Any seasoned restaurateur understands that running a dining establishment isn’t for those with a weak heart. Despite the accessibility and simplicity of this business venture, very few companies within this highly competitive industry fail.
More than half are unable to sustain their operations past the first year, and even more, shut down before the fifth. So the question is, how can you succeed where many others have come to nothing?
The answer is simple – to steer clear of the traps and pitfalls that they’ve fallen into. To this end, here are some mistakes you need to avoid when running a restaurant business.
1. Choosing a poor location
We all know that a good location is a critical element of a successful restaurant. It is as crucial as having to get food insurance online. Being in an area with heavy and consistent foot traffic will lead to more diners, after all.
However, many choose less-than-desirable places to put up their restaurants to save up on rent, only to struggle financially due to a lack of sales.
Don’t make the same mistake and situate yourself in a good spot. It may require a sizable investment of financial resources, but it will pay off in the long run by giving your establishment more exposure.
2. Opting for a sizable menu at the outset
There’s no denying that having a wide selection of dishes to offer can help attract prospective patrons. However, it will also cost the restaurant a lot more money. If you’re still getting your feet on the ground, it’s a general rule of thumb, to begin with, a smaller, more focused menu.
While it may limit the options of your diners, it will keep them from getting confused with what to order. This approach will also aid the business in coming up with higher quality food and keep your overhead down.
3. Not listening to your customers
Let’s face it. Customers can be harsh with their criticisms. Some may even be impossible to please. There’s no getting around this fact.
However, while some might be unreasonable, others may offer insight that could point you to areas of the business that may need some improvement. It is for this reason that you must always welcome feedback.
Beyond learning a few things that could potentially elevate the standards of your restaurant that you wouldn’t have found out otherwise, it will also show your diners that you value their opinions.
As a result, you strengthen your relationship with them, helping you to attract more customers and leading to more sales.
4. Not taking the hiring process seriously
A restaurant lives and breathes through its staff. When all’s said and done, employees are the foundation of any business. If you don’t take the hiring process seriously, you’ll end up getting the wrong people and compromising the company’s operational integrity in turn. So make sure that you weed out the applicants and take in only those who can work as a team. It will save you a lot of grief later on.
Contrary to popular belief, it can be a challenging proposition to achieve success as a restaurant. With a lot of competition and many things that can go wrong, it’s easy to see why. However, by keeping yourself from committing the mistakes mentioned above, you’ll present your dining establishment with more opportunities to succeed.