The basics of starting a restaurant business hardly change. It’s important to get them right before you open your door to the target market. The barriers to starting a new restaurant may be minimal but running it successfully demands more than just the will to start a business. Launching a restaurant business can be overwhelming, especially when you overlook an important factor.
These are a few of the most important things you should consider before your grand opening.
1. Location is a killer factor.
Accessibility will always be everything in the restaurant business. You can’t be far away from your target market. Don’t expect your prospective customers to travel far to locate you. Go to them. In as much as you want to serve the best meals and be different, you should always plan on locating your business close to the market.
Consumers are faced with countless options every day. They can eat out or stay in; they can visit a familiar spot or try the new place in town. Give them a reason to try out your new restaurant. The most successful restaurants are accessible in terms of location, brand, and price point. If you want to succeed, get the location right.
2. Be realistic about the financial needs of a restaurant.
One of the hard facts you may have to face is running a business without profit for months or even years. And a restaurant business is no different. Finding enough financing for a new restaurant can be a major stumbling block for most entrepreneurs. A restaurant business is capital intensive. Don’t expect to make profit in the first year. Plan for profit but don’t count on it your first twelve months of opening.
Your expenditures will add up quickly and your working capital will run out faster than you planned. It takes a long time for a new place to grab hold and get regular customers. If you intend to stick around for a very long time, find the right investment source that can sustain you for that long without profit.
Most restaurants go out of business because owners get used to the honeymoon phase and refuse to plan for the downswing. Cash in reserve may not last that long once you open your doors. Start planning on other sources of funding before you run out of the initial investment.
3. Don’t compromise on Decoration.
You can take a minimalist approach to decoration without compromising on quality. There’s no need to hang fancy picture frames on the wall, your restaurant will speak for itself. Leave walls exposed and table tops clear as much as possible – you want to create the illusion that your customers are at home, not in a restaurant. When it comes to table decorations, only use what you have to. If you want to incorporate traditional custom into your designs, use flowers and cutlery with simple and plain designs.
Keep tables bare with no tablecloths or coverings, leaving just the simple structure and original materials on show. This will create a minimalist feel which will help to strip away any complexity of designs or furnishings, allowing your customers to concentrate solely on your products.
4. Create a unique menu.
You’re only as successful as your last meal. People are coming to you because you serve food. Be awesome at that. Find the most dynamic and amazing chef who understands the industry. The smartest move is to partner with people who know things you don’t. Or better still, hire a chef who knows how to serve the very best and brings out the best in employees.
The ideal restaurant menu offers a balance of unique dishes and old favourites. Work out the best dishes that can be identified with your restaurant but don’t leave out the foods people are comfortable eating. The usuals can always be offered in a unique way that fits with your restaurant theme.
5. Focus on enhancing customer experience.
Once you are up and running, amazing customer experience will help you retain new customers. Customer service has always been vital in the food industry. Spend on adding value to your guests. Everything that touches a guest is important. And guess what, people notice the little things your employees lose sight of.
Once people enter your door, take them on a journey that leaves a lasting and amazing impression on them. Creates a real connection people can share. Make your experience personal. It’s the best way to generate genuinely positive word of mouth.