5 Key Factors to Keep in Mind to Ensure a Successful Restaurant Business No one should start a restaurant with the sole idea of making money. If that's the only goal, failure is likely.
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
You're reading Entrepreneur India, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.
More and more restaurants are coming up every day, from food trucks to café to fine dining to themed restaurants; the options are just innumerable. Running your own business and flexibility at work being one's own boss sounds great, but the truth is that starting a restaurant from scratch is not at all easy. Choosing a busy location for your restaurant cannot guarantee success. There are a lot of other factors that need to be considered before opening any eating establishment. It's a hard and expensive process which requires lots of strategical planning and effort and despite all this majority of the restaurants fail. Nevertheless, if things work out, owning and managing a restaurant can be very interesting, satisfying and fruitful. No one should start a restaurant with the sole idea of making money. If that's the only goal, failure is likely. It takes more than heart and talent to succeed! Get ready to dig in your heels and make sure that you're as prepared as possible before you start out.:
1) Designing the Menu
Given the crowded restaurant scene, the most important thing is to make sure that the food offering is appealing and unique. It's tempting to rationalize a 15-page menu as giving customers many choices and ending up with multiple pages of completely unrelated items, or, possibly worse, dishes that differ only in the slightest. Its usual effect is to overwhelm and prevent many a customer from actually finding a meal they would enjoy or trying out something new. All too often, they'll simply pick the meals they most recognize and will never find the dishes that made you want to get into the restaurant business in the first place. Identifying a gap in the market and having a clear target customer in mind helps in reining in on the menu.
2) Differentiating From the Rest (USP)
If there are already twenty eat-outs with the same concept and similar menu, then in most cases it is not a wise idea to start one more of the same. People crave uniqueness which starts from you. It is important to know your brand /concept well and differentiate yourself from the other players. It is equally important to communicate the message about your brand to the right audience through the right media. Your brand vision, drive and passion are integral to your eventual success.
3) Picking the Right Team
While it's easy to hire staff, it's challenging to hire good staff. The people that make up your team will have just as much to do with the success of your restaurant as your food will. Rude hosts, poorly trained chefs or absent-minded waiters can cause the experience of a guest to go from great to poor in a jiffy. Hiring the right people and training them to reflect the brand ethos is crucial in running a smooth successful restaurant.
3) Creating the 'Right Look'
Having great food is half the job done, but customers looking for a wholesome experience while dining out. Ambience plays a significant role here. The décor should be in sync with the theme of the restaurant with special attention to furniture, seating arrangements, paint colour and lighting. The idea is to turn your restaurant into an identifiable brand that people can trust and keep coming to. Lastly, make sure there are plenty of insta-worthy scenes in your restaurant, from beautiful wall decorations to well-plated sushi. Let your customers do your marketing for you!
5)Using Social Media Effectively
Today, the success of any business is unimaginable without utilizing social media. This is more so for the restaurant business. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram presence is almost a must to have a consistent footfall. Posting fun pictures and relevant content on these platforms, along with shared content, check-ins and tags from the guests is the most effective marketing tool. If you are not leveraging the power of social media, you are limiting the potential reach and revenue for your business.
Starting a restaurant is anything but easy, but it can be done. Believing in your idea, knowing your market, remaining positive and following the above steps go a long way in ensuring a successful restaurant business.