5 Keys to Opening a Successful Restaurant
According to Entrepreneur magazine, the most popular searches for “new business plan” are:
Restaurant, Cafe, and Bakery
Retail and Online Store
Medical and Health Care
Bar and Nightclub
Farm and Food Production
Wholesale and Distributor
Construction and Engineering
Starting a new business is challenging, and the restaurant, bar, and nightclub business always ranks near the top for fast exits. We talk with people in the restaurant biz every day, and we go out to eat a lot. Sometimes it’s the common sense things that trip people up, they just don’t think about them, but they are very, very important to getting through that first year and making it.
Here’s a list we put together because we have seen too many restaurants that failed because they just didn’t pay attention to these 5 keys:
1 – Make Your Menu Perfect – Let’s face it, people go out to a restaurant to eat! Sometimes start-ups focus on lighting, wallpaper, and a cool name but forget about the food. Test your menu items from soup and salad to dessert and make sure everything is impeccable.
2 – Make Sure Your Staff is Capable and Friendly – There’s nothing worse than being greeted by a surly server. I would rather get a pizza and go home to eat. At least my dog will be happy to see me. Friendly servers make more money for themselves and in turn, for the owner. Do not tolerate bad attitudes. Nothing personal, it’s strictly business.
3 – Comfort – The restaurant industry went through a period of trying to stuff as many diners into a small space and that seems to be changing, for good reason. Furniture must be comfortable or folks won’t come back.
4 – Marketing – We know people who still put ads in the yellow pages, and we haven’t seen anyone use a printed directory in 20 years. Today it’s 90% digital, so find a qualified marketing team and let them do the work, while you track the results.
5 – Equipment – This is our area. Your kitchen staff will be more productive and make better food if they have all the tools they need. Equipment is an investment, and it’s important to buy the best.
You’ll never work harder, but the rewards are worth it. Good luck!