Opening a new restaurant is an exciting venture, but it is only the beginning. It is often cited that three out of every four restaurants fail during their first year of opening. This is an indication that while many restaurants open, few have what it takes to become a long-term success.
These odds may be scary, but they’re not impossible to beat. One reason why so many new restaurants fail to thrive is the lack of planning. If you know how to plan and read through our tips below, you will surely make your restaurant a success in no time.
1. Market and advertise your restaurant
While it would be nice if your new restaurant became popular immediately, only few establishments have that luck. Heavily advertising and marketing your products is not just a priority during your restaurant’s opening. Whether you’ve been in the market for a few years or decades, it is still important to advertise your restaurant. Always look for new and innovative ways to remind customers of how awesome your restaurant is and entice them to keep coming back.
Nowadays, it’s also a great idea to take advantage of the internet for marketing. Building a solid social network through sites like Facebook and Twitter and creating your restaurant’s own website are inexpensive ways to gain awareness and exposure. Of course, you can still consider having print or radio advertisements around your area to attract more customers, but you don’t need to break the bank to do so. You can opt to minimize the costs by running those ads only around the holidays and other special occasions.
Thinking of new and innovative ways to sell your products is also a part of marketing. For restaurants, catering services are another way to reach a broader customer base. You already have the resources for feeding large parties of customers, so why not offer to cater to parties, weddings, and other events? That way, you can increase sales and market your restaurant at the same time.
2. Maintain your restaurant menu
Your menu is the calling card of your restaurant. It tells customers who you are and what you offer. As your restaurant grows, it’s important to make sure that your menu items and other details are always updated.
Moreover, you should periodically review which menu items are selling well and which aren’t. Keep and highlight customer favorites then remove or switch up those that aren’t selling well. Don’t be afraid to update your menu and, maybe, even try out new dishes. Reviewing your menu also allows you to update prices and ensure all your costs are still in line.
3. Offer great customer service at all times
Good food will lure customers into your restaurant, but it’s a good service that keeps them coming back. In a business where the customer is always right, the way you handle their complaints and show them appreciation is important for building a strong relationship with them.
Listen to your customers and do your best to give them what they want. Some promotional strategies are great ways to show customers how much you appreciate their loyalty. Examples of those are happy hours, two-for-one specials, and various seasonal promotions.
4. Learn and improve as a restaurant owner
There are many resources you can find about owning a restaurant and how to grow it. Aside from learning these tips we’ve given, look into books, television shows, magazines, and websites that provide lessons and ideas on how to manage your restaurant better and more efficiently
Some publications and websites offer advice on everything from updating menus to sustainable practices you can do in your restaurant. Continuously learning not only keeps you as a restaurant owner updated on trends, but it also inspires you to innovate and develop your restaurant.
5. Manage your restaurant finances well
The biggest problem many new restaurants face is managing their finances. The key to managing finances in a restaurant is knowing how to spend and where. If you properly invest your capital and money in the right things, then you can grow it and sustain your business.
It is also important to know what to do when problems arise to keep them from escalating. If you are not familiar with managing money and reading financial statements, learn how to or get someone who can help you. Understanding how to read a profit and loss statement and analyze daily cash flow is crucial. These can help identify problems early on and allow you to take the necessary steps to keep your restaurant on the road to success.
As you grow your restaurant, there will definitely be risks along the way. The tips we’ve given will surely help mitigate some risks, but they do not completely protect you. If you don’t want to let your restaurant’s budding potential go to waste, consider getting insurance.
If you would like to know more about how insurance can protect your restaurant’s growth and what types of insurance you might need, get in touch with us at CIII Insurance Services. We can also help you with securing your own policy so that it’s easy and efficient!
CIII Insurance Services provides a broad range of Commercial, Employee Benefits, Bar, Restaurant, or Tavern Protection and Management Liability products. We even partner with some of the finest carriers to deliver these products to you at your convenience.