How to Ensure Your Restaurant Investment is a Success
The dream of owning a restaurant can turn into something less attractive when the reality sets in. This is why it is crucial to start out with a solid plan to avoid any missteps along the way that could be costly once the restaurant is open and trading.
Here are a few points to bear in mind when opening a restaurant and wishing to ensure the investment will be a successful one.
1. Restaurant Concept
Are you clear about the direction that the restaurant will be going in? Is there a clearly defined theme and enticing offer that will attract new customers into the restaurant? What type of food will be on the menu, what will the restaurant decor be, and how expensive will this be to create?
2. Impulse Purchase or Booking Ahead?
Based on the type of food being offered, the price point, and the location, will the restaurant be mainly catering to the fast-food crowd or customers looking for a fine dining experience in the evening? Is a set menu or à la carte menu the better choice for the customers?
3. Location, Location, Location
Where is the right location for the type of restaurant being created? Locating a restaurant offering a fine dining experience in a rural or industrial location is unlikely to be successful even if the food is first class. Choose a location not only based on the cost of the lease and monthly rent, but also matched to what local people actually want in the area and is currently lacking.
4. Pay Attention to Your Brand
Focus on the branding for the restaurant to make sure that it will stand out from the competition. A new restaurant needs to make a significant impact in the local area quickly so that prospective customers notice it and make a booking to dine there. If the branding is underwhelming, the prospective customers may believe that the food will be too.
5. What is the Value Proposition?
What is the value that is being offered to the customer? Is it clear to customers what it is and how your restaurant is different from the competition? If you’ve opened a steak house and there’s already another one down the road, how can customers know how you’re different if they haven’t tasted your mouth-watering steaks yet?
6. Make It Easier to Pay
Use a tablet system combined with a mobile scanner for a smartphone that is capable of letting patrons pay using different bank cards and also PayPal right at their table. Being able to use NFC wireless technologies to make payment transactions easier and faster will make the restaurant appear more modern.
7. Focus on Quality
Successful restaurants can easily lose their customer base when they become too busy. Focus on delivering quality food without exceptions; if a dish doesn’t achieve the right food standard before it leaves the kitchen, cook a fresh dish that does meet the standard. The service also needs to be prompt, friendly yet unobtrusive to complete the dining experience.
8. Critique the Restaurant Objectively
Look at the restaurant as an outsider would do. If necessary, hire an outside restaurant expert to come for a meal using the secret shopper model to hide their identity and when they will be arriving. This way, they can be honest about the quality of the food, the serving staff, and other important elements of the restaurant experience.
9. Survey the Customers
When deciding whether to open a restaurant in a local area, see if you can perform some research about the tastes and interests of local people who could become your customers. If the restaurant is already open, include an informal rating system with each restaurant bill to gain useful feedback about their experience in the restaurant. Find ways to incorporate customers’ suggestions and to address areas of dissatisfaction to avoid poor word of mouth spreading in the local area.
10. Make Sure the Manager is Available
The manager of the restaurant needs to be available to check on the patrons to see whether they’re enjoying their meal and to discuss any issues that they might be having. A restaurant without an available manager looks like a ship without a rudder.
Creating a restaurant experience that will win over local customers, gain press attention, and achieve a steady stream of customers that delivers a pleasing bottom line is a matter of managing all the above elements properly. Getting the food right is only the beginning of the process.