Having a bar or restaurant is something that can be rewarding both personally and financially. So no matter what your reason is for opening your own place, here is some restaurant advice to keep in mind that many seasoned restaurateurs wish they knew when they started out.
Take these pieces of advice to heart for you and your new staff and it will make a huge difference in the short and long-term goals for your restaurant.
Don’t Sweat Everything
“Positivity, dedication, and diligence cannot be understated. It’s ok that you don’t know every single thing in the beginning, but don’t let that fact phase you”
Don’t let a bad review or negativity throw you off track. There is always growing pains in any new venture, let alone in the competitive world of restaurant success. You may overhear friends or random people saying things like “96% of all new restaurants fail within a year, it’s just the hardest industry on the planet”. Ignore that completely.
Not only is that not true but if you get into a restaurant thinking that the odds are stacked against you and the chances of success are slim, then that will be the reality. Do not listen to haters and do not hate on yourself.
POS/Inventory Systems Are Important
“Inventory systems are something you CANNOT overlook”.
There are a lot of moving parts when it comes to running a restaurant or bar. A management and inventory system will allow you to stop having to think of every single detail in your head. You won’t have to take long-winded notes or pages of inventory sheets to know what you need to order this week in terms of food supplies and alcohol.
Trying to keep track of these details on your own is just difficult and not worth the hassle. Take advantage of today’s technology. A major mistake is thinking you can handle every single piece of information on your own without the aid of technology. Don’t be that person! It will hurt your restaurant. Imagine running out of Tito’s Vodka on a Friday night? Or imagine running out of Salmon when you are running a salmon special! These are pitfalls that you can avoid easily so be sure you do.
Happy Staff, Happy Restaurant
“Keeping staff happy keeps your customers happy”.
In the restaurant context this is HUGE. A wait staff that is well taken care of and trained with all the skills they need will make for a more pleasant experience for your diners. When staff are smiling, welcoming, and friendly to your patrons it makes for a better environment for everyone and that means better Yelp reviews and better tips, all leading to happier patrons and employees.
Opening a restaurant can be stressful on staff as things get moving, so be sure that you keep them a top priority. After all, your staff really runs the restaurant based on the systems and aspects you have put in place. So, keep your staff happy and you’ll see that it makes a huge difference.
Sweat the Little Things
“It’s the little things”.
Taking care of as many details as possible for the entire restaurant experience (atmosphere, staff, aesthetics, food, specials, restaurant menu presentation, etc) is paramount. Details should not be overlooked because focusing on the details is something that all customers will do. The more details you take into account the more details they will notice in a positive way. Effort is something that is not only felt in the environment but also in the food.
Make Sure You Have Enough Money in the Bank
“Get started with the right amount of capital”.
Opening a restaurant means a number of expenses you simply cannot avoid. You’ll want to start with enough capital and investment to make sure that you can start the way you see fit. Try to start on a small budget then build your way up from there.
Starting right means making investments, into equipment, into menus, into staff training and so on. Capital is not only in terms of money but also in terms of your time. So be sure you’re dedicating the right amount of time and investment into your restaurant.
Opening any business means growing pains and you need to keep a steady head. If you are in a panic every day that will translate into a nervous staff and patrons who can see the chaos.
It is in our instinct to panic when things may go wrong, but it is how you respond to the issue that will define you and your restaurant. Take things head on and don’t let your racing thoughts get the best of you.
Opening a new bar or restaurant will undoubtedly mean some initial stress and a lot of focus. But remember that this is one of the most rewarding things that you can do. Feed people, make them happy, make staff happy, and in turn make yourself happy. Don’t be scared and don’t hesitate. If you have a dream, just do it.
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