The US restaurant industry brings in almost $800 million a year. So, if you’re considering opening one, you might be on the right track. But it’s also a highly-competitive industry and not the easiest business to run. You’ll likely face some challenges along the way and maybe find yourself wondering if you’ve done the right thing. But if you follow these helpful tips, you’ll be on your way to success in no time.
Hire a good chef
Many people get into the restaurant business because they like to cook for themselves. This is a great way to start, but it’s important to make sure you’re not the only one who enjoys your food. Test the menu out on friends and family members before you try to sell it to other diners. Most importantly, make sure they’re honest and aren’t afraid of hurting your feelings.
If you’re not the cook, however, make sure you hire the best chef you can find. Since this is the single most important element of your business, it isn’t the place to cut costs. Even if the chef you hire takes the largest portion of your investment, consider it a wise move if he or she can bring customers to your door.
Dress for success
Dress yourself and the rest of your staff according to the mood of your restaurant. Whether you’re serving casual fare or five-star dishes, everyone’s clothes should be neat and tidy. The best way to ensure this is by requiring uniforms. You can find plenty of various selections at online supply stores like JOBELINE apparel, and everyone should coordinate. Even the most casual of cafes can be classed up with matching aprons and name tags.
Make sure you have a backup plan
Restaurants don’t typically start making a profit until they’ve been in business for at least a year. Try to resist the urge to quit your day job and sink every dime you have into it without having a backup plan. It’s best to put aside a couple of years worth of living expenses before you go all in. Or, if you have your staff in place, stick with your job until your restaurant becomes profitable. This way, you can start the business with confidence and without stressing over every little expense or having to close prematurely.
Train your staff well
Nothing ruins an evening out like a bad waiter or bad food. Train your employees to treat your customers like guests. Make sure they know they’re the backbone of your business and should be treated accordingly. But at the same time, treat your staff just as well. They’re much more likely to care about their jobs if their bosses care about them, and you can demonstrate this in many ways. For example, get to know them and ask about their families. Say thank you often. Encourage them to have fun, while remaining professional.
Carefully plan your decor
Your decor doesn’t have to cost a fortune, but it does need to adequately reflect the mood you’re going for. Ambience, in fact, is almost as important as the menu because eating out engages all your senses. If you don’t feel you have an eye for design, you can hire someone to spruce up the place for you. But if you do have a little talent for it, doing it yourself can save you a lot of money. You can hang custom canvas prints created from your own photos to add a personal touch, and you can color coordinate your linens and uniforms to streamline your design.