You’ve spent your life visiting eating establishments and have always been inspired by the food on offer, the hustle and bustle of the waiting service and the sheer variety of decor and branding.
In fact, you’ve been so inspired, you’ve decided to open your own restaurant.
This is your calling; it’s your future; it’s the career that you’ve always dreamed of… only, you’ve not done it before; this is a brand new venture. In fact, you’re entirely new to the restaurant trade and hospitality in general. But does that put you at a disadvantage?
Sometimes, the simple pieces of advice are the most profound, because the obvious stuff in business is so easily overlooked. With that in mind, we’ve put together six basic tips that will have your restaurant up and running and making serious profit in no time at all.
1. Tableware and tablecloths
Well, yes. You’re running a restaurant after all. This stuff is a given, no?
Maybe, but were you aware that 81% of diners deem the choice of tableware in a restaurant to be a key factor when deciding where to eat out?
With this in mind, make sure you divert plenty of budget to both the tableware and tablecloths you use – they really do make a difference. Go for styles that match the culture of your restaurant and pick linens with a lower thread count (they’ll be far more durable).
A restaurant without background music is a soulless place to be, no matter how good the food is.
There are several ways you can approach music, depending on the style of your restaurant and the type of atmosphere you want to create. Live music is increasingly becoming prevalent in eateries where parties regularly take place, whereas the more traditional background piping of feel-good tunes suits most restaurants.
Don’t forget to press ‘play’.
The right (or wrong) lighting can have a significant impact on one’s happiness levels. If it’s too bright in your restaurant, diners will feel as though they’re sat in a doctor’s waiting room. Too dim, and they’ll be frustrated by the inability to scoop every last pea from their plate.
Again, your choice of lighting depends on the atmosphere you want to create, but soft tones set at 50% brightness usually work well. Similarly, overhead spots create a sense of grandeur, if that’s your thing.
4. Details of service
The way in which your waiting staff approach tables and deal with customers is all part of your brand and will often dictate whether or not diners will return (it’ll certainly have an impact on the review they leave on TripAdvisor).
You need to work hard on those tiny details of service and ensure that every member of staff takes them on board if your restaurant is to be successful. The style of greeting, method by which orders are taken (digital or traditional?) and language used by waiting staff will all live long in the memory of your customers. Get them right!
5. Booking methods
Get yourself an online table booking system. The modern diner will want to book via your website, rather than picking up the phone, and if you don’t offer a simple way to do so, they’ll quickly move onto the competition.
Far too many new restaurant ventures leave this vital element until the last moment, and in doing so, they create unnecessary panic and stress before the big opening.
Thankfully, we live in a world blessed with affordable, portable till systems that will give you all the tools you need (from traditional point of sale to modern stocktaking and cashless payments) and a stable, enjoyable platform for your staff to use.
That’s all, folks!
Running a restaurant isn’t easy – far from it – but by paying attention to the small details above, you’ll build a profitable business that people will want to return to, again and again.