How to Run a Successful Restaurant

How to Run a Successful Restaurant

Tracking profits and losses is key to staying in business, but many of the most important aspects of running a restaurant successfully are intangible and can’t be classified as a line item on a spreadsheet.
In this article, we’ll cover the key aspects that any successful restaurant owner should be mindful of when running their business.

Recognize the importance of your staff

If you want to run a successful restaurant, your staff will be the number one factor in keeping guests coming back. The kitchen staff is the backbone of a restaurant, while your front of house crew is the public face and persona. While guest experience is number one in the hospitality business, it cannot exist without a happy, motivated and devoted staff.

In order to hire and retain the best possible staff for your restaurant, you should:

  • Create a hiring method that aligns with your personal values and hire your staff based on those key traits.
  • Show your staff that you appreciate them through appropriate pay raises, outings, acknowledgments and more.
  • Identify stressors in the workplace and work to eliminate them.
  • Measure tenure and provide a path for growth within the company.
  • Conduct periodic check-ins or send out staff surveys to keep your finger on the pulse of staff satisfaction.

Create a buzz online and in-house

So much of this business is driven by guests coming to see who else they know there, to be seen by others who are there or to check in on social media. As a restaurant operator, your job is to fan this flame. Seat your restaurant so it always appears full by first opening your sections visible to walk-by traffic during slower times, and seating guests outdoors when weather permits. Encourage your patrons to check in on social media and post pictures of their experiences.

Offer a seamless guest experience

The guest experience must be seamless and immersive from beginning to end. Parking, seating, service, food and drink quality, the payment process, their departure and all interactions with staff and management in between must be on point. The goal is to exceed expectations in each individual step. When a restaurant fails to meet expectations, even in one category, it can potentially ruin a guest’s entire experience and receive a negative review.

And because no night of service is without its flaws, it’s not always about what happens, but how we handle it. If a mistake is made, acknowledge and fix it. Our job is to make sure there’s a happy ending to every story, even if that means that the guest felt like management heard and responded appropriately to a complaint.

Highlight your restaurant’s unique qualities

It always helps to have something special to you that gives people something to talk about and a reason to come back. With social media, it is increasingly important to be photogenic with fun, creative drinks and or dishes. Whatever it is, own it, merchandise it, make it yours and get people talking about it.

Be proactive about accounting

Clearly communicate the expectations, follow through, be organized, label everything, set pars, forecast your sales and set goals. This starts with really knowing your business, getting your hands dirty and having your finger on the pulse of your business. Set up systems for everything and continually enforce them.

Keep it consistent

Maintaining guest loyalty and increasing the frequency of visits is a key step in maximizing your sales. In order to develop those long-term frequent regulars, and even your more infrequent guests, your restaurant needs to be consistent with the service, atmosphere and, most importantly, the food.

It’s also important to be consistent with your staff when it comes to training, rules, consequences and rewards. Consistency defines and manages expectations. It tells both guests and the staff that you can trust us, that we’re not going to surprise you or pull the rug from beneath you.

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