Getting started in the restaurant business needs to happen fast, because running a practically-empty establishment will quickly cause your costs to start spiralling out of control. You need to drum up some interest before that happens, so what can you do to get the word out?
Firstly, you need to make sure you start a coherent marketing plan that you can build on. Learning lessons early on is absolutely crucial and will shape the next stage of your development. Ensure you keep track of how your first customers found out about you, so you know which methods work best for you. Make sure you know who you’re targeting, too, because different demographics will be easier to reach through certain channels. Here are some of the ideas you might want to start trying, however.
1) Stand out in your location
One thing it’s important to get right is the look and feel of your actual restaurant. If the décor inside is attractive and you’re grabbing attention visually from passers-by, this will really help get you off the ground.
2) React to your surroundings
Things going on in your local area will have an immediate impact on your business. If more people are nearby for any specific reason, act fast and come up with a relevant promotion to draw them in. This brings us onto our next point…
You may start your restaurant business with the best intentions, but it can be hard to keep up with every area you’re trying to improve. Eventually, some factors may be letting you down. If you want to boost your overall level of service and your reputation, here are some sensible steps to consider.
1) Draw up service guidelines
Have a written agreement for your staff which explains what your ideal restaurant service is like. When expectations are written down, even if they seem like common sense, it helps to encourage consistency and ensure all staff are clear on their objectives.
2) Provide personal plans
Building on the initial guidelines you have created, a personal development plan for every individual staff member should be a priority. This ensures specific issues are tackled systematically and the right support is available.
3) Plan your hiring process
It’s important to look for new talent all the time, focusing on people who are passionate about providing great quality service at all times, as well as learning new skills and improving. Skills can be taught, so place more emphasis on the person. Training for new staff must be consistent and thoroughly planned.
There’s a lot of potential for things to go wrong in the restaurant business, but one of the worst possibilities is a major health and safety issue. Something serious can easily bankrupt a successful restaurant, so consider the following areas to ensure you’re complying with the law and taking reasonable steps to keep everyone safe, including staff and customers.
Cleaning up spillages
Spills from food can be breeding grounds for bacteria, which is a major risk to customers eating your food and the future of your business. Spillages of food and liquids can also cause slips easily, especially on smooth kitchen floors. It’s important that someone (or everyone in the kitchen) is responsible for cleaning up immediately to avoid any risk of avoidable accidents occurring.
Regular professional cleaning
Commercial kitchen deep cleaning services, including ductwork and canopy cleaning, are important for restaurant safety and hygiene and you should have professional cleaning carried out regularly in addition to the day-to-day maintenance your staff handle themselves. This kind of cleaning is also vital for fire safety, as extractors and ducts can eventually collect fat deposits which significantly increase the potential risk of a fire breaking out.
It’s a widely known fact that entering into a new business is always a big risk. Restaurants come with an even higher risk than most start-ups, party due to fierce competition and other external forces. However, the complex set of considerations that have to be factored in by any new restaurant owner is probably the reason most new ventures fail. You’re unlikely to succeed if you fail to think about all the fundamental practical aspects of your restaurant, such as the following.
Supplies and transport
Managing your restaurant day-to-day is going to rely on fresh ingredients being delivered to your kitchen exactly when you need them. This definitely doesn’t happen by magic. Great suppliers and distributors are definitely out there, but you need to plan carefully to set up a system that works for your business. Finding a highly reputable company to manage the transport and delivery of all your fresh, perishable ingredients is essential. Harlow Group Storage, who specialise in temperature controlled transport, distribution, supply chain, and logistics in Bishop’s Stortford and Essex, would be one great example.
Location is crucial
Of course, deliveries and distribution will be related to your location, but this needs to be perfect for many other reasons. Where are your target customers? Are you in an area that fits with the concept of your restaurant? Are you far away from where most people live, and if so, is your food going to be worth travelling for?
As a food service operator, you will realize that the most reliable and sustainable place of sourcing all your food ingredients is by getting them from the local market where it is always fresh and in plenty. However, this should not be done blindly since there are some sellers or farmers who could exploit you especially if you are not well conversant with the local market prices and trends. As such, there are a couple of guidelines that one can apply when going about seeking local ingredients for their food services. Whether the food is to go to a school, a hospital, university or restaurant, you need to be smart in planning before making a purchase. This article is going to cover these guidelines that can help one well.
It is very important for a food service operator to be flexible when it comes to the business’ menus. There may be times when the ingredients that you expect fail to mature in time or maybe the weather changes and it spoils all harvests in the local market. As such, one needs to be very flexible enough to have an alternative for the spoilt ingredients so that their menus have a cover and also explain to the customers if such a thing happens. The replacement ingredient needs to be just as good as the one that was unreachable in the market so as to fill its place in the menu well.
The restaurant business is an ever changing ever evolving one indeed. There are important factors to consider when opening a restaurant, a food business is not and never has been a straight forward affair. Some core aspects to consider before you even start your restaurant are:
- Have you got the money to do this?
- Have you covered all the legalities?
- Do you have the commitment for a food business?
So many businesses, not limited to restaurants but especially so in the case of restaurants have the tendency to evolve from a concept into a physical business overnight. Often this takes place with little to no planning involved and just as often we see failures. It is sound advice to seek professional advice on the subject, invest your time and a little money in the advice it will surely pay off.
Next thing to do would be to decide on a concept, a unique selling point if you will.This involves knowing what type of restaurant you want to start up and what kind of audience you are targeting. Demographic information on the area and other similar knowledge will go a long way.