The Recipe for Success: 12 Tips for Restaurant Owners
The restaurant business can be intimidating and brutal, which makes the rewards that much more rewarding. With an average of over 50 percent of all restaurants failing in the first year, it’s especially important to stay on track. These 12 tips address everything from restaurant uniforms to cash flow, helping you to achieve long-term success.
- The Customer Is Always Right (Mostly)
This one is tricky. Making sure your customers’ experience is great is your top priority, even if it’s frustrating to achieve. Every customer needs top-notch service and food every time they dine. Get them whatever they need if they don’t already have it.
However, bending over backwards for them every single time isn’t always the best idea. You don’t want your restaurant to have a reputation for handing out a lot of freebies based on customer complaints. This hurts your bottom line as well as the respect your customers and employees have for your business. Give the customer the benefit of the doubt, but take a hard line when appropriate.
- Find the Right Staff
You need the right people for the job, especially the ones that directly interact with your customers on a regular basis. First impressions are how you establish your regular customer list, so make sure they want to come back by wowing them with a team of warm and inviting employees who know the menu inside out.
- Keep It Clean
This tip cannot be overstated—your restaurant bathrooms need to be clean and well-stocked at all times. There is no excuse for using a dirty mop or running out of paper towels. It may not be the most glamorous part about the restaurant business, but it definitely is one that leaves a lasting impression on customers.
- Stand Out with Specials
Specials are a great way to flex your creative muscles and draw attention to your restaurant. Best of all, they’re a fantastic way to use up excess ingredients before they expire. Specials don’t have to be swapped out daily; feel free to rotate them as needed.
- Simplify Your Setup
Good first impressions aren’t just about the waitstaff. Having a simple and effective ambiance is just as important. Keep tables free of excess clutter and trinkets, but provide easy access to needed items such as condiments.
- Match Your Decor and Theme
This one is all about your own style. Keep your furniture comfortable, your decorations non-intrusive, your lighting appropriate for the mood, and your restaurant uniforms well-matched. There’s likely a lot of creative potential in your restaurant space and it’s up to you to bring it out in a natural way.
- Place Tables Strategically
The amount of money you make depends on how many customers you can seat at once and how often the tables flip. Make sure your staff can handle your seating arrangements without risking trips, falls, or customer comfort.
- Stay Visible with Marketing
Social media is a huge part of marketing, so stay on top of your online presence. There’s hundreds of restaurants in most cities, so you should really work to keep your content relevant. If needed, hire an experienced agency to handle the work.
- Play to the Strengths of Your Location
Location is everything. Arrange your theme, menu, and service to cater to the demographics in your area. Be mindful of local customs and preferences, and attend local events to further boost your brand.
- Use Branding and Memorabilia
Everyone loves souvenirs, especially tourists. Just remember to keep your merchandise appropriate for your restaurant. For example, if you’re a burger joint, consider selling t-shirts. Are you an upscale Italian restaurant? Team up with a local winery to create your own branded bottle. Also, hang a few pictures from your early days. It’ll make your restaurant feel more like home and a part of the neighborhood.
- Watch Your Cash Flow
Running out of cash is a huge inconvenience during a rush. Keep an eye on what bills you go through the most and be sure you have at least two times that on hand.
- Be Passionate About Your Idea Before You Even Start
Execution is just as important as intent. Successful restaurant owners need to be ready to jump into the business and ride through the ups and downs, and that means diving into market research and accounting early in the game. Most importantly, when in doubt, hire the right professionals for help. Your business just might depend on it!
Running your restaurant takes dedication and hard work. Prudential Overall Supply takes the stress out of choosing and maintaining the perfect uniforms for your business. Call now to place your order and stay fresh, pressed, and well-dressed!