Running a successful restaurant comes with years of hard work and dedication, breaking one’s back and sweating tears. It is about building a strong reputation that will last a lifetime. How does a new restaurateur get to this point of success? It is putting together a workable strategy that consists of great food and a memorable experience!
Do your homework
First and foremost, you need to develop a restaurant concept. Similar to a businessman writing down a business plan, so should restaurateurs design a viable concept. This plan must detail your goals and strategies. For example, what type of cuisine do you expect to serve, Indian, fast food or continental? The plan should also include a proposed menu and pricing, description of the target market, the customer support team you will take on, how to train and retain them, discussion on financing like startup funding, short term income and long term expenses and how you plan to market your restaurant.
Find your spot
Location is crucial and paramount to the success of any restaurant. As much as staking a claim in the shack out of town sounds romantic, it will not attract a horde of visitors enough to make it a profitable venture. The location must be a well traveled road with visible signage, a building with a parking lot. What are the other businesses in the vicinity like, what about restaurants close by, do they serve similar food or different? Do not settle on a location that has too many restaurants which will only make it harder for you to compete, especially as an up and coming business.
Design the menu
An exciting element of starting your own restaurant is you get to design the menu. The menu should reflect the theme and there should be a consistency to it. You should have a signature dish that makes you stand out from the rest of the crowd. Pricing items on the menu is another thing. The prices should incorporate food costs, labour costs, overheads and profit margin.
Spread the word
Even seasoned restaurateurs are the first to admit they don’t spend enough time and energy spreading the good news about their restaurant. If you want your restaurant to be recognized, the first step is to advertise it. No, advertising doesn’t make you seem desperate. Quite the contrary, new customers will be looking forward to experience every little detail they’ve read or heard about your restaurant. Advertising creates a buzz, a kind of excitement and it is important to spread the word.
Take it to the next level
Yes, business plans are crucial; so are menus. But you can get all these elements right but still be lacking in that little extra edge to push you over the top. What is this edge? It is the passion to run a restaurant. This is a highly competitive industry. Restaurants are known to fail in the first year of operation. How do you avoid this glitch? You need a strong work ethic and integrity to get you across the finish line.