This post is courtesy of our guest blogger Scott Simon:
The restaurant business is very competitive. Half of all restaurants fail in the first couple of years. Running a successful restaurant depends on a number of factors. We’ve scoured the internet to find out what are the key habits to running a successful restaurant. Here’s what we found:
- Use quality ingredients. It doesn’t matter how many Michelin stars your restaurant has. If you are not consistently serving top quality food, your customers will not come back and your sales will fall. Always use fresh, top quality ingredients. If you have to save money, don’t do it by sacrificing the quality of you r food.
- Treat your employees with respect. It’s no secret, running a restaurant can be very stressful. When the dinner rush comes in and customers are getting impatient and the kitchen staff starts scrambling it can be easy to lose your cool. But don’t take it out on your employees. It’s important to remind yourself and your staff that everyone is a team and it’s important to work as a team. Yelling at your employees will result in negativity trickling down to the guests and will result in complaints. A positive attitude can be contagious. Set a good example and you will be rewarded with a happy staff and happy guests.
- Treat your guests with respect. Immediately greeting them when they come in with a smile. Do not ignore guest’s complaints. Stonewalling will only result in unhappy guests that will not return. This doesn’t mean that every mistake should be corrected with a free meal, but shortcomings should be acknowledged. Some guest complaints are unwarranted and the customer is not always right, however there should be an effort to compensate them in a way that does not come off as condescending or being overly eager to please.
- Be proactive. Make sure you inventory is always stocked with key ingredients and have extra on hand. Keep a list of all your daily tasks whether it’s on a piece of paper or on your laptop. Post the hours and shifts of your employees well in advance so they can plan. Make a list of tasks for downtime.
- Be consistent. This means be consistent with the way you treat your employees and the way your dishes are prepared. Staff and guests don’t like surprises and crave consistency. This will keep guests coming back and your staff will be happy if they know they are being treated fairly. The service should also be consistent. This along with food that impresses will create loyal patrons that will give you repeat business.
- Optimize with social media. If your restaurant doesn’t take a 21 century approach to business then it is reducing its chances for success. Most people have smart phones these days and technology and the dining experience are becoming more and more intertwined. People are using their smart phones more and more to make reservations, order food to go, find nearby restaurants, uploading pictures of their food and posting reviews. Make sure your restaurant is listed on apps such as open table. Have a Facebook page and a website that you update regularly with specials or new dishes. Social media can be a great source for advertising and making your restaurant more visible.
- Educate yourself and your staff. You should know and be trained in all aspects of running a restaurant from cooking the meals, to bar-tending and waiting tables. This isn’t so you will be taking over all of these roles or interfering unnecessarily, but so you will understand the needs of your employees. Your employees should also be educated on sanitation, safety, menu items, nutritional information and upselling. An educated staff is a successful staff. Offer course in wine pairing and keep them informed on new menu items.
- Be accountable. Reward and compliment your employees when they are doing things right, but don’t be overly critical if they make an error. Employees will respond better to positive reinforcements. If an employee is not responding to positive reinforcement and is not up to par make sure he and the staff know there are consequences. Listen to guest’s feedback and fix what’s wrong while expanding on what is being done right.
We would like to thank Scott Simon from Affordableseating.net for providing us with another wonderful article