When you start your first restaurant or invest in your first bar, the enthusiasm and joy you feel may overwhelm other emotions like warnings and doubts. When you lack original entrepreneurial experience on how to start a restaurant, some oversights can doom your pride and enthusiasm to close within months for some obvious reasons.
Fortunately, thousands of enterprising restaurateurs have created a path to success already. Instead of focusing only on what you want to do, take some time to note some common errors you should avoid at all costs.
Neglecting the Market
Being familiar with your target customer and intimately understanding the market you’re in is the most important factor for the long haul. Saving on market research during your restaurant’s beginning phase will be disastrous when you realize there’s a similarly themed restaurant that already serves your ideal demographic all the way in the city center.
When starting market research and laying foundation to your business strategy, be painfully honest with yourself and consider your chances for success based on accumulated data and evidence. You may have to alter your vision, but that’s more preferable to blind optimism that would damper your chances for profitability.
Your market will control every aspect of your restaurant, from food and drinks to your table design.
Picking a Wrong Location
Of course, location isn’t everything, but that doesn’t mean the location needs to be neglected. Many new investors with hopes and dreams are finding a location they picture to be perfect. Next thing you know they’re signing a lease to plan and develop their restaurant.
This is a terrible strategy for one reason only: until you conduct your market research, you won’t be sure if your concept will show a profit in that area.
Your restaurant should rise from a solid business plan and a complete concept. Once you start your market research picking a location based on where your target demographic is present is the only way to go.
Lease prices, closeness to your: all of these reasons are important, but choosing the right location for the justified reasons is a paramount.
If you find the right location an hour or so from your home, move. Don’t ruin the perfect location.
Overcomplicating the Menu
Once your restaurant is well and running, the number one goal is delivering a clear menu and delicious food that connects with your customers. Many new restaurant owners want to satisfy every customer, so they overwhelm the menu with many options.
But considering this from a customer’s perspective: who really wishes to read through twenty pages of menu items?
Providing too many options also dilutes your brand image. Focus on creating signature dishes that are delicious and really solidify your restaurant concept. Only offering a few basic entrees and combination plates are completely fine at the beginning. Some of the most successful restaurants attract clients because of their exclusive but well-known food and drink options.
Not Listening to Online Reviews
This is a crucial step in improving your business. Restaurants that ignore reviews – good or bad – are risking missing valuable feedback from customers that could ultimately save their restaurant from taking a hit down the drain.
You can utilize bad reviews to your advantage by making the situation right, with a coupon or a freebie, and possibly flip that review to a positive one.
More importantly, you can listen to what the majority of your customers are saying about your restaurant. Both complementary and criticizing.
Living in the Past
Implementing the latest and newest restaurant technology in your restaurant is super important to offer a smooth and intuitive dining experience. A cafe post system located on a table will allow them to check out as soon as they’re finished eating or drinking. Therefore increasing table turnover rate and making clients satisfied.
Also, there are many typical startup errors that many new entrepreneurs oversight such as poor presentation of products.
Avoid these most common new restaurant mistakes to propel your first restaurant to a profitable bottom line! Your balance sheet and guests will thank you!