Aspiring owners of restaurants, taverns, neighborhood cafes and other catering companies have the opportunity to choose their cuisine differently and create an inviting atmosphere for their customers. However, when choosing, you should not forget the main rule – you are running a business. Regardless of how much you love to cook or interact with customers, there are some rules you need to follow in order to be most successful.
Serving the best eateries is a breeze, as their owners and managers get ready for battle. Their mission is to serve every client perfectly, which means to create the right atmosphere both in the hall and among the guests, as well as to treat them to the best dishes. Here are eight tips for running a new restaurant business :
1. Researching the business aspects of opening a new restaurant
Before opening a restaurant, you should familiarize yourself with the numerous business details that cannot be disclosed in this article, especially those that are universal for a restaurant anywhere in the world. However, cost and location are critical everywhere. You need to familiarize yourself with the legal requirements of the country where you intend to open this type of business. Here are some of the key points you need to know:
- What kind of insurance is required and what exactly is recommended for running your business?
- What permissions, licenses and registrations are required? For example, obtaining permission to collect sales taxes, concluding an agreement for the provision of services according to the norms of SES, obtaining a license for the retail sale of alcohol, as well as registration with government agencies.
- ERP and CRM software will help optimize many resources and increase sales, so you need to decide whether to automate your business or manually manage it.
- Which way of bookkeeping, payroll and reporting should you choose?
- What security challenges will you face?
- Are you going to sell alcohol, wine and / or beer? How will you ensure regulatory compliance and be held accountable?
2. Choice of theme and culinary direction
Choosing a recognizable theme, concept, and direction will help you attract your ideal customer, whether it’s a casual visitor or an urban club lover, a sports fan, a local person, as well as families, gourmets or businessmen wishing to dine.
3. Promotion of business in social networks
Today’s catering companies are faced with new oral communication challenges that were considered central to previous generations. Information is now provided digitally, and customers use websites, social media and other platforms to decide where to dine today. This is why your business needs to have a full online presence.
4. Providing customers with convenient ordering options
Most often, customers choose a restaurant using their mobile phones, so you should definitely put your menu in the public domain. A special opportunity to order on the site will simplify many operations and speed up service.
Many restaurateurs have expanded their options and now offer online or telephone ordering and table reservation services. The more ways customers can place orders, the faster your income will grow.
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5. Staying relevant with culinary and marketing trends
Many new owners have a clear culinary vision, but the first rule, which says your catering is a business first and foremost, should be repeated. At its most basic level, the success of your business will depend on satisfying a multitude of clients with different tastes.
This means that an experienced restaurateur will include in the menu dishes of various price categories, healthy meals and special dietary meals.
Food preferences change very quickly, which is why the menu of a modern restaurant should include healthy food, as well as information on how it was prepared and where it came from. The farm products trend is also important, so try to find local suppliers. You should research national, international and local restaurant business trends in order to find the best concept and space and identify the right client.
Find out which restaurants are open in your area and try to create a menu that locals will love while offering something unique that sets you apart from the competition.
6. Creation of an organized business
If your restaurant, regardless of cuisine or concept, is making a small profit, then it is imperative to control inventory, recycling, opportunities for theft, portion sizes and mismanagement. Each item on your menu should be split into ingredients and priced at current prices. A gradual and regular increase in prices can have an effective effect on profits and prevent you from losing money. Small price increases are more readily accepted by customers than larger but infrequent price increases.
Minimizing waste directly impacts your business because each chunk directly reduces your bottom line. It is impossible to create a waste-free business, but it is important to keep track of how waste is generated. If your chefs and kitchen staff make too many mistakes or serve too large portions, then corrective action must be taken.
Organizing your business can turn a small business into a profitable and highly professional business. The current organization is also important because culinary trends are developing incredibly fast. This is why accurate accounting, efficient inventory management, portion control and minimization of waste and theft are essential.
Good management practices can also reduce labor costs, for example, through better and cross-training of employees, resulting in staff reductions.
7. Personnel management FOH and BOH
HR management is often the biggest challenge faced by a restaurateur. This is why it is important to establish connections between employees, both front-of-the-house (FOH) and back-of-the-house (BOH) employees. Successful restaurateurs understand that their employees are very important because they interact directly with customers and prepare food.
Your staffing needs will fluctuate depending on the season, special events, weather, local festivals, tourist numbers and other factors. Finding and training the right staff, hiring seasonal staff, and organizing temporary emergency workers may be required when building a successful restaurant business.
There are also technical details of salaries, benefits, health insurance and planning to consider. Check with your local restaurant association for planning, payroll and regulatory advice for your employees.
8. Opening of additional ways of income
The number of seats, the number of visitors, and the speed of order fulfillment often limit service options and revenue potential. This is why so many restaurant entrepreneurs are opening up other sources of income for their businesses. These include:
- Offsite catering and catering
- Take-away orders
- Previously prepared foods for quick consumption, such as boxed meals, sandwiches, etc.
- Bottled, canned and packaged food
- Delivery service
- Restaurants “on wheels” (in small trucks)
- Merchandise sales including cooking supplies and equipment, branded clothing, tourist souvenirs, and local sports team merchandise
- Hosting parties, meetings and special events such as food and wine tastings
- Small food vehicles driving around outlying areas to attract new customers
- Sale of cakes, desserts and bread