Everyone knows that opening a restaurant is perhaps the biggest risk you can take in business. Of all the niches to try to succeed in, the hospitality market is one of the toughest around, and after two years of coronavirus restrictions, the odds of successfully breaking even, let alone making money, in the industry are very slim indeed.
However, some more optimistic individuals may feel that the fact that many restaurants and bars have shuttered is, in fact, an opportunity to take advantage of. In that line of thinking, there is some sense to this approach.
Perhaps the neighborhood that you are considering opening your restaurant in is ripe for the picking. In which case, you should proceed and hope for the best while also planning for the worst.
There are many aspects to take into account as part of your approach to opening a successful restaurant venture; here are some tips and suggestions to consider.
Though obviously, you shouldn’t go into any business venture with undue skepticism, it is worth being realistic about the likelihood of success. When it comes to your restaurant venture, you should be honest with yourself and investors about the timescales in relation to turning a profit as well as the possibility of failure.
There are ways to mitigate the risks involved. Everything of this nature must be factored into your detailed business plan, which can be used to entice investors or any banking entity you might approach for funding.
It is a good idea to stretch the costs and management of your restaurant venture to a few key investors as this will help cover the overall financial burden as well as share responsibility as this isn’t something you’d want to shoulder all on your own.
Running a restaurant venture will be taxing, and even if you aren’t managing things from a granular level and more on hiring staff a bit later, the overall weight of the whole process will be heavy.
It’s also good to enlist the help and support of friends who have similar interests to you in your restaurant venture, as this can make the operation a little less stressful.
Know Your Market And Cater Accordingly
If you choose to open an upscale high-end restaurant with stylish restaurant chairs and a spotless clean aesthetic, then you’ll have to be sure that’s the kind of establishment that will work in the area you are opening in.
Clearly, this is something you’ll have done a great deal of research on long before you even started to put together your business plan.
The amount of times we eat out is going to change as the post-COVID world adjusts. This isn’t just about the coronavirus but is something of a societal shift on the whole. We will be eating out less, and that will mean we expect more from the locations we visit when we do indeed enjoy the luxury of eating at a restaurant.
A key part of the experience is the level of quality when it comes to your staff. While clearly, you want the best chefs to help make sure your menu’s vision is delivered to the tee, what is equally important is the way your waiting staff and your in-house staff as a whole and how they interact with the general public.
An overriding aspect that dictates whether a customer will return to a restaurant relates to customer service. A bad experience will live longer in the memory than a good one, and as such, you can’t afford to half-ass your hiring processes. Look to outsource this and be very picky about who you get, and pay them well.
If a customer enjoys the food, that’s clearly a big tick in the right box, but it’s also hugely important that they come away from their visit feeling positive about how they’ve been treated on a human level. Staffing is key to that undertaking.
Don’t Forget The Take Out
Even before the pandemic hit, there were massive strides being made by those restaurants that sought to make the most of their takeout menu and the logistics around it. Since, and indeed during, the two years where the coronavirus lockdown situation was really in full flow, we got even more of a taste for the delivery of great food to our doorsteps.
Those restaurants that had this already built into their systems did very well indeed, and it’s something you’ll need to take a close look at. Make sure your restaurant runs a smooth takeout service and make sure to promote it well, and that the dishes that are served in this manner are of the highest quality.
It may well be the lifeblood of your restaurant, especially if there are further lockdowns to contend with.
Manage Costs Effectively
Issues with the supply chain, and increases in prices due to global concerns, can really lead to your bottom line creeping up. Always be aware of how you can keep costs down, but never to the detriment of your restaurant.
For instance, consider using locally sourced ingredients and perhaps partner with a nearby farm. This is not only financially rewarding; it’s also a sustainable model that helps the environment. It also means your produce will be fresher, and it can even be a niche aspect that makes your business stand out from the crowd and could bring in new clientele.
The key here is not to think of aspects as cost-cutting activities and more about managing the financial well-being of your establishment in every way conceivable.