Now that you are done ordering furniture for your restaurant why not take the time to read 7 of the most important tips we learned over the years from successful restaurant owners. Some things may sound obvious but during the day to day operations of running a restaurant, things tend to be forgotten or postponed so you can think of our short list as a reminder. We hope that the tips below will help guide you in how to manage a restaurant and how to be a successful restaurant owner.
1. Always plan ahead:
As a restaurant manager and / or owner we are certain that you have the day to day operations of the venue well planned but how about the entire week, month or even the entire year? Do you know what you will be doing during the holidays? Why not plan that valentine’s eve ahead of time?
Planning ahead allows you to be both well prepared for future events but it also means that last minute changes will be easier to handle when everything else is already known. Successful restaurant owners even plan for years ahead. They visualize not only the restaurant furniture and design but also how the restaurant itself will affect their family, employees and even the community over the years. Once these goals are visualized it makes the task of working towards achieving them easier and more manageable.
2. Don’t fear failure:
Whatever the economic and political situations are, they may quickly change and impact heavily on your venue’s income. When hard times hit most people’s instinct is to throw in the towel but those that really succeed are those that aren’t afraid to take risks and continue doing what they believe in.
Combine this drive to succeed with a good plan and it will be easier to combat the hard times while driving forward towards a successful future. Most if not all famous and successful entrepreneurs didn’t give up and succeeded despite the odds stacked against them and despite other people trying to sway them off their path. Don’t let obstacles stand in the way of reaching your goals whenever possible.
3. Patience is a virtue? Not always
Most of the time patience is indeed a virtue. Dealing with customers for example requires a lot of patience as is dealing with things that are beyond our control however, once you can visualize your goals impatience can be a very strong driving force. Once the goals of a restaurant manager are well defined it is easier to reach them sooner rather than later.
The downside is that without clear goals and long term plan impatience is actually a hindrance. So you first need to patiently create a well thought out plan which you can then impatiently work on.
4-5. Adapt to changes and have a well thought out business plan:
Regardless of whether changes are a matter of fashion or government regulations they can impact quite heavily on a restaurant’s revenue and popularity. Vegan dishes are becoming more and more sought after while at the same time health regulations affect the type of foods one can sell, their cost and availability. Being receptive to changes and the ability to react quickly to them is at the heart of any successful business and even more so in the food service and hospitality sectors.
An effective business plan is one that addresses all the important aspects of your business. Beginning with recognizing and evaluation the competition in your area, researching local produce providers and their availability as well as getting to know the target customers and how best to market yourself to them. Financial planning is also an important part of any business plan, especially one that relies heavily on seasons and people’s whims and fads. Here you can see an example of a restaurant’s business plan to help you start your own.
6. Avoid some of these common mistakes:
Make sure that both you and your employees know about the most common food service mistakes. Some of those mistakes may be enough to ward off customers from returning to your venue. Things such as proper greetings and cutlery handling etiquette can be more important than you may think. Even something as trivial as using too much perfume may be enough to turn your visitors off their food and ruin what otherwise would have been an enjoyable experience. In this article you can read about 20 of the most common mistakes and how you can avoid them.
7. Marketing using new and traditional channels:
Over the past few years, social media and smart phones have changed the way people interact with each other and with the businesses they patronize. As much as word of mouth marketing is important even today, being visible and well-reviewed online and on social media is a crucial part of any food service business. Keeping track of your online reviews and encouraging your diners to add their opinion on your food, services and overall experience is invaluable and worth giving serious thought and planning.
You should maintain a Facebook page of your venue as well as Yelp, Google and similar sites. Keep track of the reviews you receive and try to reply to both the good and the bad ones. Especially the bad ones. Thank people for their comments and assure them that their complaints will be looked into. This not only helps bring back customers but also reassures potential new ones that your place is worth their time and money. You can read more about restaurant marketing in this article about restaurant promotion ideas.