There are some businesses destined to never go out of fashion, and that includes the restaurant business. After all, people like to eat, right? Still, it’s a busy industry, as you will know if you regularly take a walk through your nearest town. From Italian to Indian food, there is something for nearly every taste, but therein lies one problem for any new business owner looking to cook up a storm within the food market. To succeed, you need certain things in place to remain open for as long as possible.
With that in mind, we have some tips for you here. These are the winning ingredients for a successful restaurant business.
#1: A passion for food
If you’re not passionate about the food you intend to create, your customers may not be passionate about eating it! You need to love what you do, not only in creating your magical concoctions but also taking pleasure from the happy faces (and full bellies) of your customers. So, before you consider opening your doors for business, ensure you have a reason for existing, above and beyond filling your bank balance.
#2: A decent location
You might have the best menu in town (more on that shortly), but if people don’t know where you are, then you aren’t going to get many takers. When scouting around for a location for your restaurant, it’s best to be situated in a place guaranteed to attract custom. We are thinking about those busy shoppers needing a place to rest their feet and fill their bellies, for example, or a location suitable for those late night diners who need to be near public transport routes when returning home. You should also research other food businesses, as it’s no good locating your restaurant in an area that is overfilled with similarly themed menus to the one you will be offering.
#3: A well-equipped kitchen
A busy kitchen needs the right equipment; otherwise, productivity will be low, and food won’t be prepared or cooked adequately. The staff won’t be happy if they are short of what they need for the job, and your customers will be grumbling in line with the grumbles from their bellies. So, ensure your kitchen is stocked with everything that is needed, from the big things – refrigerators, pizza ovens, countertops – to the little things – blenders, knives, cutlery, etc. There are many suppliers online, including Nella, so you won’t have any trouble getting what you need in time for opening day.
#4: Effective signage
When it comes to signage, the presentation is everything. Offer something generic, and potential customers might just walk on by. After all, if your sign is boring and dull, your food might be too! You want something that stands out, able to catch people’s attention away from other food establishment located nearby, so you can tempt them inside. Follow our do’s and don’ts for effective signage, and you will have a better chance of getting people inside your restaurant for a better look at what you have to offer.
#5: A varied menu
Believe it or not, but the menu might be the trickiest part of your job. For starters (no pun intended), you need to have food items that aren’t available anywhere else. These will be your signature dishes; those plates that stand out from the generic offerings available elsewhere. On the other hand, you don’t want to scare your customers away. As well as more unique offerings, you also want to serve foods that people are familiar with, because as we all know, many of the customers you serve will be picky with what they do and don’t want to eat. You need to cater to food intolerances too, with food options that won’t damage the health of your customers, and you might also need to cater to vegetarians and vegans. On top of all that, the table menu should also offer pictures of the foods on offer, as you want to make your customer’s mouths water in anticipation. And, of course, the food you create needs to live up to what is promised, and that brings us to the next point.
#6: Trained staff
When it comes to the cooks in your kitchen, they need to be trained up for the job at hand. You may be putting your business at risk otherwise, as food may not be prepared properly. While you may be able to offer some in-house training, it is still worth hiring people who have catering qualifications and experience to work in your kitchen. They will know how to cook, have the skills to be creative with food design, and will have an understanding of health and safety, and food hygiene. For your waiting and bar staff, you might also want to enrol them onto training courses for health and safety, as well as training in customer service, so they know how to deal with the range of people coming into your establishment.
#7: Good marketing
Particularly when your restaurant is a little off the beaten track, but even when it isn’t, you need to market your business. You can do this in the high street, by placing stands and signage pointing the way to your restaurant. You can send some of your staff out with flyers, perhaps with offers for first-time customers. You should also market online, setting up designated social media groups for your business, as well as a website containing pictures of your restaurant interior, and of the food you provide. Remember word-of-marketing too. If you have any happy customers, encourage them to post positive reviews on Yelp, and ask them to share news about your business to their networks. There are some creative marketing ideas here, so have a look, and then implement as many as you can to ensure word of your business travels far and wide.
Every food dish needs the right ingredients for it to succeed, and the same rule applies to your restaurant. Consider what we have said today, continue to do your research online, and then see your business grow when people become tempted by what you have to offer.
We wish you every success!