Many factors contribute to a successful restaurant business. Too often, chefs or people with a talent for cooking believe the passion for cooking is all they need to open and run a successful business. Sadly, this is why 60% of restaurants fail in the first year. First, you should learn as much as you can about the restaurant business, as well as the area you want to open your restaurant.
Competition, accessibility, and socio-economic status of the area will directly impact your business success. Running a successful restaurant is a combination of food, customer experience, and internal leadership. Here are four steller tips on how to run a successful restaurant business.
1. Learn to be a leader.
The success of your restaurant will be dependant on the quality of your staff, including the cooks, servers, bussers, and all of the helpers. The easiest way to develop a great team is by being a great leader. You want your staff to strive for their best with the common goal of making the restaurant wildly successful. One way to develop your leadership skills is through leadership training with organizations like the Center for Creative Leadership.
Take classes like DEI, which offers training in diversity, equity, and inclusion. Knowing how to interact with your staff, motivate them, and lead them will help your business tremendously, increase overall morale, and decrease turnover, which can be expensive and detrimental.
2. Focus on a theme.
Having a theme doesn’t mean you need to have something over the top, as you may think of many theme restaurants. Every restaurant has a theme, whether it is intentional or not. For example, you may have a small hometown diner theme or a high-end luxury theme. Themes are created around the food you plan to serve and the price point at which you plan to sell the food.
Every element of the restaurant should support the theme. If you are going to a high-end luxury restaurant, you can’t furnish the place with low-cost vinyl booths. Likewise, if you are running a small hometown diner, you aren’t serving expensive seafood dishes on custom plates.
3. Get the supplies and equipment you need.
You will need everything from commercial refrigerators, bottom mount compressor units, heavy-duty dishwashers to cookware, small wares, and pans. The Restaurant Warehouse is financing restaurant equipment for companies all over the world. They are a privately-held company based out of Seattle that has developed an innovative sales and marketing system. When you are trying to decide what you need, connect with an equipment professional through a company like this to determine what you need for your theme and your budget.
4. Offer the best possible experience.
Regardless of the theme or the food, if the customers have a terrible experience while dining at your restaurant, they aren’t going to come back, and they are going to tell their family and friends about their poor experience. No matter how much advertising a restaurant does, poor reviews and word-of-mouth advertising can destroy a business. Before opening, you need to plan out your customer’s experience, starting with how they are greeted and how they will pay for their meal. Every aspect of the service should be planned and timed out with nothing being left to chance.
Despite 60% of restaurants failing in the first year, your restaurant business can be wildly successful if properly prepared and executed. The critical difference is the amount of planning and forethought you put into the different aspects of your business and your ability to lead your staff. Surround yourself with people who are going to help and encourage your success.