The revenue from the restaurant industry in the U.K. hits more than 37 billion pounds every year.
This signals a huge potential for the already established as well as budding restaurants.
However, to maintain such a huge revenue, restaurateurs have to deal with a lot of setbacks before realising profits. Perhaps this explains why 80 percent of restaurants fail to stay in business just a couple of years after starting out.
This begs the question – how do you run a successful restaurant business?
Read on to find out.
1. Create an Emergency Fund
To run a successful restaurant, you need to have funds in reserve for a rainy day.
Off-peak seasons can be financially devastating if you don’t have enough money cushion to fall back to.
An ideal emergency fund budget should cover the essential operational costs such as staff salaries, rent, and utility bills.
If you can try and reduce other costs, without compromising the quality of service, your restaurant will efficiently survive the off-seasons.
2. Hire a Professional and Reliable Chef
Hiring a great chef doesn’t mean going for the “high-end celebrity” type of chef. On the contrary, it means getting a chef who can satisfy your customers’ taste buds.
The chef should have years of experience and can comfortably manage your kitchen.
Most importantly, make sure the chef complements the image of your restaurant. For instance, if you’re a Spanish themed restaurant, hire a chef who can make a wide range of authentic Spanish dishes.
3. Design a Unique Menu Card
When customers walk into your restaurant, the menu card is probably the first thing they’ll use to judge your establishment. So, you may want it to be unique and appealing.
You can have the menus professionally designed where the dishes and their prices are clearly displayed to the customers. Also, avoid including too many dishes. Booklet menus are tedious to review and may put off some customers.
4. Leverage the Power of Technology
With the high level of competition in the restaurant industry, you need to use technology to help you stay ahead.
You can start by incorporating technology to handle your basic operational tasks. This will significantly improve flexibility and productivity in your restaurant. For instance, a Point of Sale (POS) software will not only help you track cash flows and inventory but also cut down on employee theft.
Since technology is dynamic, you need to always stay updated to efficiently run your business.
5. Put Your Associate First
Most restaurant owners tend to channel a lot of their concentration to customers and pay little attention to their staff. And that’s where everything goes wrong.
While this doesn’t mean that the customers’ experience shouldn’t be prioritised, you need to establish a strong relationship with your staff.
Offer them more than just their basic salaries. Programs like performance incentives and career progression opportunities can keep your staff motivated and happy to work with you.
When your staff is happy and taken care of, they’ll keep your guests happy which is essential to the success of your restaurant.
6. Organise Special Events
Occasionally, look at the calendar and create themed events in your restaurant.
This helps attract more customers and increase your sales.
Although classic events such as Valentines or Father’s Day may work just fine, organising other random events such as Ladies’ Night and Family Fun Day may be better. During such events, offer special event-themed menus and discounts.
Don’t forget to market your event beforehand to maximise its effectiveness.
7. Use Social Media
In this age of digital marketing, you can’t afford to overlook the need for creating a social media page for your restaurant.
Not only does it provide a venue to reach out to more customers, but it also improves your service delivery. Customers can communicate directly with you and air their opinions. This helps you improve your services.
Happy and satisfied customers translate to a successful restaurant business.
You may have to invest some money on quality photographing of your restaurant dishes.
8. Partner with the Right People
Running a successful restaurant business entails more than just good food. You need to be surrounded by people who share the same goals with you. This includes your staff, business partners, and even your best customers. These people serve as inspirations and can offer ideas for the steady growth of your business.
However, this strategy may call for drastic actions such as saying goodbye to an ill-fit employee in order to invest in someone who’s willing to learn and share the same objective as you.
Nevertheless, finding the right people to partner with can take a long time, and thus, demands patience.
9. Maximise on Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
Like any other business, every restaurant has something that sets it apart from the rest. It could be your ideal location or great customer service.
As a smart restaurant owner, you need to leverage your unique selling point and turn it into a service that customers will crave for. For instance, you may notice that other restaurants in your local area don’t serve a huge variety of vegan dishes.
You can try and introduce more plant-based foods in your menu and maximize on this factor.
10. Customer Loyalty Programs
In an effort to get more regular customers, consider starting a loyalty program for your restaurant.
You can organise cash-back rewards and discounts to attract even more people. The more the customers, the higher the revenue of your restaurant business.
It Takes Time to Build a Successful Restaurant
While the tips above are aimed at helping you run a successful restaurant, success can’t be guaranteed overnight. You’ll have to dedicate time and capital in growing your restaurant’s brand.
Looking for ways to integrate technology into your restaurant business and improve efficiency? We have a solution for your right here.