A good restaurant concept and business decisions is directly proportional to setting realistic goals and an intensive market analysis. The idea of launching a restaurant business can be very exciting but we shouldn’t ignore the real obligations and problems that owning a restaurant entails.
The food industry is a high risk business proposition. There is a lot of competition and details to perfection. According to a study, 60% of businesses fail in the first year. How do you ensure your restaurant’s success? You can enhance your chance of success and take your diner to new heights by understanding common problems the restaurants face and develop innovative strategies to combat these issues.
“Commonly faced problems which are faced by restaurant owners’ are obtaining the proper licenses, pass health inspections, finding a good commercial space. Most of the challenges looks small but these are big jobs like restaurant menu development, building the local appeal in the market segment, creating an experience, improving your product with time as there is always a room to improve and inexperienced staff is another big way for the downfall” says the famous chef Vaibhav Bhargava, Corporate Chef at Molecule Air Bar.
Focusing on Menu: Menu designing is one of the most common problems restaurant owners face. A good menu is the backbone of a successful restaurant. Your menu shouldn’t have too many or very few items and the dishes should be appropriately priced. Menu size should be monitored at periodic intervals. Instead of a five-page menu, go for a smaller number of dishes and do them really well.
Customer Service: First impression is the last impression. Poor customer service is often a deal breaker for customers. Even if your food is outstanding, table settings exquisite and ambiance delightful, a bad service can leave a permanent mark on consumers mind. Happy customer is the key to happy restaurant. In order to ensure your success, your entire team from management to the hostess must be dedicated to your customers’ well-being and good experience. “Train your staff at least 3 weeks before date of opening. Most restaurateurs don’t believe in product training and staff is not aware what to sell resulting guest not selecting right dishes from the menu” shares Parampreet Singh Luthra, Chef and Consultant.
Market it well: Many owners don’t pay enough attention to marketing making this a common problem in the restaurant world. You must formalize your brand standards which include mission statement, logo, graphics, guidelines and make an effective marketing plan. Getting a responsive and attractive website, engaging in social media, creating a customer loyalty program are the essentials of a successful restaurant business.
Getting the best Staff: Restaurant owners must take care to hire the best staff the owner can afford and shouldn’t compromise on the same. The staff should be well trained and know how to handle disciplinary problems. Many restaurants face a high staff turnover rate, which can lead to problems and a stressful work environment. “Seasoned staff comes with their own mindsets and tantrums. If you are having an investing partner, don’t give them rights to run entire company just because they are investing as you will loose interest when the business picks up. On initial stages keep more equity in brand for yourself and give major stake to investor in the outlet they are investing,” shares Aditya Fatehpuria, who runs Sattvam, a pure veg yogic restaurant in Bengaluru.
Unique Selling Point: A unique selling point enables your consumers to remember you long after they are gone. Your customers need to know why they should choose to eat at your restaurant and not at your competitor’s. Hence your food, service, your unique selling point and identity must make an emotional connection with your customers so that they are compelled to visit you again.
Though, we all know that restaurants face heavy competition, especially small, independent restaurants. Hence, a restaurateur must know how to market his business, drive in new customers and develop a repeat clientele.