For restaurant owners, every day is filled with unexpected challenges and new tasks to be completed. However, the best restaurants are able to effectively manage unexpected situations and glide through the ups and downs of any given day. What is their secret? Consider the following tips that many of the most successful restaurant owners have employed.
1. Understanding your role as an owner
The most successful restaurants are those which do not rely on the owner to manage every small detail. As a restaurant owner, you need to be concerned with the bigger picture when it comes to your restaurant’s operations, staffing, financing, and marketing. You can’t be responsible for every small bump in the road – there needs to be a trustworthy, motivated staff in place to manage each of these departments and they need to report to you on a consistent basis. Most independent restaurant owners feel that they can manage all of these areas on their own, and this is where many of them run into problems.
2. Don’t miss the forest for the trees
As mentioned above, putting too much emphasis on the daily minutia is time taken away from other, more important details of your restaurant’s business plan. You need to be considering larger issues about what your business should be doing as a whole. These issues could include legal issues, building codes, zoning laws, franchising, sources of restaurant funding, expansion, and other big-picture topics.
3. Operations, operations, operations
The most successful business owners have thought long and hard about their business’ operations. What is it, exactly, that distinguishes those restaurants that can effectively manage a large influx of customers without slipping from those who always have a long line or slow service? Come up with a detailed plan for your restaurant’s operations, including everything from purchasing, to cooking, to cleaning, etc. If you create this type of detailed plan of operations, you can give the staff below you a concrete plan for how each aspect of your restaurant needs to be run, allowing less room for slip-ups and mistakes.
4. Interior Design
Interior design can also make or break a restaurant. Think about every component of the customer’s experience: how much time do you expect them to be spending in your restaurant? What type of cuisine are you serving? What type of customers are you attracting? All of these questions (and many more) will determine the type of interior design you should implement in your restaurant – and none is more important than the other. For instance, if your restaurant serves food that customers want to eat quickly and then leave, you might not need to invest as much time in making your restaurant look beautiful; you should focus instead on the actual layout of the restaurant to ensure that customers can quickly move in and out.
5. Consider the menu
Just like your restaurant’s interior design, the menu can also make or break the customer’s experience at your restaurant business. Again, consider your audience. For many restaurant-goers, having a menu that is laden with spelling or grammar errors, or one that is hard to understand, can actually impact their view of your restaurant establishment. You want to come off as professional – the least you can do is make sure that your menu’s content is grammatically correct, spelled right, and easy to understand. Use sensory terms to describe your food but keep them subtle and don’t go overboard: the customer can gauge for himself whether or not your food is actually “finger-licking good.” And lastly, be sure that the content on your menu flows nicely so that the customer can easily navigate its pages. The last thing you want to do is make your customer flustered or frustrated before he even takes a bite of his food.