Randy Muhlach, World Executives Digest | The vast majority of successful restaurant businesses are known by their reputation, and this is not something that should be taken for granted. Gaining reputation requires time, struggle, hard work and dedication. While there is no get-rich-quick scheme for running a restaurant, there are ways to speed up the process, while creating a better experience. Here are some useful tips that will help your restaurant business succeed.
- Rise above mediocrity
Sure, this may sound worn-out, but being remarkable is what draws people towards your restaurant business. This is the part that requires your creativity as an entrepreneur. Start by visiting your competitors and taking note of what you’d improve if you were the owner of their venues. This can often give you an incredibly clear picture of what your own restaurant should look like.
- The food has to be delicious
Let’s get one thing out of the way – although a restaurant doesn’t have to be a boring, unattractive eating establishment, a restaurant is, and always will be, an eating establishment, meaning that the food is what you have to excel at. No matter how pleasant and likable your waiters are, no matter how much the visitors are in love with the general atmosphere that you offer, if the meals are anything but memorable, you will simply start losing customers. Always keep in mind that food isn’t the only factor of running a restaurant, but it certainly is the most important one.
Hire good people
Most of us know that waiting tables is a difficult job that not everyone can do. Sure, people can easily push themselves into tolerating rude customers, but it takes real skill to be able to get on everyone’s good side. This is where you kick in: everyone working for you should start with a trial period and you should keep a watchful eye on your team. Do not be afraid to fire your staff if they don’t excel at their job. This is tougher than you might think – this profession is very hard and not everyone can do it, and it is your duty to make the tough choices. Without a rock-solid team of waiters, your restaurant won’t reach success.
Stick to a niche
Now, it is important that you choose something and stop trying to please everybody. If your idea of a restaurant venture is a casual, laid-back place where just about anyone can come and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere and quality food that you provide, that’s absolutely fine; but trying to turn around your entire restaurant philosophy every time someone dressed fancy enters the premises isn’t a good way to go. You provide a certain type of an experience, and you need to stick to it – if someone doesn’t happen to like it, fine, they won’t be bothering you next time. If they keep coming back, well, you’re obviously doing something right.
On the other hand, if your venue dictates a dress code, make sure that you’re always consistent.
The customer is always right
Yep, the customer is always right. Think they’re wrong? Doesn’t matter, they are still right. You need to keep in mind that you’re in the service industry; it’s your job to cater to people’s needs. Being pleasant and always prepared to meet the customers’ needs is the pillar of restaurant success. They want balloons for a birthday celebration on the spot? Literally go out and buy some momentarily. They want you to pack their leftovers? Always have resilient corrugated carton boxes at the ready. They want you to dim the lights a bit? Find a way to make everyone feel comfortable. Yes, it is very hard, but this is exactly what will keep the people coming back. Do whatever it takes to keep the customer happy, unless it clashes with your restaurant policy.
Be just and fair
It is very important to be adamant about things like seating and general restaurant policy. Even if a billionaire walks in and starts acting inappropriately, it is your duty to deal with this – sure, you may end up losing out on a generous customer, but no money can pay for your reputation. Be respectable, and your customers will treat you with respect in return.
As a restaurant business, it is of vast importance that you rise above mediocrity. Make sure that the food that you offer is top-of-the-line, find a niche and stick to it, do an outstanding job at hiring, keep in mind that the customer is always right and always be just and fair!