The restaurant trade can be highly fulfilling, provided that you have the right mindset and skillset. You’ll spend your time sharing the gift of great food with complete strangers – what better way could there be to spend your days?
If your restaurant is going to be a success, you’ll want to focus your attention on a handful of core optimisations. So, what are they?
Master your dishes
Without great dishes, your restaurant is not going to prosper. Invest the time in perfecting your dishes. Test them on a range of different volunteers, and keep refining them. Generally, it’s better to have a smaller menu that’s packed with quality and novelty than a large, boring one.
Offer a smooth guest experience
You should be offering your customers more than just the food you’re serving. Take the time to analyse the other parts of the experience. How long are your customers kept waiting? How do they feel about the setting? What music are you playing, if any? All of these things are worth looking at.
Get the recruitment right
If you don’t have the right people working for you, then you won’t be able to offer great dishes, or a smooth guest experience. Recruitment therefore matters. You should have a well-thought-out process for identifying and onboarding new candidates. Think about staff turnover, too, and how more experienced team members can be rewarded.
Have the right licenses and insurance
Serving food to the general public involves jumping through a few legal hoops. Your restaurant will need to be appropriately licenced. You’ll also need business insurance. But since the restaurant trade tends to confer particular sorts of risk, it might be worth looking into specialised restaurant insurance.
Look into social media
The catering business has been transformed by social media. Pictures of quality food, accompanied by the right promotional offers and slick marketing copy, can help to entice new punters. On the other hand, you’ll want to make sure that you’re still taking advantage of more traditional forms of marketing, too. A menu through the door might make a big difference, for very little cost.
Take good care of your customers
The chances are good that a handful of your customers will account for an outsized chunk of your trade. These customers might also act as evangelists for your establishment, spreading the word to friends and family. Treasure these customers, and seek to reward them with the help of loyalty schemes and other incentives.
Running a successful restaurant is a lot like going to the gym. You’re going to have to sustain a standard of performance over the long-term if you want to see good results. Don’t let it slip, and be consistent!
Be a business that cares
Charitable giving can help to make a business more enjoyable and rewarding to run. If you’re giving a portion of your takings to effective charities, then you might find that you and your team are better motivated to make things work. On the other hand, giving to local causes can help to establish your business as part of the community, which can have commercial benefits in the long term!