraged if beloved dishes don’t do well in the test run. Your goal is to plan what works for the betterment of the restaurant. Do not lose money over dishes that need long laboring. A simple dish may do better than one that has too much handiwork going in it. Your aim should be to produce high quality dishes at relatively low cost.
Yes, as important as the menu is, so is service. Your staff needs to understand their role and know they are key to ensuring patrons are left happy when they walk out of your restaurant. Your patrons must feel their business is important to the staff. Even if they are not in the right, your staff should learn to accommodate their wishes. This can be trying, but this is also the only way you can build a loyal base of patrons that will not only come back for more, but also spread positive feedback about your restaurant to others.