Have you ever watched “Kitchen Nightmares?” Running a successful restaurant seems easy to business owners in the beginning but they quickly realize how difficult it is.
While you may not have Gordon Ramsey on speed dial to help your restaurant out, there are ways that you can run a successful restaurant!
Whether you are looking to open a new restaurant or want to grow your current business, here are some tips to help make it successful:
Start With a Plan
Many restaurants fail because the individuals who open them jump in headfirst without a solid plan.
Determine what your intentions are. If you want to run a successful restaurant, you have to love what you do!
Investing in a new restaurant takes time and money so you want to make sure you are passionate about starting one.
Know How to Handle Your Money
Many restaurants also fail because the owners don’t know how to manage cash flow.
Apart from upfront costs like the building and equipment, you also have to take into consideration expenses such as food costs and unseen circumstances.
Expect to lose money in your first six months but, the better you handle your restaurant’s finances, the more you will make as your business becomes successful.
Get the Right Equipment
Because it takes a lot of money to get a restaurant started, you may be tempted to buy inexpensive equipment for your kitchen.
However, investing in good equipment will ensure that your equipment keeps functioning properly and avoid unnecessary repair costs and downtime for your restaurant.
It may seem like a huge upfront cost, but it will pay off in the end!
Atmosphere and Guest Experience
Guests don’t spend money at restaurants simply for food. They are looking for an amazing overall experience!
Creating a good guest experience involves factors such as location, parking, seating, decor, food and drink quality, payment process, and interactions with staff.
Figuring out how to provide this positive experience begins with your plan but continues as you hire staff, create a menu, decorate your restaurant, and more.
Hire the Right Staff
Customer experience in a restaurant depends on two things: the quality of the food and the staff.
First, you need to hire a chef with knowledge and experience. People flock to successful restaurants because they know they are going to get a delicious meal.
Second, make sure to hire the right staff for both the kitchen and the front of the house. Behind the scenes, you want skilled workers to help ensure things run smoothly in the kitchen.
On the actual restaurant floor, hire servers who are friendly and understand the importance of customer service.
Create a Flexible Menu
Investing in menu development is important as well. You want to offer your guests plenty of variety without overwhelming your kitchen staff.
Also, think about offering seasonal specialties, maintaining popular choices, and offering new items from time to time.
This way, your satisfied customers will return and you’ll attract new guests as well.
Test Your Menu
What looks good on paper may not work in the real world. To run a successful restaurant, you have to test your menu and any new menu items.
Not only will this give you an idea of how the food tastes but it will also help determine how feasible it is for your kitchen staff to make the dishes quickly while still maintaining quality.
You can invite guests to test menu items and allow them to offer you their feedback.
Develop a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Nowadays, most people head to the internet when searching for a place to eat. In fact, over 80% of potential guests check out a restaurant online and read the reviews before deciding where to eat.
Take advantage of the marketing power of social media by developing a successful strategy.
Create a Facebook page to give your restaurant a personality people can connect to.
Apart from posting your menu and specials, give viewers a chance to get to know you and your staff by posting pictures and engaging with comments.
Offer Something Special
In today’s world, you really have to stand out to get noticed. To avoid becoming just another restaurant opening in your community, try to come up with a special hook or gimmick.
You don’t want to do something cheesy but you have to find a way to draw attention to your business and give people a reason to come back!
Some ideas include offering a buffet, creating fun and colorful drinks, televisions, game nights, etc.
Get Ready to Run a Successful Restaurant!
The beauty of running a successful restaurant is that you can make it anything you want it to be! Just keep in mind that doing so takes passion and commitment.
We hope our tips help you and good luck!