It is a dream of many people to operate their own restaurant someday. Certainly, no one dreams of a failed restaurant business. What are the key rules to starting a restaurant that will succeed despite a difficult first year of operation?
A restaurant stands on three things; great concept, a fantastic chef and an excellent location. These three things must be interwoven together. It should go hand in hand. You do not want to deal with drama and this will happen, if any of one of these three ingredients is missing. Location matters, so does a great chef, and you certainly cannot put together a restaurant unless you have a concept to begin with. Your location should be accessible to passers by, people on foot and for those in vehicles. The more accessible it is, and not just in terms of location but also price the more patrons it will bring through the door.
A sufficient capital is what will get your restaurant through the first year of operation. Overestimate your capital if need be. Have a capital that will last well into 9 months to one year. There’s so much expenditure that will just keep adding up. And you need capital left over once the initial excitement of your restaurant starts decreasing. Even if there is a gap between the first few months and the latter part of the year, your capital should be sufficient to carry you through to the second year of operation.
When it comes to your patronage, do not be cheap. When you spend money, it adds value and your patrons will see this. You may be tempted to go cheap on things you think will be unnoticeable to your guests. But, remember guests notice everything. Separate a part of your revenue to improve your restaurant and enhance the patron’s experience. For example, you can send complimentary dishes or give away gift vouchers.
Develop the right menu and take on the best culinary. The chef is sometimes the inspiration of a successful restaurant. The restaurateur’s vision needs to be fulfilled and a chef can play a key role here. Feature seasoned ingredients on your menu and cut down unnecessary costs. Work consistently and directly with farmers and others that will help you eventually negotiate lower prices.
The support staff should be just right! It is akin to going to the market. You generally select the brightest and the best. Your staff should know to appreciate the patron’s business. They should know how to rack up recognition and praise from guests. Your staff should be well trained. There should be separate teams to work the front and back end of the restaurant. Train your employees regularly and update them on the latest trends and innovations.
Create buzz worthy news about your restaurant. Advertise in popular publications. Word of mouth is another great way of getting new people to visit your restaurant. Use social media to crate buzz on a whole different level that target a wider demographic. And you are on your way to a successful grand opening!