Written by Susan Brooks
The food industry isn’t and will never be a dying business trend (unless the entire world’s population decides to go on a diet). The number of consumers increases year after year. The demand for food also needs to keep up. Without our day-to-day grub, we cannot go about the day’s activities.
Every day, I see a new restaurant being built in my city. The brick-and-mortar slowly coming into place. And this gets me all juiced up because I think the most pleasurable thing in life is getting to try out new food!
The food industry is booming in nearly every nation. Restaurant owners need to think of ways on how to be ahead of the curve. They want to let everyone, young and old, men and women, to taste their delectable specialty dishes (good food should never go to waste), but with a workable master plan, of course.
Whether you’re putting up a small-scale or big-scale café, there’s no need to scratch your head anymore. I’ve summed up seven tips to start a successful restaurant business.
1 Figure Out Your Target Market
Putting up a restaurant is a tedious process, mind you. You can’t simply create something out of thin air without the proper steps. Because this is a very competitive niche, you have to find out how you can outperform the others.
First off, think of what type of restaurant can dominate the market. (Tip: When fiddling with this industry, it’s good to have the know-how on your particular niche.) Then, research on the market conditions in the area, like social status of consumers (yes, this is important), competitors, food trends, and whatnot.
2 Plan Down to the Last Detail
Remember I mentioned a master plan of some sort? This is when you should start. Once you have all the data needed, you can then adjust your plan around that data but not to the extent of making drastic changes. Also, this is the time to plan every aspect of your restaurant business like marketing, operations, funding, theme, menu, and even the supplies you need (tables, chairs, utensils, equipment). This is where you can evaluate the capital investment too.
3 Get the Funds
Now that you know how much (or how little) you need, determine a sustainable source of funds for the first few months, say, the first 12 months. Studies show that a successful restaurant will get back its original investment after two years, and most average restaurants would take four to five years. Patience is a virtue, my friend.
You can opt for financing or use your own savings but if you’re backed up against the wall in terms of capital, please don’t bother until you’re financially ready. If you’re lucky and successful, a breakeven revenue is a great way to jumpstart your business. But keep in mind that a continuous budget for cash flow is needed for the first couple of months.
4 Location, Location, Location
Location is everything in a restaurant business and I can’t stress that enough. Look for a busy area where a lot of people frequent. Also, it’s good to widen your target market. Make it an equally kid-friendly or adult-friendly space; there are a lot of Kids Friendly Cafes in KL (in Malaysia, one area I am familiar with.) Also, does having no parking space get you agitated? (It does to me) A huge parking space always attracts sdaily motorists. But for some, who aren’t blessed with private vehicles, make sure it’s a location which is accessible via public transportation.
5 Stand Out from the Rest
In the food industry, having a specialty dish is what people will always come back to your restaurant for. Don’t blend with your competitors. Make sure you offer something they don’t have or offer the same thing but a hundred times more delicious and unique!
6 Hire Only the Best Chef
You need someone to be at the helm in the kitchen; someone who has expertise and experience. Hiring an inexperienced chef might crumble under pressure. In case you don’t know, this industry is a bit rough as you need a lot of multi-tasking. If your business has a very slow service, consumers will most likely never want to come back. (No one wants to go hungry waiting for their food.) Also, treat your chef and staff right. If you don’t, they’ll end up quitting and it’s going to be hard to have the same quality of delectable dishes your customers are already used to.
7 Marketing is Paramount
Now that you’ve got everything up and going. How will you let the people know that you exist? The best marketing strategy these days is by word of mouth but to aid that, a good website is the next best thing. People search the internet almost all the time for reviews about products, services, and food! And through a website, you can be sure you’re reaching an array of consumers geographically.
Author Bio: Susan Brooks, driven by the passion for blogging, writes about beauty, fashion, food, travel and more. She loves to spend her time travelling, researching the latest fashion trends and all that inspire women. She also blogs at LaceyBunny, a fast-growing online media & community platform that is specifically designed for women.