As we’ve expressed before, running a restaurant can be one of the most challenging businesses to keep alive.
Many bright eyed owners end up failing when they try open their dream restaurant, shutting their doors and never recovering from their losses.
If you want to open a restaurant, or, find you’re struggling to keep your current restaurant open, here are our tips to keep your restaurant running.
Learn how to do everything
Many restaurant owners have a dream of owning the restaurant, but not actually doing all the work.
Sadly that’s not the case. If you think as an owner you can get out of doing every single job, your restaurant will have a hard time succeeding.
When you’re the boss, you should be aware of how to do every single task in the building. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to constantly do everything, but ideally you should be ready to fill in for whatever the need.
Limit your menu
You want to appeal to everyone, we get that. It’s impossible to please every single person. As badly as you want to serve sushi along with spaghetti, it’s better to limit your menu items to fit your theme, and serve the most popular items.
Why do this? Because having too many food items quickly diminishes the quality of the food you’re serving. You can’t have 100 menu items and expect them to taste as good as only having 20 items.
Update your sign
Signs are often ignored when planning how your restaurant should look.
Worse still, they easily fall into disrepair.
People are shallow with first impressions. If a food item looks unappetising, people won’t order it. Likewise, if the sign for your restaurant looks boring, plain, grimy, or just old, people will pass your restaurant.
Try and keep your sign clean and tidy. Also make it eye catching! You want to draw customers in, chances are their first impression face-to-face will be your sign.
Wait Staff Personality
Hire friendly servers, ones who will interact with your customers.
Having engaging staff will keep customers coming back. Work with your servers to promote a great environment.
To keep your employees spirits up, make sure to give them encouragement. Servers take a lot of crap, especially for things not their fault.
Any complaint will be given to them, and any blame for their order being not exactly what they wanted (when it could have easily been the cooks mistake).
Social Media Presence
Having an active Twitter and Facebook presence can do wonders for your restaurant.
Post pictures of your food, fun events, anything to capture your restaurant in a favorable light!
Best of all, social media is free, and you have complete control over your account!
It also gives you a chance to do damage control on negative reviews. Handle them with grace, and use it as an opportunity to address the complaint in a sophisticated way.
People tend to be impatient when it comes to service. A lack of water, or enough napkins can quickly sour a customer experience.
Pay attention to lay out, are tables set with everything they’ll need to enjoy their experience? Are the tables to close together? Is the restroom filthy?
Pay attention to minor details like this, your customers most likely will.
Know your budget
Money makes the world go round, and if you don’t have a tight grip on your finances; your restaurant will spiral out of control.
Take business and accounting courses so you can set up an effective business plan and budget accordingly. Successful restaurant ownership is not just about good food, it’s about making smart business decisions.
Understanding what elements are working for your restaurant and what needs to be scrapped.
Most importantly, do not underestimate your start-up costs. Overestimate your expenses, and strive to stay under that cost.
Have a unique selling proposition
What’s a unique selling proposition? A unique selling proposition (USP, also a unique selling point) is a reason that your restaurant customer’s come to see you. Your restaurant’s USP differentiates you from competitors’.
It’s things like being the highest quality burger, or the first-ever chicken sandwich of it’s kind.
Think of a USP as something that your competitors don’t have and a successful USP clearly promises the benefit to your restaurant’s customers.
Branding is one of the best tactics that large chain restaurants have taken advantage of, which help to establish your USP.
KFC originally succeeded in marketing itself as a meal for moms who need the night off from cooking. Subway prides itself as a “Yes” to whatever you want on your sandwich, along with a “healthy” options.
Each of these brands gave themselves a stand out unique selling point. What sets your business apart from your competitor?
Do not say “fast or friendly service” (even if it’s true). That’s not a unique aspect. People aren’t impressed with what they perceive to be basic restaurant expectations.
Do you serve a special dessert no one else does? Is your burger place the original in town? Have the best fries in the state?
Find an angle and explore it! Make yourself memorable, and you’ll draw customers to your place over your competitors.
Make yourself stand out
Your restaurant can survive if you take these tips to heart. You don’t have to go it alone.
Invest in the best things for your business, and make sure your business providers are there to support you as well.
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Technology can help with the look and feel of your restaurant, don’t overlook it as an asset. Take the next steps and schedule a free demo, contact us here.