Changing demographics and work commitments are some of the reasons people prefer to dine out these days. Some people just don’t want to put the effort into baking the fresh bread they love. Others hate cleaning the dishes. But you know what? These are all potential customers, and you only need to start a good restaurant and they will come running for your services. But how do you start a successful restaurant when you are not even a chef? The following 10 rules will give you some tips for starting and running a successful restaurant.
Know your target customers
Most new entrepreneurs have troubles accepting the fact that they can’t attract everyone into their restaurant. You have to segment the market and choose a certain demographic to target as customers. There are different groups of people who could be potential customers. You could segment the demographics based in age for instance. Alternatively, you can segment your customers based on their level of incomes, but the most important bit is to understand what they value.
Be a good planner
If you seriously want to succeed as a restaurant owner, develop a passion for the job and always plan for what to do next. If you are passionate about the cooking or satisfying customers, you will definitely want to be a good manager of how things flow at the restaurant. And you don’t have to start a long, overly ambitious plan. Just make a simple budget of what you intend to buy for the restaurant. Plan about the interior designs or call someone to help you out. Plan on the policies to use based on your personal market research.
Choose the best location possible
You’ve probably visited a good looking restaurant where all employees stay idle for lack of customers. Maybe their services were excellent, and Wi-Fi was full mode. However, such a business can’t possibly make half of what a busy, small, restaurant in the middle of New York City would. The main problem here is its location. As such, choose a location that draws crowds. Choose a place that is easily accessible, mostly by the target customers you had in mind.
Test and try out new dishes
By the way, what dishes do you plan to be serving in your restaurant? Well, be sure you have dishes to suit everyone who comes in. In fact, invite people over to the new restaurant for the simple exercise of testing your dishes. Again, continue asking for feedback from customers throughout the first six months about the food and pricing. If you get any negative feedback, work on it. Again, train your employees to improve on dishes every now and then.
Hire enough staff, pay them well
If customer is king, employees also have a great title in that monarchy. A motivated, trained and confident employee will always treat your customers properly. On the other hand, if the manager is equal to the task, and the junior staffs don’t feel underpaid, they will help run your restaurant in the best way possible.
Have a good marketing team
Marketing is what lifts small, corner restaurants into chain restaurants. That means you need a good marketing plan, and a team to help spread the word about your restaurant. You don’t have to be a big team. Instead, a few people distributing food samples during community events, offering discounts and advertising in local media will work effectively. Don’t forget online marketing though, and especially social media.
Manage funds diligently
If you could save enough money to start a restaurant, you can be a good manager of money. Start your finance management with how you buy equipment and furniture for your restaurant. If you are fine with that, take care of your bills for at least six months. Yeah, the first six months are always difficult for any business. And finely manage funds for the everyday running of the restaurant.
When starting out, you will play the biggest role in the success of the restaurant. At times you will work as a cook; you may need to chop vegetables or seat customers. Be prepared for all that unattractive work. And work hard until the restaurant is steady.
Keep track of inventory
In trying to please customers, you may end up losing money. As such, only spend enough money on food and inventory. Keep your prices competitive and don’t overpay the employees as well.
Finally, do everything possible to increase your knowledge about running a restaurant. Take an accounting course for instance. Attend workshops for restaurant owners and go with a few employees as well. In the end, you want to be more updated and more competitive than all the other restaurants around you.