Do you dream of one day owning your own restaurant? You’re not alone. Many individuals that love cooking or that are currently in the restaurant industry would like to own their own restaurant. After all, what could be better than cooking your favorite recipes for people and getting paid for it?
As it turns out, around 17% of restaurant businesses end up shutting down after the first year. If you’re serious about wanting to run your own business, you’ll need to plan and research ahead of time so you don’t end up closing your doors.
Here are some tips to help you cook up a successful restaurant business!
Choose a Unique Concept
Look for gaps in the market. If you live in a small town that already has five pizza places, does your town really need another pizza place? You don’t necessarily need to invent a new concept, just look for concepts that are missing.
You can also consider taking a locally sourced food and turning into something grand. For example, if you live in an area known for cherries, you could consider having specialty dishes based around cherries. Your entire restaurant doesn’t need to be cherry themed, but if you have an amazing cherry cobbler baked with locally sourced cherries, you could become the talk of the town.
Pick a Great Location
You know what they say, location is everything! Many restaurants end up failing because they’re in a location that isn’t accessible. You’ll want to find a location that allows you to grow over time and that is in an area where people can easily get to. Customers don’t want to go on a scavenger hunt to find your front door. Also, keep in mind the demographics of your location will determine who visits your restaurant.
Some folks also like to base their location off of their concept. For example, if you want to open a seafood restaurant because you know some great fish recipes, you might want to invest in a location that is near the water.
Hire a Fantastic Team
To make your restaurant run as successfully as possible, you’ll need managers, cooks, servers, bussers, dishwashers, and hosts. Some restaurants might also need bartenders. Depending on the size of your team, some individuals might have to play multiple roles.
Your team matters. You want to find reliable, talented workers that you get along well with to avoid drama. You’ll be spending quite a bit of time with these individuals, so you’ll want to keep the relationship as positive as possible.
Developing a good training program helps ensure your workers are aware of their expectations. A well-trained staff will help keep your restaurant running as smoothly as possible. Creating a solid foundation with your staff ensures they’re loyal to the business and that they’re dedicated to making the best possible dining experience for your customers.
The more productive your employees are, the more successful your business, and the more money you’ll make.
Buy Quality Ingredients
If you’re just starting out, you might try to cut financial corners by investing in cheaper equipment and ingredients.
Don’t. Going cheap on certain things could end up hurting you. If your cheap equipment constantly breaks, you’ll have to spend money to replace it. Also, guests will be able to tell if you use poor quality ingredients and they won’t want to come back.
You’ll also want to invest in proper food storage. Avoid cross-contamination of food by investing in food storage that properly separates food. Proper food storage also helps your food stays fresh. Throwing food away because it’s gone bad is equivalent to throwing money in the trash when you’re in the restaurant business.
Have a Marketing Plan
Even if you have an amazing restaurant with some of the best food, it’ll still fail if people don’t know about it. You need to have a marketing plan so that you can spread the word. Make a plan for pre-launch, opening day, and beyond. Spending money on marketing helps bring in revenue.
Social media is a great way to start marketing. Creating a Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter allows you to start sharing messages about what foods you’re offering.
You can also opt for more traditional marketing practices. Fliers around town and in mailboxes are a great way to visually appeal to a wide range of people. Some restaurants also send out coupons, which help draw people in so they can sample your food. You can also hand out free samples throughout your local community. If they like what they taste, they’ll keep coming back for more!