Opening a restaurant is tough. Keeping it going is tougher. Up to 60 percent of restaurants close in their first year of business. Those who succeed have specific success strategies that lay the foundation for success.
There are five things you can do to improve your chances of operating a successful restaurant where guests are raving about your food and service.
1. Make sure you have the right food for your target audience. Many would-be restaurateurs set themselves up for failure by not researching the target market for the area they want to open their establishment. They plunge into opening their restaurant and cook items they love, thinking other will love them too. That isn’t always the case.
For example, a female entrepreneur decided to open a healthy food, gluten-free restaurant in the middle of a blue-collar industrial area. The workers at nearby industries rarely visited her place, and she couldn’t figure out why. They said it was good food but wasn’t what they wanted. They wanted barbecue and fries, not quinoa and spinach.
2. Make sure you have enough money to last six months without any business. This is beyond money you budget for loan repayment, marketing, advertising, employees, and inventory. Remember, you still have to pay your bills. It takes some time for customers to find your restaurant and more time for them to tell others. You will not make money right away and there could be some days with no business at all. So, you need to have money in savings to get you through that time.
One of the primary reasons for restaurant failure is running out of money. Many people invest everything they have into getting a place open but don’t have enough to keep inventory, employees or their personal finances in check.
3. Have a full-scope marketing campaign. This involves a lot of pre-planning before you even begin to work on opening your restaurant. Marketing includes setting up your social media presence, your online presence, applying for driver delivery services, advertising with online discount deal sites, contacting the local Chamber of Commerce to join, introducing yourself to local tourism venues and businesses, advertising on local television, radio and in newspapers, and maybe even billboards. It also includes marketing yourself as a new business owner, doing interviews about your plans and building a buzz about your restaurant opening.
4. Consider your technical needs. Many new restaurant owners forget about this aspect, but tech is important to a smooth-running operation. Technical needs include computers, a point-of-sales system, food safety tracking and connecting tech to convey orders to the kitchen instantly. Many of these components are now packaged together, like the ParTech restaurant POS software, and that makes installation so much easier. Good tech means less confusion over orders, quicker delivery of call-in orders, and automated record keeping. It is a must.
5. Plan how you want to grow. You really should have a business plan in place that allows for growth and sets goals for reaching growth potential. That should include new marketing concepts such as merchandizing, branding, and expanding your reach. Have goals for growth keeps you from becoming stagnant and keeps your restaurant moving forward.
Implementing these basic steps will help you get closer to opening a successful restaurant that everyone raves about!
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