Restaurant Business

#5 Challenges you May Face if You Are a Restaurant Owner

Many new restaurant owners underestimate the startup capital they require to open and run a new restaurant
#5 Challenges you May Face if You Are a Restaurant Owner
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Director, Neve Hospitality
7 min read
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It is no surprise to learn that owning a restaurant comes with its fair share of responsibilities that require you to be on your feet. And although it may seem like a dream come true eventually, a restaurant owner initially has to go through several months of constant designing, overlooking and perfecting every little detail that comes hand-in-hand with the project.

Often there’s an issue of time constraint that keeps a restaurant owner preoccupied with intricacies. Whether it is sourcing the right ingredients, obtaining too many licences, finalizing a space within your budget to interviewing the right staff — restaurateurs have to consider everything beginning from a pin to piano before taking the right foot forward.

Amid the numerous challenges that we’ve mentioned, here are a few that especially take the forefront for restaurateurs during the teething phase of every project:

Pre-opening Planning

Opening up a restaurant is an entrepreneur’s dream or passion. To share the joy with patrons who end uprelishing the ambience, food and services is fulfilment of its own. However, only the owner knows what all efforts they have put in before opening up a restaurant. Developing and executing a solid business strategy for the restaurant is extremely important inorder to make the business successful.

Financial

Many new restaurant owners underestimate the startup capital they require to open and run a new restaurant. New owners need large sums of capital to cover the leasing of a building, hiring a new wait and hostess staff, stocking the kitchen and bar areas and buying furniture as well as decorations. Most new restaurants do not turn a good profit for several months, even years, after opening. Established restaurant owners can also suffer financially, especially during recessions when they have fewer customers.

Planning

To be successful in the long run, a restaurant needs an accessible location, a theme or style that appeals to a broad range of customers, and a solid menu. Restaurants must stand out from the crowd,especially those located in urban areas that facefierce competitors. Even established restaurant owners must continually review their menu and theme to ensure they are giving customers what they want. If customers do not enjoy the food or the restaurant itself, the owner will start to lose business and good word-of-mouth advertising.

Competition

Restaurants in heavily populated suburban areas or major cities face heavy competition, especially small, independent restaurants. A restauranteur must know how to market his business, how to bring in new customers and how to develop a repeat clientele. Large, well-known restaurant chains typically have an easier time drawing in customers, whereas independent restaurant owners have to work hard to develop their own customer base.

Finding the Right Suppliers

As a start-up restauranteur, it can be tough to develop and nurture quality supplier partnerships. It can take time to properly evaluate a vendor’s reliability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness. Plus, with all the day-to-day action that comes along with business ownership, it may be time-consuming to research and connect with all the suppliers you’ll need to run your business with.

Restaurant Design & Layout

So, you’ve discovered an avenue to showcase your culinary talents —but you may not have given a thought about spruce up the place at all! Owning and operating your own breakfast and lunch restaurant allows you to showcase who are you are to your community, right down to seating options and restaurant design. How will you determine the most efficient use of space? Who will help you add a personalised, decorative touch to every aspect of your restaurant location? Ponder over a few questions before taking on the challenge head-on.

Restaurant Marketing Tactics

Choosing the right marketing strategy for your restaurant can seem tricky, especially if you’re new to the world of business ownership. Defining your brand message, increasing awareness and creating loyalty are essential to your restaurant’s growth. You’ll want to make sure you have reliable marketing advice to create a tailor-made restaurant marketing strategy.

Staffing

Successful restaurant owners know the importance of having the right employees; an organisation must be sure to have a good team in place to make it in the hospitality industry. Placing greater emphasis on hiring and training staff can help meet this requisite and will also reduce cost over time.

This often starts with sourcing high-quality candidates,having not just advertising open jobs, but also detailed job descriptions that include specific responsibilities and requirements. Take advantage of the interview;ask candidates suitable questions that allow for assessment of their knowledge and skills, it can provide powerful insight into whether or not he or she will make a good addition to the team.

It is important to keep in mind that once the proper employees are both hired and trained, keeping turnover to a minimum should be a top priority.

Guest Management

Today’s restaurant customers, especially millennials, have higher standards than ever— even for quick service restaurants (QSRs). Concerns about diet and nutrition, food allergies/sensitivities, and sourcing of ingredients are all taking centre stage in the minds of restaurant-goers.

Gathering and using guest preferences and intelligence to enable delivery of superior guest experience.

Hotels are able to gather data and profile with utmost uniqueness through the many sources of interaction both on and off property. It can enable the business in making this data available for greater customer intimacy and anticipation of returning guest needs.

You must ensure you’ve developed sufficient training programs to empower these employees to properly serve your guests. To win repeat business and ensure long-term growth, hotels must develop a deep understanding of the types of customers they want to attract, and provide services and facilities that cater to the needs of their target customer base.

Sustainability

Sustainable development is the means by which a company progresses towards achieving an identified set of sustainability goals and harnesses competitive advantage.

The purpose of this is to identify barriers to implementing sustainable practices in restaurants, and explore ways that restaurateurs can incorporate sustainable business practices. Energy consumption, water use, waste production, and food through put are the four sustainability indicators addressed in this concept.

The four focal areas of sustainability can be applied to the restaurant industry. For example, owners must be educated on the collective impacts of their businesses and take responsibility to educate consumers.

Owners must be aware that sustainability is not a product that can be achieved overnight, but a dynamic, long-term process. The industry stresses the environment and the food system; therefore, restaurateurs should be proactive to avoid creating negative future conditions

Inventory Management

Restaurant owners should focus on managing expenses. One crucial component of keeping costs low is effectively managing inventory. Those who fail to do so may face unforeseen expenditures and supply overages or shortages throughout peak business periods. People managing the inventory and menu pricing should fine tune the ordering process to limit waste and to continuously monitor fluctuating costs which impact gross profit on menu items. It is very important to know how much ingredients cost, as these expenses can fluctuate.

Restaurants are businesses, and owners need to post accounting information correctly and include all financial information. Common issues include failing to count gift certificates as liabilities until redeemed, making sales tax errors and ordering too much inventory. The tighter owners keep their inventories, the more profitable their restaurants will become. Failing to keep complete daily inventory records makes it difficult to spot food losses or calculate food costs in proportion to sales.

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