There are three things that are critical for the success of any restaurant. These include a great location, a great chef and a great concept. These three things must work together in order for your restaurant to succeed. Choose a location that fits your concept and a chef who will work with that concept. Too often, people who open a restaurant say the location is unimportant as a restaurant can be a “destination,” but this rarely works. If your restaurant is not accessible, customers won’t come to eat. It is that simple. They will choose a restaurant that is easier to get to and more centrally located.
Too many restaurant owners underestimate the capital they will need at the beginning. Plan on at least six months of capital reserves as expenses will mount quickly. Most restaurants see a downturn in business after the initial opening. Some of this is because even the best new restaurants need to work out bugs in their system.
As systems improve, business will also improve. If your restaurant is successful quickly, remember to set aside funds for when business is not doing as well. The economy, change in tastes and seasonal variances can all cause even the most popular restaurant to see fewer customers. Plan for those times by setting aside funds during good times.
If your local community college or high school has a culinary arts or hospitality program, consider using interns from those programs in your restaurant. Consider yourself a teacher as much as a business owner, training the next generation of restaurant owners. Often, schools provide interns at no charge, asking you to simply provide feedback to the school on how the student did. Be sure that interns work in a variety of positions, both in the front of the house and in the back of the house, to give them a well-rounded experience in the restaurant business.
You never want to save money by reducing the guest experience. You need to be sure you choose suppliers who provide you with quality products, whether it is equipment or ingredients. You can save money in advertising by implementing guest loyalty programs. If you have a regular customer in your restaurant, send them a complimentary dish to sample. This creates a sense of loyalty and that customer will tell others about their experience. It also gives you a chance to test new menu items before you invest in it too heavily.
In addition to these tips, be sure to focus on the business side of your restaurant as well and create an easy to follow standard operation procedure. Remember to also keep stocked up on fuel and resources by utilizing services like Kitsap propane delivery. By following these tips, you have a better chance of seeing your restaurant not only succeed but thrive.