Opening a restaurant requires a lot of hard work, passion, and determination. Some of the most successful restaurants out there are restaurants that know what their customers want, go to a great effort to manage their business efficiently, and most of all, cook great food. Today, we will touch on some of the key elements of successful restaurants as well as tips on how to improve your restaurant.
A huge part of running a successful restaurant is the behind-the-scenes work, including planning your restaurant’s concept, formulating your general business plan, staffing your restaurant, and using data mining. All of these elements will be key to your success.
Having a tight business plan is the first step in creating a successful restaurant. Plan out your business in great detail to ensure that you have a financial plan, a management plan, and a firm grasp of your restaurant’s target customer and concept. Revisit this plan frequently as your business evolves and grows.
The concept is one of the most important elements when owning a restaurant. Your restaurant’s concept determines what you serve and how you serve it. The concept is the cornerstone of running a successful restaurant. If you offer a unique concept, then you are more likely to attract and maintain loyal customers. Think about what separates your restaurant from your competitors.
What Do Your Customers Want?
Think about what your target customer wants and then cater to those needs. You will need to consider the following things:
- Location: Do not just assume that if you build a restaurant that the customers will come flocking to you. This is a deadly miscalculation. Think about who your customer is and make sure to pick a restaurant location that is near the customer base you would like to serve. You can also consider a restaurant model that only does takeout.
- Pricing: Think of your customer when pricing your menu. You will want to make sure that you are charging a price that is affordable for your customer but also covers your expenses and leaves you with a profit.
- Listen To Your Customers: If you already own a restaurant, make moves to cater to your customer even more. Observe your business. Notice what people order most and least. Read online reviews and see what your customers complain about, then seek to improve on those things. Feedback can be an invaluable tool to improving your restaurant.
Your staff is essential to your business’s success. According to Forbes, your staff should not only be qualified, but they should also understand and be excited about your restaurant’s mission. You will need the following team members:
- Chef: Your chef is one of the most important members of your staff. At the end of the day, if your food isn’t amazing, you will not make it. Take your time to find a chef that understands your concept, has the skills to execute it, and is someone you want to work with.
- Back Of House: Look for back of the house workers that are dependable and efficient. It’s important to have team members that are ready to hustle and work together to get the job done.
- Front Of House: Make sure your front of house team members’ demeanor is reflective of your brand. No matter how good your food is, a sour experience with a staff member can be enough to drive a customer away.
- Management: Make sure you have skilled managers with the experience and leadership skills to inspire and manage your staff. Your managers should be passionate about your restaurant’s success.
Remember, a happy team is a productive team. Make sure you take care of your employees by listening to their needs. Once you find a good team, you won’t want to lose them. And if you treat them right, they won’t want to leave.
One smart way to improve your restaurant’s chance at success is to invest in a POS system. A POS system is a “point-of-sale” system that is essentially a smart register. Using a POS system can increase productivity, streamlines your order flow, and gives you data about your customers’ purchases.
With a POS system, you can easily input your menu and organize it using photos, descriptions, and pricing. This will streamline several processes in your restaurant.
- Productivity: Using a POS system will increase productivity by minimizing the amount of time it takes to enter orders. With easy to select visual representations of each item, the time for order input will be cut in half.
- Order Flow: Because the order process will be streamlined, your order flow will greatly improve. This will allow you to make it through rushes more efficiently and will minimize errors by sending orders straight from the register to the kitchen automatically.
- Data Feedback: The advanced technology of the POS system will automatically track all orders and will be able to give you real-time feedback about which food your customers are crazy about. Data feedback will also, in turn, help you reduce your waste and keep costs low by helping you to eliminate items that customers aren’t buying very often.
It is not only important that your food is good, but it must be consistently good. When you begin to get regular customers, they will expect their favorite dishes to be prepared the same way each time.
One way to ensure this is by making sure your recipes are easy to execute. You will want any cook to be able to follow your directions for preparation so that when you inevitably have a change in cooks, your food consistency won’t slip up.
Make sure to be diligent about food safety. In a 2008 poll, 43 percent of people said they were concerned about the cleanliness of restaurant food. The last thing you want is to make customers sick. This can be a really easy way to lose customers and create a bad reputation for your restaurant.
Make sure to keep your restaurant spotless. Clean constantly to ensure your restaurant is in tip-top shape. Make sure all employees wash their hands and that bathrooms are spotless for your customers.
By following these tips, you will be on your way to running a successful restaurant in no time. Just remember to always think of your customers’ needs, manage your team smartly, and pay attention to what is and is not working. Another smart way to run a successful restaurant is to implement an intelligent marketing strategy. For help with all this and more, you may want to consider partnering with a company like Nextbite to help guide you on your way to success.