Some restaurants have okay food and lousy service and surprisingly remain open for many years. Other restaurants have amazing food and excellent service, but shut down relatively quickly. The question is why? There is no perfect recipe for running a successful restaurant but here are 8 tips that may help you turn your mediocre restaurant into a local hot-spot!
Every restaurant owner has experience in the food and service industry. If you don’t have experience in the restaurant industry it could significantly hinder your business. If one of your dreams is to own a restaurant, but you don’t have experience, well thankfully there is a solution to that! Perhaps buying a franchise would be a good idea, since almost all restaurant franchise opportunities include training for the franchisee!
This point is pretty obvious, but sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the day-to-day operations of running a restaurant and quality tends to slip out the window. Establish regular times for quality control testing. This may include taste testings, menu evaluations, or even sending in an undercover customer to give feedback on his/her experience.
Also, being an absent owner is a recipe for failure. You need to be present to ensure that quality is enforced and your crew has a winning attitude!
The price of food is constantly changing. It is important to make sure your restaurant has low food costs and high margins. Your menu should steer customers into selecting the options that present the highest gross margins. This can be done by strategically designing your menu to highlight the most profitable options. Check out this useful post about menu engineering!
There is no sense in wasting money by over-staffing when you don’t need it! Know your demand per hour and schedule your staff accordingly. Your staff should also know exactly what they’re job entails and what it takes to be successful at their position. From your waiting staff to the kitchen, everyone needs to be efficient in order for operations to run smoothly and cost-effectively.
Advertising has come a long way since newspaper and radio spots. Social media can offer a great platform to raise awareness for your restaurant. Encourage your customers to post about your restaurant and all of their followers will see your restaurant’s name at little to no cost.
Promotions can also help to draw in a crowd. Good promotion ideas can range from “happy hour,” “couples night,” (dinner-for-two specials) and special days of the week like “wing night.”
You really need to know and understand your customers. This means reviewing your customer data and demographic profiles. By knowing and understanding your target audience, you will be able to allocate more marketing efforts towards their needs and develop promotions that your customers will find most appealing.
Last but definitely not least, always encourage your customers to give you feedback on their overall experience. This will provide you with essential insights of which areas your restaurant needs improvement, whether it be food or service. In the end, the customer is always right and the survival of your business will be determined by how well you receive criticism and act upon it.
Running a restaurant is not easy. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication. Sometimes buying an existing restaurant or franchise is better. Buying an existing business or franchise often comes with a proven track record, an established customer base, employees, equipment and supply chains. Buying a franchise will often come with financial assistance and in-house marketing which are also compelling advantages. Navigate our website, to find your next restaurant opportunity!