Managing a food business and building a successful restaurant from it is no easy task. As a restaurant owner, you’ll need to be taking care of so many things, right from managing raw material purchase to ensuring best customer service. If you plan on being the best in the restaurant industry, you’ll need to check off and follow everything on this list.
Build the best in basics
People will not flock to your restaurant just because it’s new. You will have to build a reputation first. Make sure you nail all the basic requirements that a restaurant business needs. That includes providing good food, a hygienic environment, a good ambiance and based on your budget, you can even recreate a theme for your restaurant.
Remember, sometimes the small diners with great food get more customers while large restaurants with fancy dining have failing businesses.
Equip a POS system
Selecting great POS software can certainly take your restaurant business a long way. In order to understand what type of software and features your business needs, you must first take note of the requirements of your restaurant. If you have multiple branches of restaurant, a single platform to help you keep tabs on all sales and business operations will be a perfect POS solution for you.
POS features such as online ordering and reservation will delight your customers and encourage them to spread good word-of-mouth about your restaurant. A POS software that enables table management helps reduce manual labour and gives your staff more time to engage the customers.
With a good restaurant POS technology, you can integrate CRM and loyalty programs to help boost customer engagement.
Have a solid marketing plan
Be it a corporate company or a restaurant, a solid marketing plan is what makes or breaks your business. Word-of-mouth only works if your restaurant is already well known. Marketing a start-up requires money and you need to have a plan on how to best utilize the money in order to bring in more customers to your restaurant.
Marketing is no longer just about putting up banners and distributing flyers. Online marketing and PR, when used smartly, have shown that they can help a business much more effectively than traditional marketing.
Use social media and restaurant review sites to engage with your customers. CRM tools such as emails and newsletters can also help you send customized offers and deals to your customers.
Never ignore the power of social media
Many successful restaurant owners have experienced that social media is the best and most effective way to reach out to customers and maintain constant engagement with them. You can also run contests and campaigns to help increase your brand recognition among your customer base.
Consistent Social media campaigns on sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. can help increase your customer engagement on a gradual but steady basis. Build social media pages and get a website, through which you can regularly update your customers. This shows that you are current and that you care about your audience.
Always coach your staff
Your staffs are the ones interacting with your customers on behalf of your business, so you need to take extra care when hiring them. If you try to save money by not going for people with experience, you are bound to regret it. Saving money is an important thing for a start-up business, but you need to know where to spend and where not to. Staff are the one thing that you should be confident and comfortable spending your money on.
No matter the experience of your staff, make sure that they are trained for the needs of your restaurant business. A new hire must go through training before they join the rest of your working force.
The most important training for a waiter is to be polite to all customers.
Be friendly with your employees
As a restaurant owner, your biggest hurdle would be to maintain an efficient work force. These days, labour which is both efficient and affordable is very hard to find. Hence, it’s in your best interest to retain your trained staff. Try maintaining a work-fun relationship within the restaurant.
Your staffs are your biggest asset, and you need to interact with them regularly to stay aware of what happens at the restaurant.
No problem is a small problem
Never ignore a problem thinking it is small enough to be handled later. Ignoring an issue will only make it build up and manifest into a huge obstacle that will take up a lot of your time.
Whether it is a broken tile or a minor pest problem, address it as soon as it comes to your attention. Letting simple problems like these pile up will only hinder the restaurants growth in the long run. Always go for a complete solution instead of a temporary shortcut.
You can automate the restaurant operations and collect reports, which will help you keep tabs and identify any and all problems that your restaurant faces in real-time.
Always be open to try new things
The restaurant market keeps changing as the needs and preferences of the customers keep changing. Customers love to try out new things, so you should also stay up to date with all the trends that hit the market and not be afraid to welcome changes.
Don’t hesitate to experiment with the flavors in your kitchen as well. Fusion foods are becoming the latest hits with customers these days. You can also try a new theme for your restaurant décor or host community events in your restaurant premises to attract new customers.
The customer is not always right
A difficult customer would always find a fault in everything your restaurant offers. The usual norm to handle such a customer is to be polite and try to resolve whatever the issue is. However, if you have a customer who is making a ruckus and is disturbing other diners, you may have to politely ask them to leave. It is better to have one grumpy customer instead of disturbing the dining experience of the entire restaurant.
Never give up on your restaurant dream
Building a successful restaurant is difficult, so don’t underestimate how hard it will be. You’ll have to work long hours and learn many things on the job in order to make yours, a successful restaurant. You will see many ups and downs in the business, but the best solution is to persevere.
“Do not give up, the beginning is always the hardest.”