Don't upset your customers! (image)
If there is one type of business that is never going to go out of fashion, it's the restaurant business. Sure, many people will opt for a takeaway experience in front of the television, but there is still something to be said about the culinary and social experiences that can be had with friends and family on a night out away from the four walls of the living room.
If you are thinking about starting a restaurant business, you need to follow a recipe for success and not a disaster. The following are just some of the common mistakes you need to avoid.
Mistake #1: Not paying attention to the location
You aren't going to attract any customers if your restaurant is tucked away in the middle of nowhere. If you are placed off the beaten path, you can still advertise your business through on-street signage and digital marketing, but you will find greater success if you are located in a part of town that is guaranteed to catch the eye of hungry passersby. When looking for a location, you should also research the other food establishments nearby. Look for your own niche so as not to fall foul of the competition.
Mistake #2: Neglecting food safety guidelines
Your business will fail if you earn a reputation for poor food safety standards, so your restaurant has to be up to scratch. Food should be stored at the right temperatures, in refrigerators and rooms insulated with cold room panels. Worktops, cutlery, and storage containers need to be sanitized. Both you and your staff need training in handling and preparing food to avoid cross-contamination. And areas need to be kept clean from debris food to reduce the need for pest control. A health inspector will shut you down if you don't adhere to food safety guidelines, so educate yourself on everything you need to do to, for both the health of your customers and your business.
Mistake #3: Making bad menu choices
If the food on your menu is bland and unappealing, you won't get many paying customers. If you overprice your food, you might alienate some of your demographic. If you make it too complicated, with fancy foods that nobody has heard of, then you might put off those customers who tend to be fussy. And if you forget about those customers with food allergies and intolerances, you are going to a) risk their health, and b) deter them from using your restaurant. Getting your menu right is difficult, but consider your target market, research other restaurants, and look for ideas online, for menu trends and food ideas.
Mistake #4: Forgetting the overall experience
Sure, your customers will be coming for the food, but you can do more to make their visit a happy one. Make them feel like VIPs with excellent customer service and hospitality. Create a special ambience with the music you play and the aesthetics of your room design. Reduce waiting times and speed up payment processes with a POS Ordering System. And encourage feedback from your customers on what they did and didn't like, so you can tailor your restaurant to improve the guest experience.
Get it wrong, and those one-star Yelp reviews will become commonplace! Get it right, however, in all of the ways we have suggested here, and you should find success with your restaurant business. Let us know what you think, and if you have any comments, be sure to let us know.