How To Run A Restaurant Business
So you finally found the perfect building, procured all the necessary permits and hired the staff, but do you really know how to run a restaurant business? Just because you have a shiny new kitchen, a rocking chef, beautiful servers and a good accountant, doesn’t mean that your doors won’t close in under a year. It’s the "insider knowledge" that makes the difference in simply making a profit, or becoming a restaurateur legend. Here is how to run a restaurant business successfully.
Five P's and Other Needed Things:
- People Skills
- Positive Energy
- Leadership Ability
- Track your reports and numbers. Whether you do this or your manager, it must be done daily. Knowing how to run a restaurant business means that you must pay attention to income statements and sold goods reports, as well as cash flow analysis reports. Obviously, this is just good restaurant business sense, no matter if you are a new restaurant owner, or one that is well established.
- Keep your staff happy. Staff turnover happens. They start families, move away or leave for better paying gigs; however, you can earn their loyalty by encouraging communication, giving bonuses and holding contests. Remain consistent on policy, but flexible enough to listen to your staff’s suggestions on how you can run a restaurant business. Ask them to taste new food items. This works two-fold. It not only makes them feel more involved in your restaurant, but if they like the dish, they will promote it to their tables. And lastly, of course, you are not Dr. Phil, but if you know that a server does not get along with someone else, make sure they are not scheduled together. Most importantly, take the time to always praise, praise, and oh, yes. Praise them.
- Cross-train. If you train your staff to wear a number of hats (able to do different jobs), it will be a more interesting job for them. Knowing how to do someone else’s job will help them to do their own better. They will feel more engaged, and you will never be stuck if the host does not show up, as someone else can step in at the last moment.
- Know your customers. Walk the room and remember your regulars. Knowing their first name, what they drink and what they normally order will dramatically increase sales. All the advertising in the world can’t buy what favorable “word of mouth” can do for your restaurant business, if fact, it can be deadly if you do not cater to loyal customers.
- Watch for disgruntled customers. Would you want a guest in your home to become displeased? Sure, they are not paying you at the end of the visit, but you would still be attentive and “in tune” to their needs, so it is vital that you satisfy the guests in your restaurant. This is the key to keeping customers. Be aware of people who are impatiently scanning the room, waving or snapping their fingers. Lend a hand on refills. Suggest and educate your guests on obscure food or drink items. Investigate if you see someone constantly gazing at his or her watch. Do they have a touch of OCD, or is it taking too long for their entrees to come out?
- Resolve problems immediately. Know that as hard as you may try, some people just can’t be happy; try to please them anyway. Sometimes, all they want to do is rant, so listen and never interrupt. Even if you do not feel they are correct, apologize anyway and try to rectify the problem with either a complimentary desert or cocktail. If they have a legitimate complaint, address it; improve upon it, and your restaurant business profits will soar.
- Be vigilant and stay competitive. Knowing how to run a restaurant business is difficult enough without watching your competitors too, but it is vital that you analyze other successful restaurant businesses and determine their deficiencies. Close the gaps by avoiding the pitfalls and embrace change. This will enable you to learn how to run a restaurant business that may even outlive you.