Many restaurants start and fail within the same year. Only a few survive and grow on to become successful.
Restaurants fail because of bad management and poor decisions. Successful restaurants don’t engage in such practices.
How do these few restaurants thrive?
Even if there are different ways to make a restaurant successful, most thriving restaurant businesses have similar traits.
Here they are:
Knowledge of the Restaurant Business
Restaurants fail because the owners do not understand the business. Most owners open a restaurant because they think it is lucrative.
Successful restaurant owners have great knowledge about the food business. They know about labour costs, gross margins, and food costs.
They do detailed research on the restaurant niche, visit information sites for restaurants, and use apps that help them manage their business properly or appropriately.
As a result, they make smart decisions, manage staff, handle operations, reduce cost and maximise profit.
Great Safe Food
A restaurant should serve food that appeals to its target market. Successful restaurants have great chefs who ensure the food they serve from the menu is top notch.
Some even go as far as creating a signature dish or having cuisine that adheres to their style. It could be French food, Italian food, Chinese food or a burger that has a unique taste.
They also ensure they have a food safety culture and Food Control Plan so they can meet all the standards needed.
With this, they create a brand identity and differentiate themselves from the competition.
It doesn’t matter the food, staff, or customer service your restaurant offers; if it’s not in a choice area, it is bound to fail.
Successful restaurants know this even before they open. So, they find a good location for the restaurant or they find a good, accessible area and market intensely to draw customers in.
Awesome Target Marketing
Thriving restaurants have a marketing plan they diligently follow.
To have loyal customers, you need to engage in target marketing.
First, you need to pick a sub-niche in the restaurant industry. From there you can get your target market.
Then decide who your customers will be. Is your restaurant geared towards family, a lunch crowd, or a party crowd?
The next step is offline and online restaurant marketing.
Also known as digital marketing, this has a wider reach of customers. It includes social media marketing, drawing in traffic to the restaurant’s website, email and SMS marketing, and creating an unbeatable online presence.
With this, great restaurants create brand awareness and customer loyalty. They can also get orders for home delivery and table reservations.
This involves print marketing, hosting events, billboards and pamphlets, and local TV and radio advertising.
Offline marketing increases footfalls from the local area.
Good Customer Service Style
All successful restaurants have great customer service.
Customer service is not limited to how waiters and waitresses treat customers. It is the full customer experience which also includes the food service–food price when the food arrives after the order has been taken and the restaurant’s environment or ambience.
First, the restaurant ensures that the environment matches its style and target customer.
A romantic restaurant will have an environment of dim lights, love seats, and soft music. A restaurant focused on children will be colourful and vibrant and can include a play area for kids.
This creates the right image for the restaurant.
The restaurant owner ensures that the staff is polite and helpful.
The manager and employees work towards achieving the goal of the restaurant, give high-quality service, pay attention to detail and focus on the customer.
A successful restaurant has good customer engagement and feedback.
That way, they can correct the problems that the customers notice and provide an overall excellent customer experience.
Working in a restaurant is tough.
Staff work long hours and try to deal with customers’ needs with a smile on their faces, even when they are extremely tired.
Poor restaurant management does not care about the wellbeing of staff. As a result, employees are dissatisfied. This reflects in their output.
Successful restaurants know happy employees lead to efficiency, loyalty, and productivity.
They invest in their staff, ensuring they have good working conditions, adequate remuneration, extra benefits, and overtime pay.
Some go as far as offering the employees shares in the company. This is known as Employee Stock Option (ESOP).
Successful restaurants ensure that they have a good reputation.
They have positive reviews online which create a great brand image that brings in more customers.
Because they treat customers with respect and engage in community activities, people turn into repeat customers.
They also manage their online presence; encouraging happy customers to give positive reviews and solving the problems of dissatisfied customers.
They do not allow competitors to spoil their reputation or leave their reputation to chance; instead, they create and actively promote the restaurant’s reputation.
Expert Involvement of the Founder or Owner
The involvement of the owner will determine if the restaurant will remain at a particular level or expand.
The owner handles the operations of a restaurant and tracks its progress.
An efficient owner has an excellent system of tracking the restaurant’s daily sales, footfalls, and progress. Some use online tools, apps, and mobile analytics to ensure that the restaurant is making profits.
A successful owner also has a vision and a plan for the restaurant. He knows when to take action to open a new outlet or branch.