Running a restaurant can be a very demanding endeavour. You will need to keep your menu exciting, stay on top of accounts and be able to hire a good staff.
Additionally, owning a restaurant will means that there will be challenges that you need to keep on top of if you are going to stay ahead in this competitive industry.
Here we discuss some of these challenges and how you can solve them.
You need to identify something that sets your restaurant apart. This unique trait is what you can advertise and emphasise when you market your restaurant so that you give people a reason to come to your establishment over somewhere else.
With the volume of competition in this industry, you will need to make yourself stand out. The success of your restaurant will come down to more than just food and service. You will need people to engage with your brand.
The best way to get people to do this is to have a brand that is clearly defined!
Once you have attracted customers, you need to make sure they keep coming back. Offering a top-notch experience is obviously vital to bringing them back but there are also some other ways to get customers to keep choosing you.
You could instate a loyalty programme that rewards customers who return. This can be done in various ways. You could offer free desserts, discounts on bills or complementary drinks. No matter what you choose, making someone feel appreciated can go a long way to getting them to keep coming back.
Use social media to create a buzz around your restaurant. Encourage customers to follow you and then create good content that will entice them back! Great images of food can do well online so take advantage of that.
Building relationships with local businesses will establish you as an authentic spot for locals and visitors. You could team up with local microbreweries or farmers to provide fresh and unique local products and food to your customers.
This will help cement your reputation in your community. Customers are also becoming more aware of the providence of produce and so you can use the fact that you use local ingredients to market your business.
Consider including other trends on your menu. There are more and more people that are looking for alternative dietary options. Accommodate vegan, gluten free or other different diets to increase your customer base.
You should also take advantage of communicating with customers and finding out from them what they want. Direct interaction with customers online is a great opportunity for this.
For example, if you receive customer complaints or questions on social media or review sites, make sure to respond. Engage with positive and negative comments in a polite and helpful manner. If you are receiving a lot of the same criticisms, take the opportunity to improve.
Customer service expands beyond the walls of your restaurant! Online rating and reviews are an important way that customers use to see whether or not to come to your restaurant so don’t neglect it.
The secret to great and delicious dishes is getting the best ingredients. Apart from ensuring you have a reliable source of suppliers for the ingredients, food safety should be your top priority. Be sure you know where your suppliers are getting their products and ingredients from.
Sourcing local ingredients makes this a lot easier and you are more likely to get fresh ingredients. You will also need to play a difficult balancing act of trying to find the best ingredients for the lowest price if you want to keep a good profit margin.
To have an edge over your competitors, you have to be creative and balance your menu with new and innovative dishes, and customer favourites. Offering exciting specials or seasonal menus can give customers more reason to come back and try new things.
You will also need to keep ahead of trends to avoid having your restaurant become out dated. Extend these innovations beyond your menu. Keep your marketing fresh and you can also introduce things like live music and events if you need to create some extra buzz around your restaurant.
To be successful in running a restaurant you have to go beyond preparing delicious meals and good services. So, whether you are aiming to attract prospective clients or retain the loyal ones, make sure you keep ahead of the challenges that you face!
About the Author
By Bruce Hakutizwi, USA and International Accounts Manager for BusinessesForSale.com, the world’s largest online marketplace for buying and selling small and medium size businesses. Bruce has over 7 years’ experience working within the US business transfer marketplace connecting buyers and sellers.
Note from the Editor
As with any business that is involved in the production and sale of food to the consumer, restaurant owners need to ensure that food compliance remains a top priority - with compliance to legal requirements, food safety, quality, employee well-being and sustainability.