Friday, December 15, 2017


Food For Thought On Running A Restaurant Well.

December 6, 2017 by  
Filed under Money/Business, Weekly Columns

(Akiit.comRestaurants are becoming an increasingly popular business model. Whilst it may come with a higher risk than other industries, there’s something inspirational and motivational about the idea of running a popular restaurant. And there’s no denying that standing behind the bar in your cozy little establishment as you watch locals (and perhaps a few newcomers) pour in is a very appealing idea. Of course, you’re likely not the first person to have the idea of opening up your restaurant in your local area; you’re probably not the first person to open up a restaurant within a few hundred yards of your block. So many people want that idyllic family-run business.

Does that mean you’ve got competition? Well, not if you see yourself as an entrepreneur. You see, many people open a restaurant without preparing themselves for the business-side of owning and running such an establishment. You need to not only love food and dealing with people but also have the intuition necessary to deal with the technical of running a business. At the end of the day, no matter how you dress up your restaurant, that’s what it is: a business. You need to pull in revenue to keep people coming. And if you’re not sure as to whether you’re doing enough to make that happen then here’s some food for thought on running your restaurant well.

Organize your finances.

Maybe you’ve already got a few regulars who come in for meals or the odd evening drink. That’s great; you’ve already got steady sales coming in. And if your restaurant is already in full flow then you’ve most likely sorted out deals with companies who will supply your stock. Understanding this chain of service is crucial to running a business but it doesn’t mean that your restaurant is as organized as it could be. You’re making a profit but are you investing that profit efficiently? You need to make a detailed budget that you update weekly or monthly. Weigh up your profits against a list of necessary expenditures (e.g. paying utility bills keeps the lights on and the water running). When it comes to your “excess” profits, you need to invest those well. What improvements does your restaurant need? You need to pour your earnings back into your business to help improve it; otherwise, it’ll end up becoming old, neglected, and unappealing to customers.

And think about ways in which you can reduce costs so that your business has more money to spend on the things that matter. Obviously, as mentioned above, some expenditures are necessary. You can’t turn off the lights or the water supply. But you can find ways to reduce your costs without negatively affecting your business. In fact, reducing costs can sometimes improve your business. You could become more eco-friendly; energy-efficient appliances in the kitchen or behind the bar could save you money on your monthly utility bill. You could also insulate the walls and get thicker windows to reduce the amount of energy you need to generate to keep your restaurant warm.

Lead your team to success.

A strong restaurant requires a strong leader. You might have appointed a manager to help keep things in order during working hours but you still own this establishment. It’s up to you to keep everything in order and lead your team to success. The manager will still look to you for guidance as to the direction in which you’re going to take your business. Make sure you hold regular meetings so that everybody in the workforce knows their role and what is expected of them in terms of customer service and the standard of the product (food) they deliver. This is also important because employees need to see the face of their boss so as to be reminded of the chain of command and that you’re overseeing everything. Remember, it’s a business at the end of the day; that will be reiterated throughout this article.

You should read these 15 restaurant management tips to improve the way you work. Positivity, transparency, and stability are all examples of traits you need to possess as the manager’s manager and the boss of all your staff members. It’s vital to be more than simply the owner of the establishment. You need to be a leader for the people who work there because it’s the team working in the kitchen, serving behind the bar, and waiting on tables that determines the success of your restaurant. If you want to keep things running well in your establishment then you need to lead your team well so that they know what they’re supposed to be doing. Still, there’s only so much you can do to help…

Hire the right people.

Of course, being a good leader can only take your restaurant so far. In order for your management techniques to work, the people you’re managing need to be motivated and efficient workers. Obviously, working in the food industry can be a struggle at times; it isn’t always pleasant to work long hours and deal with excessive amounts of people (many of whom like to complain even if nothing is wrong). The customer is always right but this is one of the most full-on customer-facing roles on the planet, so you need to be sure that you’ve hired the right people.

Hiring millennial staff can help your restaurant on so many levels. Despite the bad press this entire generation often receives, millennials are much more likely to work harder; they’re young and, given the climate of the current market has severely affected young people, the opportunity to earn money in a stable job role is something they won’t take for granted. Of course, it’s not just about hiring hard workers; it’s about hiring people who give your restaurant the right image. Whilst it’s important to have members of staff with years of experience on their side, your restaurant could appeal to younger people if its workforce was more varied in age. Hiring millennials could help your restaurant target those younger customers. They’ll give your establishment most vibrancy.

Learn to delegate.

When you start your business, you might be working with only a few others to turn this quaint little establishment into an empire. Of course, as demand grows, your business will need to supply the resources and staff to meet this increase in customers. It’s important to learn to delegate because you won’t be able to do everything on your own. Many people start restaurants if they’re a chef, for example, but you need to remember that you’ll be a boss first and foremost. You can’t oversee your business and be in the kitchen for a 10-hour shift; you’ll be stretching yourself too thin. It’s important to learn when to stop and say “I have to leave this work to my members of staff.”

It’s all about evolution. You’re learning how to put your restaurant-based talents to use, whether those involve cooking or providing excellent customer service to diners, but you’re also learning how to become a smart businessperson. That doesn’t mean you can’t still spend a little time in the kitchen helping to prepare food or a little time behind the bar helping to serve customers during busy hours, but you need to have confidence in your staff so that you can delegate certain responsibilities and find time to check the books or oversee the restaurant as a whole to retain your image as the “leader” figure (we discussed that earlier).

Think of the customer.

You know the customer is always right; that’s “business lesson 101”. Of course, you really need to ask yourself whether your restaurant is providing enough to completely satisfy the customer if you want it to truly run well. A few bad reviews can really ruin a restaurant’s reputation and that’s a heavy blow in this industry; people often Google restaurants before visiting them and they might be put off by a few bad ratings.

That’s why you need to do all you can to gear your restaurant’s service towards pleasing the customer. Think about your target market and make sure the menu suits them. For example, a lunchtime menu might serve coffee and baked goods along with light lunch meals whereas the evening menu needs to step up its game and serve more substantial dishes. Obviously, the vibe of your restaurant is important too. Is it upscale dining or casual dining? You need to think about the type of customer you’re attracting and make sure you deliver the exact service they’d expect or better. No restaurant is universal; if you want your restaurant to survive beyond its first year then you need to realize that.

Find your gap in the market.

Remember, your restaurant is a business. Have you taken that in after reading this article? Like any other business, you need to stand out from the competition if you want to survive. The best way to do that is to add a twist to your restaurant that makes it appealing to customers in your area because there are likely dozens of other restaurants within walking distance of your own establishment. What will make hungry diners choose your restaurant over the competition? A selling point could be something as simple as a great deal; you could offer 2 meals for the price of 1 when people dine as a couple. You could offer a complimentary bottle of wine for anybody who dines before 8pm (that’s a good way to incentivize people to make the instant decision to dine at your restaurant before they change their mind).

Staff Writer; Paula Short


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