It’s notoriously difficult to turn a profit in the food industry. For one reason or another, establishments come and go, and staff turnover is high. Many new restaurateurs are forced to realise they won’t get rich and successful overnight, but if you love what you do, then you won’t want to quit at the first sign of trouble.
Once you’ve found your stride in this industry, the scope is practically limitless. You can open multiple restaurants, build a franchise, branch out to hotels and run a nationwide business, but not without first laying the groundwork. With this in mind, here are five areas to address if you want to make your restaurant more profitable.
When choosing a location for your restaurant, it’s important to do your research. Most business owners know this, yet many skip over the essential details like targeting the right demographic. You could open your doors in the most well-populated part of town, but if it’s mainly students who live there and your business is targeted at working professionals (i.e., the food is not cheaply priced), then you won’t get a lot of business. If footfall is a problem in your area, consider changing the location to boost your profit.
Your restaurant should have equally brilliant food and service, but you cannot underestimate the overall setting and atmosphere. It doesn’t matter if you have Michelin starred chefs working in your kitchen; if the tables are stacked with dirty plates, the music is too loud, the lighting is off, and the service is slow, no one will want to eat there. Make sure your establishment looks welcoming by investing in comfortable restaurant furniture and taking time to get the lighting right. Once you pay attention to the details and prioritise comfort and aesthetics, you will attract more custom.
Once you’ve got brought customers into your restaurant, it’s time to impress them with your food and drink. It’s your job to make your menu sound appetising and to know enough about how the dishes are prepared so you can answer their questions. Make sure you employ knowledgeable, well-trained staff who know how to upsell.
Does your restaurant concept stand out, or is it the same as several other establishments in the area? Your business doesn’t have to be unique, but you do have to pick a concept and deliver it well. Your customers need to know exactly what they’re getting when they dine with you, whether that’s vegetarian Indian cuisine, American classics with a twist or two-for-one tapas. It’s important to identify your niche and make sure your menu, layout, and branding all match up.
These days, you can’t afford to ignore your online presence. This means you should have a website that’s both functional and attractive, and an active social media presence. When tourists come from out of town, they will be searching the Internet to find places to eat in your location. Don’t miss out on their trade by ignoring your presence online; instead, research local SEO tactics or hire an Internet marketing company to boost your rankings.