How do you make it, in the restaurant business, for five years, ten years or longer? Here are eight great tips to help you survive for decades in a tough business:
1. BE READY TO WORK….ALOT
Don’t be afraid to work long, long hours. At first, YOU will have to cultivate your passion for the business in your staff. YOU will have to troubleshoot issues and find satisfactory resolutions as you find tune your operation. YOU will have to “feel” the market, making adaptations and adjustments when necessary. YOU will need to be the face of your business until the business has established a steady customer base. The amount of time that YOU will need to be involved in the day to day operations will ultimately depend on tip #3.
2. BE COMMITTED
Commitment is extremely important in the restaurant business. If you don’t feel like you can be committed every single day, then you won’t last one day, much less 25 years. Have a written plan of daily and long term goals and stay committed to them, especially when things are tough. Communicate these goals to your staff and find ways to motivate them to be just as committed to them.
3. BE A FAMILY
There’s no way you can have longevity without a great staff. Treat your staff like family. Be concerned about their life outside of work. Be understanding of their needs and the needs of the restaurant. Teach them and consistently retrain them over the years. When they learn something new, they’ll stay excited about coming to work. Do simple things like saying hello to your staff when you enter the restaurant. Show them they are respected and appreciated. This will motivate them to stay committed to your goals and reduce the amount of time you’ll need to spend directly in the day to day operations.
4. BE RELEVANT
Long-term restaurants have many guests that return for classic and traditional dishes. Be equally focused on executing your menu staples with consistency and excellence, while also pushing your cuisine forward. You don’t have to be the super-trendiest spot in town, but always stay on the leading edge of techniques and trends. Avoid fads.
5. BE POSITIVE
You cannot have a short fuse in the restaurant environment. Every day, you will run into issues, but you need to be able to handle them without getting mad and by maintaining a positive attitude.
6. BE CONSISTENT
You cannot be all things to all people. Every restaurant has its own market to attract. Know your market and give them the food quality and service they deserve. Every item on the menu should be prepared the same way, every time. Your entire staff must approach the table the same way, answer the phone the same way, etc. No one likes surprises.
7. BE A PART OF THE COMMUNITY
Become a partner with those in the area you serve by giving back to the community. Participate in Christmas toy drives, school activities, etc. You will quickly understand the value of the reward you’ll enjoy when you do.
8. BE OPEN TO CHANGE
Don’t be afraid to change. Update the dining room when necessary. Customers and staff love to see that you are keeping the place up to date. Add new food items. It will keep your menu from becoming stale. Embrace new technologies. They will make your staff more efficient, your product more consistent and provide your customers with a better experience.
At the PES Design Group our mission is: “Designing functionally innovative, attractive and profitable c-store and food service facilities on time and on budget”. Our promise to you is, that whatever your project may be, we will approach it as unique. We will use our years of experience to design innovation and uniqueness into your project helping you to set yourself apart from the rest. We will also use innovation to solve challenging issues such as space, time and budget constraints.
About the Consultant
Jim Richards (Jr) is the Managing Member of Cademan Enterprises, LLC and Food Service Consultant with PES Design Group’s Southeast Office. During his 25 years of experience in the Food Service Design Industry, Jim has encountered countless design challenges that he has successfully overcome through experience and innovation.
Call us today for a FREE consultation about your project! 800.850.6638