Running a successful restaurant business is no easy task, but with some patience, knowledge and advice from our restaurant business experts, you can take your restaurant to the next level, ensuring that you get new customers as well as returning ones.
What we have discovered in our 40+ years in the industry is that the success of a restaurant, more than anything, is dependent on the dining experience you provide for your customers. No matter what type of restaurant you run, you have the ability to make it succeed. All you have to do is make sure you know what your restaurant needs in order to keep it in the black.
Below is some great advice on how to connect with your customers and make sure they come back for more.
Consistency Goes A Long Way
The one thing that will make your restaurant succeed is consistency. If you are burger joint or a Michelin rated restaurant, consistency will ensure that your restaurant stays successful over time. Everything from the customer experience to the food quality standards all must adhere to consistency.
You will find that this concept of consistency will rear its head over the life of your business. It wont be easy and you may think it is impossible to maintain, but if you do, it’s worth it and your restaurant will reap the benefits.
The Small Things Are Important
As a restaurant owner, it is crucial to run a tight ship. Your job is to to make sure that ship stays on course and find the right crew to sail it. Often times, restaurant owners tend to focus on the fun things of running a restaurant. The menu, food, decor. All that stuff is important for running a successful restaurant, but you can not forget about the things that happen behind the scenes.
These behind the scenes things include payroll, finances, HR, legal, accounting and more. These back office tasks may not seem important as the front of house tasks, but if you don’t stay on top of those administrative responsibilities, your restaurant will find problems down the line.
To Expand or Not To Expand? That is the Question
Is your restaurant doing so well your are thinking about opening another? If you are, you must stop and really think about it. If you expand, it can lead to more profits and more customers, but only if you execute the expansion carefully.
If you are thinking about a 2nd location, you must think about the dangers and risk for opening additional locations. Opening another location will incur you more costs and you may find you are spreading yourself thin, unable to focus on your business’ core values. When that happens your restaurant may start to falter and spin out of control.
If you are dead set and opening one, the most important thing to remember is that location is everything. Real Estate agents say it’s ‘location, location, location’ and choosing the right spot will determine a lot on how successful your additional restaurants perform.
Make sure you do your research. Is the location you are scouting near any attractions, or a a college? Opening a spot near these type of places will ensure that your restaurant gets exposure. If you are opening it on dim lit street in the middle of nowhere, you may have some troubles.
Don’t forget the Critics
Any restaurant owner knows that the internet is an important part of running your business. It’s a big factor in getting new business. Many restaurant owners get overwhelmed by all the reviews that review aggregators show. Sometimes people leave bad reviews and if you don’t nip them in bud it could roll into bigger problematic things, including have a horrible online reputation which is horrible for business. And the last thing a customer wants to see is an owner who does not care about his customers.
Bottom line is, if someone leaves a review of your restaurant, make sure you are aware of it and acknowledge — bad or good — Engaging with all of your customers shows other potential diners that you care about making the customer experience better.
Even before you respond to customer reviews, you should encourage patrons to leave a review on one of your review websites. If you run a tight ship and make sure you hold you and your business to the highest standards, you will start to see your review ratings go higher over time.
Use Some Smarts When Purchasing.
As a business owner, you are always trying to figure out how you can save on costs. That desire to save however, should not get in the way of the quality and standards you hold your restaurant to. Believe it or not, customers actually can discern the quality of ingredients you use.
Another thing to consider when making bigger purchases, for example, is not to overpay for your restaurant’s furniture and decor. You may want your restaurant to have the latest trendy furniture, but ask yourself, is it necessary and does it fit into my overall business plan? Often times, vendors offer trade in program where you can get some great quantity pricing on furniture as well ac connect with architects and designers for consulting.
Following these tips and advice will help take your restaurant to the next level.
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