Approximately 60% of businesses fail in the first year. So how do you safeguard your restaurant’s success and not become a statistic?

Some of the startlingly common complications restaurants face are:

Who Are You?
Are you a café, tapas bar or a wine bar? Your customers need to know why they should dine at your establishment and not at your rival’s.
While an excellent menu and outstanding customer service are vital to your success, they are not an elite selling point. They are simply meeting the anticipations of your customers.

You need an unusual idea – something even superior than great food and great service. A unique selling point offers your customers a sensation that enables them to remember you long after they are gone. Allow your food, your service, and your unique selling point and your identity to make a passionate association with your customers.

The Customer
Poor or unacceptable customer service is what customer’s don’t want. Even though your food may be exceptional, your table settings attractive and your ambiance charming, but if your customer service is bad, customers will remember.

The key to business success are happy customers who want to return again and again. To ensure your success, your entire team – from management all the way down to the cleaner – must be dedicated to your customers’ well-being. Every interaction your staff makes with customers must be pleasurable, friendly and accepting.

The Menu
One of the most shared problems restaurant owners face is the menu. A good menu is a balancing act. How many menu items do I offer? Are your dishes priced fittingly? Does your menu have a theme?

Instead of offering an extensive four-page menu, consider offering a smaller number of dishes and doing them exceptionally well. People need to know what your restaurant is about – keep your menu united with your restaurant’s distinctive proposition.

When you have too many diverse dishes cooking at the same time and not enough of the same items in the same pans, you’ll spend more time producing orders. Each table takes longer to serve, and you’ll turn them over at a slower rate.

Here are some ideas for your restaurant menu:
•Group your most profitable items together.
•Don’t use dollar signs.
•Let your menu be a tour guide. This can be accomplished through photos and/or creative text.
•Keep your menus clean – no food or water stains. Get rid of worn or torn menus.
•Update your menu and prices at least once a year.
•Build your menu around popular items.
•Make sure your staff is systematically trained and they have memorized the menu.

Most successful restaurant owners know the prominence of employing and training the right employees. A common problem exists as many restaurants employ the incorrect people and have a high staff turnover rate. An inept staff member can also irreparably damage your current and future customer base.

When you put great importance on your staff, you’ll reduce costs over time and enhance your diners’ customer service experience. Pay extra attention to finding the perfect employees and don’t settle for anything less. Once hired, train your staff and offer training manuals, checklists, goals and incentives.

Stimulate your staff as well as your management team. Train them to address any situation, good or bad, that arises. Make sure they are enthusiastic and encouraged to pursue your goals and adhere to your restaurant’s unique model.

Establish and maintain a solid management structure so everyone knows and understands their own, as well as their team member’s responsibilities. Your management team should be exemplary, devoted, motivational and accomplished at running the restaurant in your absence.

You need to know how to analyze your business to make sure it runs profitably. Many small restaurants don’t pay attention to the following items as they manage the day-to-day operation of their restaurant:
•How many customers are you serving each day?
•Keep track of ordered menu items. Remove items that are slow selling
•What are your most profitable menu items?
•What does it cost of goods to make each menu item? Know your profit margins?
•Establish and implement a budget for labor and comply with it
•How much loss is involved in your inventory?
•Do you have sales budgets? Are you meeting them?
•What is your profit and loss for each week you are open? How much does it cost to open your doors every day?

Many café and restaurant owners fail to pay ample consideration to marketing. Following are a few areas to address in order to evade the pitfalls that not-enough marketing incurs:

•Formalize your brand standards. This includes mission statement, logo, graphics, guidelines, etc.
•Formulate a concise and costed marketing plan. Start small and work up to a six month or a year-long plan.
•Design a receptive website that looks great on desktop, tablet and mobile phone.
•Engage in social media and digital marketing.
•Create and utilise an effective email database.
•Create a customer loyalty program.
Remember to be creative with your marketing. Whatever your budget and or limitation, there are plenty of inexpensive ways to market your restaurant.

Lastly, we arrive to an area where many restaurant owners run into big complications. This imminent problem is capital, and more exactly, a lack of it. Restaurant owners need sufficient capital to run their business so it can fully establish itself. Owners should plan to have at least enough money to run for one year. Additionally, restaurant owners need to have enough financial resources to cope with unexpected costs and increases.


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