A restaurant can be a very rewarding business for those that love the hospitality industry. It can also be one of the most difficult businesses to run if you want to be successful. Success depends on so many variables that it is no surprise that many close within the first couple of years after opening. So, what do you need to do or have to run a successful restaurant?
The must-haves for restaurant success:
There are several things to do for your eatery to ensure it’s around for a long time. That’s true, whether it’s a casual café, formal eatery, or anything in between.
Lots of details need to be considered, and there’s a lot of hard work involved. That is the way to turn a profit as a business owner.
Below, let’s go over the main elements a successful restaurant owner should think about.
1. Be consistent
Many small details seem insignificant, but when all taken together will have a huge impact on your restaurant. One of the details needs to be consistency.
When your customers know what to expect every time they come to your restaurant, then you will get a lot of repeat business. There is comfort in knowing one will have the same quality of experience each time, whether sitting at a table or taking an order to go.
When things are haphazard and often inconsistent, then people will think twice about coming back. For instance, if your soup has a lot of mushrooms on one visit but then hardly any the next time, this is a sign that the customer will be taking a chance on the food the next time they come in.
Another seemingly insignificant detail that is actually quite important is the uniform of the staff. Wearing the same uniforms makes for a cohesive look and also provides a team feel in the atmosphere. Plus, uniforms look clean and crisp when well-maintained. This is a signal that your operation is professional and consistency matters. Consider having the waitstaff wear standard uniform shirts and the supporting staff wear another.
Service should also be standardized as much as possible. That way, customers know what to expect when dining at your establishment. Ensure employees know what the standards are so that guests can be served in the way that they expect each and every time.
2. Thorough training
For maximum consistency, training your staff is extremely important. There needs to be a way that your restaurant does just about everything, and the staff should know all of the details and what is expected of them.
To make it clear, create a procedures and policies manual. Give one to each worker on orientation day and communicate updates as they happen.
Front-of-house staff should have things down to a science when it comes to how long it should take to greet a table of guests and how long before the order is taken, among other things. The back of the house should be trained to make the food with their eyes closed because the training was so thorough.
When you have a very rigorous training approach, then you will have a team that is professional and efficient. That will make much more money for your restaurant since there will be fewer mistakes.
3. For restaurant success, find a niche
These days, there is a lot of competition in the food service space. The restaurants that stand out from the competition are the ones that pick a certain cuisine or cooking style and focus on that.
It’s important to have a niche within which you operate. For instance, instead of having a sprawling menu with everything under the sun, find a type of food to specialize in, such as barbecue or traditional Mexican, for example.
You can get a burger at just about any restaurant, so you need to have something different that will draw people into yours. Want to do a good burger? Then find a way for it to be something special that people are willing to travel for.
4. Work out your marketing strategy
Restaurants do well when word of mouth gets going as people trust the opinions of those they know. This can only happen when you already have people coming to your restaurant. To get things started, you need to have a solid marketing campaign working in your favor.
There are several facets to marketing, and a multi-pronged approach is necessary to get it right. For instance, have a digital campaign going while also working on an analog one.
An analog strategy is one in which you have things like a PR firm doing events that promote your restaurant. A digital one uses social media and SEO to get the word out.
Social media is a great way to spread the word to a local area. Ensure your content is engaging and consistent, so people will be eager to consume it and share it.
Follow it up with a detailed website that will appear on a Google search when people are looking for restaurants in your area. Signing up for Google My Business will also help.
5. Invest in your staff
A happy staff creates happy customers. That is what will keep people coming back frequently.
Invest in your staff to make sure that they feel like an integral part of the restaurant’s success. It also helps to retain employees so you can stay consistent with food services and quality.
For instance, if you specialize in a certain ethnic cuisine, sending some of your cooking team to the origin country for an immersive educational experience in the culture and cuisine will work wonders. They will feel that you want them to enjoy their work and be passionate about it, and to learn how to make the best food.
Giving financial incentives to your front of the house for hitting sales targets will help them want to be their best and give their work their all. Giving them some gift cards when they sell a certain amount of wine per month or for having the highest sales will work wonders for their work satisfaction.
Concluding words on running a successful restaurant
As you probably have concluded, there isn’t a single thing that you can do to create a successful restaurant. It takes a lot of things working in conjunction to succeed. Once you have these details ironed out, it is only a matter of time before your restaurant sees success.
4 thoughts on “The 5 elements you need to run a successful restaurant”
A good post Christy. It is so important for a restaurant to have a real identity to set itself apart from the others, especially if they can offer something no one else has.
Yes, a clear identity is a must. Thanks for the feedback, Dorothy, and I hope you’re enjoying your time in the kitchen this weekend
I am! Had my daughter’s family over for dinner last night, and we cooked up a storm!
Sounds like a nice family time 💕