Opening a restaurant may seem to many entrepreneurs a very simple business concept – on paper it may look quite straightforward, after all. Nothing could be further from the truth, however; while technically speaking the business plan seems uncomplicated, and options for restaurant furniture are plentiful, there are many issues that need to be considered, and many a restaurateur fails within the first year of launch because they make some common mistakes.
Success is not always dependent on whether you work hard, have a great idea, or are able to think quickly. Often, success depends on being able to avoid pitfalls along the way. After all, knowing what not to do is just as important as understanding which direction to go.
The most common errors you should avoid when starting a restaurant
When you’re just starting out, you’ll be spending much more than you think – it’s almost a law; it’s a phenomenon most businesses experience. Plan your budget carefully, but be prepared to spend more than you anticipate. A lot of businesses go under just because they didn’t have that extra planned.
You may want to impress your customers by having a large menu (‘we can cook whatever you want’), but a restaurant which is able to provide that kind of service is probably not an expert in any of those dishes. It’s much better to have a simple menu that offers fewer – but perfect dishes. It’s those dishes you’ll be known and wanted for. Besides, attempting to offer too many different dishes creates havoc in terms of budgeting.
The staff are representatives of your business, so never underestimate the value of proper training. This training is about how to deal with customers, but also about how to explain your menu. Make sure your staff knows what the recommended dish of the day is all about.
No coherent concept
Don’t mix and match the décor with odd items left and right – unless, of course, that is your business concept. Be coherent. Create a theme with the proper restaurant furniture.
No social media presence
Social media is by far the best way to advertise; it gives you the best return on investment. If you’re inexperienced, go through the learning curve – like it or not, it’s the wave of the future.
All these issues are crucial to consider; if one is off, even slightly, your restaurant might not have that great impression you are trying to create. Consumers who wish to dine don’t just go for the food – they go for an experience, and want to be pleased. All senses have to be satisfied, and memories have to be created. No matter how simple the restaurant is, the experience has to be one they talk about and long to have again.
What else you need to know