Owning a restaurant is a common aspiration, but serving culinary delights can be more challenging than it appears on the surface. Although many owners get the food right, many don’t know what it takes to make their restaurant venture a business success.
It’s no secret that the restaurant business is a tough industry. Reports show that 60 percent of restaurants don’t make it past their first year, and 80 percent go out of business within five years.
No restaurant owner wants to be on the wrong side of those statistics. But what can you do to increase your odds of maintaining a profitable business? Start by identifying what characteristics make restaurants better than others. For example, a successful restaurant:
- Has A Strong, Communicative Leadership Team
Communication is at the heart of business. Every business must have a solid vision to guides it, and everyone, from the restaurant owner to the dish dryers, need to understand this vision. To run a profitable restaurant, anyone in a leadership position needs to understand business communication skills and constantly strive to improve.
- Provides Incentives for Staff to Stay on Board
The restaurant industry is notorious for high turnover among staff, that’s never a good thing. The problem is usually linked to pay, which is low, so restaurant staff doesn’t see it as a long term career.
High staff turnover costs the business a lot of money. Each new staff member will need training, which is time and money that could be used elsewhere. Additionally, when staff leave and even if the exited staff member is immediately replaced, there is a disruption in the flow of operations.
Getting the right staff members is the first step towards creating long term relationships. Training them is also essential so that your restaurant has consistently high-quality standards throughout the customer’s experience. Finally, pay your staff well. Your business losses out more if your staff leave, so invest in keeping them happy and performing well. Keep in mind that front of house staff is the face and customer contact point for your restaurant. Happy, fulfilled employees give better service, which adds to your bottom line.
- Uses the Right Point of Sale System
A point of sale (POS) is the environment in which a customer pays for a good or service. A POS could be a cash box, a payment terminal, or a digital payment gateway. It is a crucial step in the customer experience, which needs to be as quick and painless as possible.
A sound POS system is safe, reliable, and cost-effective. Your POS system should be able to integrate with all your sales channels like your website or app. Another feature of your POS system should have is diverse payment options. Customers prize efficiency, safety, and ease of use when it comes to making payment.
There are many POS software and hardware providers out there, so be sure to research your options. ParTech, the largest POS software company serving the global restaurant market, is one example to consider.
- Continuously Improves Standards of Customer Service
Never forget that restaurants are there to provide experience. Customers must feel comfortable, appreciated, and well taken care of. The customer experience is a powerful marketing tool that can build your restaurant’s brand and market it through word of mouth.
- Establishes a Connection with the Community
Restaurants do not operate on an island; they operate among a community. The restaurant should not shy away from being active in the community, especially when it comes to charitable work.
The food, decor, and target market must all blend in with the community. The people surrounding the restaurant are the easiest patrons to market to and gain repeated business from. Fitting into the community is particularly important if the restaurant provides a delivery service.
- Has Signature Dishes You Can’t Get Anywhere Else
Food is a crucial differentiator between restaurants. To stand out, a restaurant would need to serve hard to find dishes or more common dishes that are of better quality.
It’s not enough to serve great food; it must also be consistent. Customers expect to get the same taste from the same dish every single time they order it. Consistency adds to customer satisfaction and your restaurant’s brand.
- Has the Appropriate Ambiance
The emotions evoked by the color scheme, decor, and aesthetics of the restaurant form an essential part of the customer experience. It also leaves a unique imprint on the customer’s perception of your brand.
The ambiance has to tie your food to the target market. A bar will most likely be profitable if it offers live music, neon signs, and patrons filling every barstool, yet this same ambiance cannot be used for an elegant dining place.
An underappreciated factor in restaurant success is hygiene and health. Having a good rating not only keeps your restaurant shut down, but it also gives your customers the confidence to eat there, especially with large parties like families or events.
Find Inspiration, and Get Started
If these seven characteristics sound ideal for your business, it’s time to start making changes. For the best results, try to think of your favorite, most successful restaurants, and gain inspiration from how they accomplish these seven elements. With a plan in place, you’ll be able to transform your restaurant in no time.