Six (Not So) Secrets Tips for Restaurant Success
What’s “the secret” behind to restaurant success?
If you think there’s only one answer to the question, you’re sorely mistaken. The hospitality industry is extremely competitive, and successful outlets have to be innovative and agile to build and maintain a professional reputation. For a quick and personal example, think about the ways you’ve seen restaurants pivot to stay afloat during the pandemic.
According to the report, there are over 660 thousand restaurants in the US alone. That’s a lot of places to consider for a typical consumer, so you’ll have to design a superior restaurant to be profitable in the long run.
But how does it work? How can you make a restaurant that’s not just good, but successful? We’ll share with you our favorite (not-so-secret) tips for restaurant success.
A Comprehensive Business Plan
Cooking may be your passion, but is it suitable for business in your area? It would be best if you answered this question before you start investing in the project. There are several details to think about here:
- Funding: How much do you need to get the restaurant going? Can you fund the project on your own or do you need a bank loan? Does it even pay off to open a brand new restaurant in your neighborhood? Examine your restaurant financing options before putting any ink to paper.
- Competition: How many restaurants are already active nearby? Is there enough market demand for yet another diner?
- Cuisine type: Do you plan to differentiate your menu by offering alternative cuisines?
Hire the Right Staff
Many entrepreneurs don’t realize that their employees represent the core of the business. The same goes for your restaurant, so hiring the right staff is critical to your restaurant success.
If you’re not a chef yourself, do your best to find someone reliable who can easily make all the dishes on your menu. Do the same thing with the chef’s assistants as they will have to take over the lead role from time to time.
Jake Gardner, a business analyst at bestessays.com, says that every link in the chain must function flawlessly: “The average restaurant guest will pay attention to everyone — hostesses to waiters to bartenders — so it’s vital to recruit the people you can rely on.”
Create an All-Encompassing Marketing Plan
Creating a restaurant marketing strategy is another thing you must do before launching a restaurant. You can’t just put the “OPEN” sign on the door and expect people to start marching in your place.
Three marketing channels are vital here:
- Your official restaurant website.
- Your social media accounts.
- On-site promotions.
These marketing channels will help you to raise awareness and gradually build relationships with the audience.
But there’s one more trick to perform if you need instant promotion — online advertising via Google, Facebook, and Instagram. A study shows that 75% of Instagram users visit a brand’s website after seeing the ad, so you shouldn’t put off creating a restaurant Instagram profile.
Serve Beautiful and Tasty Dishes
This one goes without saying, but the way you prepare and serve food will ultimately move the needle between your restaurant success and failure. Every chef has their methods and secrets, but we can remind you of the basics:
- Delicious Meals – It seems insultingly obvious, but seriously, this distinction goes beyond making “tasty” food. Are you offering anything new to the area that competitors aren’t? Are you bringing a unique spin on a traditional dish? Have your dishes won culinary awards? Your marketing efforts will prove futile if you don’t have the goods to back up your claims!
- Aesthetics – A great meal captures all five senses, not just taste. Think about a waiter bringing you a pan of still-sizzling fajitas or the delicate placement of a parsley sprig. Your meals have to look beautiful and delight the senses.
- Seasonal and Fresh Food – Try not to cut corners with frozen foods, and opt for fresh and in season. With a little effort, you can become more involved in the community, interacting directly with distributors and sellers.
- Emphasize healthy dishes – Diners want alternatives, be they locally-sourced, nutritious, or plant-based. If your restaurant doesn’t offer them, these guests will find a restaurant that does. You needn’t overhaul your menu; you only need to provide a few extra options for those with dietary preferences and restrictions. Don’t miss out on a key (and growing!) customer base.
- Create a house special – A restaurant brand identity comprises many things, from the name to the furniture’s arrangement inside. There’s one significant difference between restaurants and other businesses, though, and it’s that edible stuff that keeps us alive — food! A house special is like a signature, an offering that distinguishes your restaurant from the others. Think about all those burger joints with a signature confection. You needn’t reinvent the sandwich, but give it something special that makes it uniquely “yours.”
Listen to Your Guests
No matter how good your restaurant seems to you, your customers have the final word. Your job is to listen to them and heed their remarks or appraisals. If they’re not happy with one or more of your meals, do your best to figure out what’s wrong with it and improve it.
The same goes for customer service, background music, and every other segment of the restaurant business. Listen to the visitors and respond to their feedback, as it’s the only way to build a sustainable, customer-facing business in the long run.
The last “secret” of top-performing restaurants is consistency. Though it’s essential to experiment with cuisine your goal is not to experiment with the quality and create one-time impressions. On the contrary, the whole idea of running a restaurant is to provide customers with the same level of quality every time they visit your outlet.
Some restaurant technologies can help ensure this consistency, like a kitchen display system that manages your capacity and routes orders to various stations based on their workload. A recipe viewer can also help here, providing a virtual recipe book your staff can use when they need it. If you can offer the same, high-quality meals and experience day after day, you’ll build a loyal customer base.
The Bottom Line
Running a profitable restaurant isn’t easy, particularly in crowded urban areas packed with high-quality restaurants. The only way to earn your reputation and attract enough visitors is to follow the hospitality industry’s evergreen principles and invest in restaurant cuisine. In this article, we shared the top six tips and tricks on designing and running a successful restaurant with you. Do your best to use our suggestions, but you should also leave a comment if you have other exciting restaurant success stories or ideas to share with us, comment below!
How has the pandemic altered your course? Click the link below for our page containing helpful restaurant resources for the COVID-19 outbreak.
About the Author
Justin Osborne is a food blogger. He likes to discuss restaurants and share his ideas with readers on different blogs and forums. Currently, he is working as an editor at the bestessays.com and law essay writing service.