Unlike the slow cooked, simmering cauldron of delicious gravy cooked to perfection, there is no recipe to a successful restaurant. There is no hard and fast rule to make a restaurant a success, but with keen observation and careful analysis, one can identify the traits successful restaurants have. We went to great lengths to identify the common traits of successful restaurants and compiled them in a listicle for your benefit. Read along and thank us later.
1. Understanding of Business
So many restaurants open each year and close down within the first year itself because of zero understanding of business. Most first-time restaurateurs have no business acumen and jump into restaurant industry because it looks lucrative from afar. A restaurant business, like any other business, needs to run efficiently, considering all the factors.
Operations are an important part of the restaurant business and require experience and understanding to manage them. You should be able to compare food costs, labor costs, gross margins, and profits. If you are a first-time restaurateur, do your research well before you open your own. The ability to take smart and often tough decisions is a pivotal point in restaurant business which we often tend to ignore. From haggling with the vendors to managing the staff, and executing restaurant operations; you need to have a clear understanding of the business
2. Great Food
This one is a no-brainer: a popular restaurant is primarily known for its food, and great tasting food is a recurring trait that is present in successful restaurants. No matter what you do, if the food at your restaurant is not great, people will not return. Successful restaurants boast of a great chef, who produces delicious food for customers. Restaurants are often known for a particular signature dishes that draw customers to the joint.
Yes, the location of the restaurant matters. A lot. Even with the same food, same hospitality, and the same staff, the success of franchise outlets can be widely different. An outlet located in a popular area is bound to see more footfalls than the one located in a remote area. The location must also be decided on the basis of the restaurant concept, and the target audience. Read a detailed guide on how to choose restaurant location here.
4. Smart Menu Planning
A smartly designed menu can do wonders for your restaurant. A well-designed menu draws the attention of the customers to the high-profit items and improves sales. If you look carefully at what a successful restaurant does, that a relatively less busy restaurant doesn’t, it is often the menu designing. Even if the items that are served at the two outlets are pretty much the same, chances are the popular restaurant has efficiently tapped the menu to draw profits. Read how to design the perfect menu for your restaurant here.
5. Guest Experience
A great customer service is an inherent trait of a successful restaurant business. Customer service constitutes the entire customer experience, right from the politeness and helpfulness of the staff, to the service—how soon the food arrives, the price of the dishes, restaurant ambience, etc. Effective customer enagegement also plays an important role in improving the overall customer experience.
A polite and helpful staff leaves a deep impression on the minds of the customers. No matter how good your food is, if the customers are not treated well, they will most certainly never come back. Read how to pacify angry customers here.
6. Owner’s Involvement
The owner’s involvement is one of the most underrated parts of restaurant management. Depending on the restaurant manager becomes inevitable in the case of multiple outlets, however, even then the owner must oversee all operations. Now restaurateurs are using mobile analytics to keep a track on their restaurant business.
Yes, marketing is important. No, word of mouth is not enough. Yes, there are some legacy restaurants out there which do not spend a penny on marketing, yet are flourishing, but they are rare cases. Even big brands like KFC, Dominos spend a ton on marketing. Marketing is an essential part of a restaurant’s success and must never be ignored. In its most basic form, marketing is of two types- Online Marketing and Offline Marketing.
1. Online Marketing–
Online marketing or digital marketing is considered to be the more popular as well as effective way to reach out to customers. It primarily consists of social media marketing, email and SMS marketing, and a thriving online presence.
Read a detailed article on how to do online marketing here.
2. Offline Marketing- Hosting events, local adverstising, distributing pamphlets, etc, are some of the ways of doing marketing for your restaurant offline.
Read how to do offline marketing for your restaurant here.
Now, there’s no set rule to this, but it is generally seen that restaurants owned in partnership tend to flourish. As a first-time restaurateur, it would be great if you can find a seasoned partner who already has a few restaurants in his kitty. This would not only reduce the risks of investment but would also enable you to learn a thing or two about restaurant management.
9. Staff Satisfaction
Behind a successful, well-functioning restaurant, there is a team of efficient and loyal staff. A happy staff is a productive staff. If employees are not happy, their dissatisfaction is almost certain to be reflected in their work. The duties in the restaurant industry are extremely tough; working tough hours, and catering to grumpy customers with patience is a difficult task indeed. On top of this, if your staff is not happy with their work conditions, and their remuneration, then their dissatisfaction is likely to reflect in their work.
Restaurants are now also offering Employee Stock Option (ESOP), which basically offers them the option of buying shares of the company. This is a great way to instill the feeling of ownership in the employees, and encourage them to perform their best. Giving your staff Employee Benefits and overtime also helps improve staff satisfaction.
We hope you found this article useful. Think we missed a point? Do let us know in the comments below!