The restaurant industry is a competitive one. Many launch and shutter within a year. Even the ones that survive their first year often struggle to find their foothold in the market. To be successful, restauranteurs must blend a unique combination of both business sense and creativity. It’s not something everyone can master. Like cooking a delicious dish, though, it helps to follow a recipe. Here’s our take on the best ingredients for a successful restaurant:
Prioritize Prep Work
Just as sous chefs take time to prep their ingredients before the dinner rush arrives, it’s important to adequately prepare to start a new business. This is especially true in the highly-competitive restaurant world. Opening a new eatery is exciting, but doing so before you have all the necessary components ready is never a good idea.
Before you ever set a projected opening date, be realistic about what remains to be accomplished. Too many restaurants open to middling reviews because they haven’t perfected their atmosphere, their staff, their policies or their food. While you may be eager to start earning profits to pay your staff, taking it at your own speed will pay off in the long run.
Add Fresh Talent
Chefs love fresh ingredients. After all, cooking is about incorporating bright, fun and surprising flavors. Channel that inspiration into your hiring. After all, there’s nothing quite like a new batch of talent to add to your staff. Culinary schools are often a great source of affordable labor. While bringing in green cooks straight from the classroom might seem like a bad idea, they’re often more excited and eager to prove themselves than older, more experienced chefs.
Another benefit of young, fresh talent? They’re often quick learners, ready to do things your way and follow procedures as you create them. This sense of teamwork is invaluable in both the kitchen and the dining room. Servers, too, need a kind of fresh-faced enthusiasm about your menu in order to prioritize customer service.
Stir in Flexibility
Flexibility is important in just about every line of work, but in the hospitality industry, it’s especially crucial. When it comes time to please customers, you’ll want to do whatever it takes to keep them satisfied. That kind of flexibility shouldn’t mean that you’re spineless, of course, but it should mean that you’re ready to bend and flex in whichever direction you might be needed. That attitude should carry over into your employees, too.
In the restaurant world, you’ll need to switch hats a million times a shift. You might initially be calling the shots and managing the crew, but you’ll undoubtedly serve as host, busboy, janitor or dishwasher at some point in your tenure. When it comes time to serve customers, you’ll need to be as up-for-anything as your menu.
Spice Up the Ambiance
Of course, the most successful restauranteurs know that delicious food is only half the battle. The atmosphere is everything and can be the competitive edge you need to become the go-to spot in town. Professionally designed color patterns and furnishings can go a long way to set the mood. We eat with our eyes first, so the dining experience begins as soon as guests walk through the door.
The ambiance is not just about decor. Your goal is to tell a story with your restaurant, and that narrative begins as soon as someone visits your website or calls for a reservation. If you’re hoping to carve your niche in the market, start with an excellent customer experience from the first moments of engagement. By prioritizing the dining experience of the customer above all else, you ensure a fantastic time for all who visit.
Finish with Quality Customer Service
No successful business gets that way by ignoring the needs of their customers. This is especially true in the restaurant industry. In order to find those raving fans who proselytize about you all over town, you’ll need to ensure a quality experience for every person who walks in for a meal. While providing such service is easier said than done, it deserves serious attention from anyone hoping to run a successful restaurant.
Once you understand everything that goes into the customer experience, it can feel a little overwhelming. How can you keep an eye on your servers and kitchen staff simultaneously? How can you make sure your hostess is seating people correctly and keep the bar stocked with all the necessities? How will you make sure callers are getting accurate information or a reservation when you need to be focusing on your current diners? Don’t worry, you’ve got this. And we can help take at least one of those things off your plate. Our restaurant answering services ensure your callers are properly taken care of so that you can focus on everything going on at your establishment.
As with cooking, success in business often lies in finding the right tools. You wouldn’t begin rolling out dough for freshly made pasta if you didn’t have a pasta machine to run it through, so why start a company without an airtight plan for customer service? By partnering with MAP Communications, you’ll hand off phone duties to experts who are passionate about providing stellar customer experiences. We’re an important tool to have in the drawer no matter what you’re cooking up!