Every once in a while, we see food enthusiasts who think that the restaurant business is their calling. While many people believe that having the passion to serve good food is all they need to dive into the restaurant business, at the end of the day, it requires proper planning and execution.
While there are many speculations about the survival rates of restaurants, the most recent and comprehensive data is from a 2014 study by Tian Luo and Philip B Stark of the University of California, Berkeley. According to their report, where they studied the lifespans of 81,000 restaurants in the western United States over a 20-year period, only 17 percent of restaurants failed in their first year. But why do restaurant businesses fail in the first place?
Rookie mistakes are part and parcel of any business. However, when it comes to the restaurant business, there are many things that people overlook due to their love for food. Our restaurant consultants often deal with clients who have really good restaurant concepts but are unaware of the many factors that need to be considered for turning the business towards success. In this blog, we will dive into 5 mistakes that first-time restaurateurs make and how you should take care of if you are interested in opening a restaurant in Dubai.
Having no clarity over the budget
One of the common reasons for a restaurant to fail are the many confusions and subsequent overspendings that eat into your capital right from the first week of operations. This could be anything from high rentals, interior alterations, menu alterations, bad inventory management, and food wastage. While unforeseen costs are unavoidable when starting any business, without diligent and detailed budgeting, set up and operational costs can lead to your restaurant’s downfall within weeks!
However, as baffling as it sounds, budgeting is not such a tough procedure. Before executing anything, start by outline all the expenses you expect for setting up and running your restaurant. Simultaneously, start researching all aspects of the restaurant business to uncover hidden expenses, which you need to resolve in the first 6 months. Ensure that you have enough capital to run for the 12 to 16 months from the day of opening. If you are keen on keeping your restaurant expenses under check, we also recommend that you establish a strong relationship with your food and drink suppliers. This will not only guarantee quality products but also ensure that you are in a good position to negotiate better deals from them.
Lack of a good concept
The restaurant industry is a very competitive one. Success here is not measured just through your enthusiasm to offer great food, drinks, and service. People nowadays have become extremely particular when it comes to restaurant establishments. They are simply not satisfied with the regular experience. Everything from your restaurant’s vibe to the food put in front of their table has to have a story – a concept that people can relate to – for your customers to enjoy their meal better.
Instead of offering a whole lot of things under one roof, conceptual restaurants offer something much better – a unique food experience that stands apart from everything else. Ensure that your restaurant’s concept resonates in everything it offers- from the food to the decor and to the way your restaurant staff carry themselves while at work.
Designing a complicated menu
Complicated menus are the last thing that hungry customers are looking for. If your restaurant offers a wide variety of foods that are spread over several pages of a menu, it may confuse your customers too much. Although it is necessary to provide several tasty options to your patrons, it is even more important to deliver a set number of foods that are served with consistency, which will bring them back time and again.
Larger menus will also cause customers to take a lot of time to order the food. This will subsequently reduce table turnover, profiting you less. With the help of our in-house consultant chef, we engineer a menu that focuses on your restaurant’s brand, quality, and strength. Smaller and precise menus are not only easier to read and place order, but will also help highlight your signature dishes better.
Did you know that your restaurant staff can make or break your business? While you may not realize it, your staff are the brand ambassadors of your restaurant. The way they present themselves and serve the customers will ensure high table turnover rates. Having unenthusiastic and untrained staff in your restaurant will increase the chances of mistakes and lead to unpleasant experiences for the customers.
So, even before you open your doors to your restaurant, ensure that all your staff are handpicked and are given the right training to do their jobs. With the help of restaurant consultants and trainers at our company, you can run training for onboarding new hires way ahead of your grand opening. Regular refresher training and staff incentives will also help ensure that your staff are in their best behavior to serve the customers throughout the day.
Lack of Social Media Presence
In this digital age, everyone and everything gets “Googled” before getting to meet or trying things out. First impressions are now purely based on your brand’s online presence. People these days check out a restaurant’s online presence, especially on social media. So if you fail to establish your social media presence, especially on Instagram and Facebook, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities to spread the word of your existence and get footfall.
Just as you are setting up your restaurant, ensure that your restaurant has a dedicated Facebook page and Instagram business profile. Start by posting images of your beautifully done interiors and your delicious food much ahead of your grand opening. Invite people over to try your food. Create a buzz around your restaurant right from the start by engaging with customers through social media platforms. You can team up with our social media experts to help set up your online presence right from the start.
Opening your restaurant is something you should be proud of. When you plan and execute each step of the restaurant set up perfectly, you can easily avoid unnecessary mistakes. Entail the services of our restaurant consultants in Dubai to ensure that everything about your new venture is in order and enjoy a stress-free business from day one.