Running a restaurant is a bold undertaking as it is one of the toughest businesses in the hospitality industry. Here are some ways to be on your feet:
1. Avoid overspending
A survey reports that the average restaurant startup costs range from $275,000, which owners estimate to be 15% above their initial budget. This shows that many new restauranteurs typically overspend from the outset. They spend too much money, mainly on kitchen equipment, technology, marketing, remodeling, and food supplies.
- To avoid overspending when outfitting your kitchen, consider buying second-hand options, and make sure to purchase the things that you only need now.
- While technology is a trend in the restaurant industry, you should only buy the essential items, and do not be tempted to get the latest models.
- As a startup, you might have limited know-how in marketing and can get excited to work with agencies for big campaigns. However, there are low-cost marketing methods that can still effectively market your new restaurant. You can consider leveraging the internet and run inexpensive ads on Facebook, Twitter, and website blogs. A study says that 60% of respondents find social media advertising influential.
- When decorating or remodeling your restaurant, stay away from costly elements such as a $2000 chandelier. You can browse websites for inspiration and budget-friendly ideas.
- Most new restaurant owners believe that more menu choices set them ahead of the competition. However, reducing the number of your offerings can help you manage your spending. Consider how many options are too much and too little. Longer menus mean more ingredients and more expenses. Remember that offering great food is always better than providing a higher number of mediocre dishes.
2. Hire the right people
The hospitality industry requires employees who understand their duties and capable of delivering excellent service. Poor hiring decisions can lead to bad hires, which will eventually result in high employee turnover. This will disrupt your business and incur additional costs in hiring and training replacements. Declining workforce can also lead to brand inconsistency and inferior service.
You need to attract star candidates so that you won’t have to ax non-performers who cause negative guest experiences. To encourage the right talents, you must craft a specific and detailed job ad. Give a realistic job preview to set the right expectations. This is important because misalignment in expectations is one of the main culprits of employee attrition.
Do not make a final decision until you call all the references on the aspirant’s resume. Lastly, you need to speed up the selection process. Qualified and competent candidates are not likely to sit around and wait for your delayed verdict. Come up with a timely decision before the ideal candidates move on to other opportunities.
3. Find an ideal location
The location of your restaurant should be accessible, visible, and serving an active population. Ideally, you should have your parking lot, but if it’s not feasible, you can consider partnering with nearby hotels that have parking options. People need to know that your restaurant exists. You can enhance your business’s visibility by spreading the news on social media and search engines. You can also attract customers by distributing flyers and giving free samples.
Starting a restaurant involves a lot of responsibilities and challenges. But you’ll soon break-even and reap the life long rewards of your hard work.