Opening a restaurant is an exciting time. It gives you a chance to be your own boss and to pursue your dreams.
However, it’s also a lot of work. In order to operate the best restaurant possible, you need to make sure that you’re doing everything possible to be successful.
To help you out, we’ve put together a list of 11 tips for running a restaurant. Let’s dive into these game-changing tips and tricks for managing a restaurant business successfully!
1. Stand Out From the Crowd
There are many different types of restaurants out there and each one has a unique selling proposition or USP. As a restaurant owner, you too need to identify what makes your restaurant different from the rest.
It could be a star chef, a signature dish, your low cost, or something else. No matter what it is that makes your team different from the rest, you need to identify it and market it to your customers.
2. Location, Location, Location
We’ve all heard this phrase before. And, while it’s typically used in the real estate world, it matters when you’re running a restaurant, too.
The location of your restaurant has a big impact on the success of your business. You need to consider what the market is like and how visible your restaurant is to customers.
When choosing a location for your restaurant, do your due diligence. Research the market before signing any rental contracts to make sure this is a good location for your new business.
3. Budget and Optimize Your Costs
In order to successfully run a restaurant, you need to learn how to reduce your fixed and variable costs. You need to be able to do so without detracting from your restaurant’s overall quality, too.
You should look for vendors who offer discounts and seek out ways that you can reduce labor during non-peak times of the day. Looking for methods such as these can help you reduce your restaurant costs significantly.
As a business owner, you need to constantly evaluate your costs and think of innovative ways that you can reduce them. Doing so will help you increase your profits and reduce overall expenses.
4. Watch Your Inventory and Stock
There’s nothing worse than sitting down to a meal and realizing that half the options you want to order aren’t available. You don’t want this to be the experience that your customers have!
To prevent this from happening, you need to make sure that you’re keeping your inventory well-stocked. You should have an up-to-date inventory sheet that is constantly being reviewed to ensure that you always have the items you need on hand but aren’t overstocked.
5. Train Your Employees and Keep Them Happy
Sure, the customer is king, but the employees are also extremely important. You need to make sure that your staff is well-trained and is creating a positive experience for your customers.
If not, they could be destroying your restaurant’s reputation or causing health and safety hazards. To manage your staff, you can follow a few simple steps:
- Have a clear hierarchy and allocation of responsibility
- Make sure you give adequate and thorough instructions for all duties
- Train your staff on customer interactions
- Make hygiene and cleanliness a priority
- Train your staff on how to handle emergencies and complaints
On top of that, it’s important to remember that your staff has their own expectations of how you’ll treat them. You need to make them feel valued, happy, and motivated.
You can do this by:
- Ensuring clean working conditions
- Offering performance incentives
- Giving career growth opportunities
- Providing work holidays and time off
- Offering competitive salaries
Following these steps will help keep your staff happy in the long run. In turn, that helps you keep motivation and productivity high, making it a win-win situation!
6. Take Advantage of Technology
Technology is an integral part of running any business, and it’s no different in the restaurant industry. As a restaurant owner, you need to make sure that you’re taking advantage of technology.
You can implement technology in backend tools such as a POS system, invoicing software, scheduling software, payroll assistance, and more. These can help reduce paperwork and save time for management.
On top of that, you can use technology to improve your customer experience. A few ideas for this include:
- Offering free WiFi
- Mobile ordering
- Contactless payments
- Contactless delivery services
- Online reservations
There are so many ways that you can use technology to really step up your game as a restaurant owner. Research what makes sense for you so you can run the best restaurant possible.
7. Put the Customer First
While we’d all like to have only happy, easy customers, sometimes you’ll run into people who are a bit more difficult. They might post negative reviews online or complain to their waitress.
Regardless of how they react to your restaurant, you need to make sure that you apologize and address their issues right away. You can choose to comp their meal, offer them a VIP pass, or give them a free bottle of wine or dessert.
The method you use to rectify the situation can vary based on what the issue was. The key is simply to make sure that you are prompt and sincere as you handle hiccups in their customer experience.
8. Have Your License on Hand
When running a restaurant, there are quite a few state and federal regulations and laws you need to be aware of. Not following them could get you in huge trouble.
You’ll need to make sure that you have:
- Food business operator licenses
- A copy of the food standard and safety act
- A copy of the employee rights act
- An establishment license
- Your shop license
These are just a few of the important regulatory documents that you need to have handy in order to operate your restaurant legally. Make sure you have these on hand and clearly displayed to avoid legal issues.
9. Develop a Strong Marketing Strategy
When running a restaurant you can’t be afraid to toot your own horn. You need to be willing to generate buzz about your restaurant and what you’re doing differently.
A great way to do this is through social media. You can post photos showing off happy customers, a cozy atmosphere, or tasty dishes to get people excited about what your restaurant is doing.
If your budget allows, you can explore other marketing opportunities too. Either way, create a well-rounded marketing strategy that shows off your business.
10. Don’t Miss the Finer Details
Sure, there are plenty of big-picture tasks to focus on as a restaurant. however, there are also small details that are just as important as the bigger ticket items.
For example, you need to pay attention to details that might be bothering customers or affecting their experience. A few examples include:
- Stained cutlery and linens
- Greasy fingerprints on the tables or menu card
- Dirty bathrooms
- Missing cutlery, napkins, or condiments on the table
Each of these small details might not seem like a big deal, but they can mean the difference between a returning customer and a bad review. That’s what makes having a clean restaurant so important to your success.
Hiring a professional cleaning team like HOODZ can help ensure that you’re keeping your restaurant in the best condition for your customers. Schedule regular cleanings to ensure that you’re truly giving the best customer experience.
11. Focus on the Data
While it’s true that much of running a restaurant involves hands-on activities, there’s also a lot of data and analytics involved with successfully operating your business.
For one, you should be looking at all the sales that are being generated every day, week, and month. This tells you how much revenue your restaurant is actually generating.
Secondly, you should be looking at the days and times when you are getting the most sales. You’ll want to know what your peak hours are throughout the week.
You also need to look at your best and worst selling items. This can help you make smart decisions about what menu items you should keep investing in and which are losing you money.
Lastly, make sure that you’re looking at customer feedback and retention rate. You want to pay attention to feedback so that you can continually improve your restaurant’s operations.
Follow These Tips for Running a Restaurant
With these 11 tips for running a restaurant, you’re ready to launch the perfect eatery. Pretty soon you’ll have guests lining up outside your door just to get a taste of what you have to offer!
Was this guide helpful for you and your restaurant business? We’ve got lots more where that came from! Check out our other posts and read some of our other guides for running your business smoothly.