Whether you’ve had a restaurant for a while and don’t seem to be getting any success out of it, or you’re new to the industry and want to learn as much as you can before you take the dive, then it’s important that you soak in as much knowledge as possible. The problem with the food service industry is that it’s full of proud people, and while there’s nothing wrong with that, it can sometimes get in the way. People tend not to like being told what to do, because they want to feel as if they already know the right way to go about things, but unfortunately even if you’ve been around for a good few years, there’s still so much more you have to learn – in fact, the learning never stops.
As you probably already know, knowledge is power, so don’t ever restrict yourself from learning too much. It will make you into an all-around better owner and will even give you more opportunities when it comes to business, and you’d be silly to pass them down if they could potentially benefit you. So, what do you need to know more about?
The restaurant business is a very competitive industry – like everything, but maybe even more so, and that’s because you’re not only going to be competing with other places down the street, but with the whole entire internet thanks to how advanced technology is and all the apps that you have available to buy food and have it delivered right to your doorstep. So you need to give people a reason as to why they should bother with you.
No matter who you are or where you are or what food you serve, there are so many necessary standards that you need to meet in order to have the right to serve food. Remember that people are putting their trust in you when eating what your restaurant has made, so never take that for granted. Do everything by the book and ensure that all your inspections are met with outstanding results. Like when you go out to your suppliers and get your ingredients in, you are trusting them that everything you buy is of the best quality and fresh and delicious. They go so far to use foreign material control so that they’re sure that what they’re making is without fault and safe to be eaten. That’s already half of the job done for you, so make sure that you hold up your end of the bargain so that everyone’s left happy and well-fed.
You need to think about the kind of brand and theme of your business, as there are so many different routes that you can go down, so you need to be clear so that your audience understands who you are. Are you a luxurious type of restaurant where people would feel the need to dress up in and spend more on the finer things? Or are you more casual and suitable for all ages and families and occasions? Or are you a late night takeaway that people will enjoy eating when they stick a movie on? Once you’re sure, you need to let everyone else know. It boils down to the little things too, like the decor and design of your restaurant. If you’re going for a very luxurious, high-end style, then be sure to translate that through the space. Think chandeliers, rich colors, attentive service, smart uniforms, and bottles of good wine and champagne to accompany the meal and overall experience.
Word of mouth is a brilliant and effective way to promote something, and yet it can be hard to stimulate enough of a buzz for that to turn into a conversation, which is why social media is such a reliable source for this. You can reach out to the masses and post indulging content that creates that excitement. It’s good to start a while before opening (or reopening) so that you have enough time to start a build up. Then the closer you get, the more people should be on the edges of their seat. You can make it more beneficial too by selecting VIPs depending on who follows and comments on your content. By giving people a chance to win something, this just ups the stakes a little more and brings in new people to get involved who may not have followed your story before. Teaming up with other businesses can also help you too, as you can promote one another, and accumulate even more of a following. The more of an influence they have, the better.
It all boils down to the service that you offer your customers. You can have the fanciest of restaurants, with the most delicious menu, with a fabulous ambiance, even with an affordable price – and yet if you or one of your staff members even looks at someone the wrong way, or is careless in taking their order, or doesn’t smile enough – it can all come crumbling down. It only takes one person to write a bad review online to push you into a negative light that people will hunt you down over just because they can. There will be people that you aren’t able to please – that’s just part of life, but that doesn’t mean you should ever give up or accept that they’re unpleasable. And if someone is unhappy with something, in particular, do all you can to make it up to them. (Within reason, of course, depending on the issue, as you also don’t want to be taken advantage of.) It may be a slight discount on their final bill or a free beverage.
So now you know what to keep in mind, there’s no reason that your restaurant business shouldn’t be able to thrive in this modern day world. As long as you’re a hard worker with a whole lot of passion and a fair bit of patience, you will have your time, and you will become a success.