Running a successful restaurant can be quite lucrative and something that offers careers to everyone from graduates to senior managers. In the UK in particular, the hospitality sector is thriving and makes up a notable percentage of the country’s GDP.
This is quite a competitive industry though and it’s not simply a matter of just setting up and running a restaurant which guarantees success. You need a business model that appeals to people and guarantees their returning custom. To help you with this, here are some steps to take which offer advice regarding how to successfully run your restaurant after you’ve got it off the ground.
Step One: Monitor The Competition
A successful restaurant is one that is a cut above its competition. As such you should monitor what rival restaurants are offering (deals, early bird menus, special courses) and consider running similar promotional campaigns. You may even want to partner up with a voucher site; the added benefit here is this could help you reach a wider online audience of new customers.
Step Two: Source Additional Funding
You will need have had some funding in place to start up your restaurant, but it’s worthwhile trying to source more capital to further improve it. To do this you could apply for a business loan or head to expos and trade fairs to pitch your ambitions and plans to potential investors. If you do bring on a financial partner or investor, you should have clear operating agreements to include your rights.
Step Three: Steadily Upgrade Your Facilities And Utilities
When you have enough money available, you should then steadily improve your facilities and utilities. Don’t make wholesale changes in one go though, as this can be jarring for customers and can be detrimental to the established aesthetic of your restaurant.
Instead make little changes like:
- New and more efficient kitchen facilities.
- Better quality cutlery and table decorations.
- New toilets and washing facilities.
- A wider range of drink and food options.
Step Four: Make It Clear You’re Qualified And Legal
In order to start up your restaurant you’ll have needed to meet a variety of legal requirements. This is something you should promote and highlight as it can make customers feel more assured that they’re choosing a quality dining establishment. In other words, be proud of your achievements.
However, if you’re in any doubt about these regulations or you are considering expanding your restaurant then be sure to call on firms who specialize in hospitality law. This way you’ll know for certain you have everything you need in place.
Step Five: Increase Your Advertising Budget
After you’ve been up and running for a while you could then increase your advertising budget to create more awareness of your restaurant and brand. If you’ve not done so already, set up profiles on social media, send out leaflets to the residents in the area and potentially set up a pop-up food stall at local markets and events. These tasks are essential to restaurant marketing. Once you start to grow your exposure, you can build a loyal customer base for the long term.
Step Six: Don’t Be Scared To Adapt And Change
When running your restaurant, you should regularly note down any successes or failures and use these to adapt and change your plans.
Tailoring your business model this way can help keep your customers coming in and help you avoid losing out financially on aspects that aren’t working. Remember that there’s no shame in admitting your original business model had flaws, change is necessary in this competitive sector.
The above should be the right mix of ingredients to keep your restaurant running successfully and again help secure its longevity in a busy market. A final thing to remember is that this will also take a lot of hard work and dedication, but this will be worth it in the long run when you have customers queuing out the door desperate to dine with you.