4 Critical Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a Restaurant
Anyone launching a new restaurant appreciates the challenges that lie ahead in this highly competitive field. However, taking care to avoid four critical mistakes will help boost your venture’s success.
One:Don’t Start With Too Little Capital
One of the biggest mistakes many new restaurant owners make involves commencing their dream business without sufficient funds to weather the first few years of operation. Experts recommend that entrepreneurs should budget for lean times during the startup phase.
Since restaurants depend on discretionary dollars, owners don’t enjoy the luxury of assuming that everyone within a market area will patronize their businesses. Until your venture’s reputation for excellent service and fine food spreads throughout the local area, you may need to sustain several months or years of red ink. Experts recommend that a good business plan for a new startup will include sufficient funding for both the startup itself and the cash flow necessary to keep the fledgling firm operational until it becomes established.
Two: Choose Your Location Wisely
Another critical mistake to avoid involves selecting a poor business location. You’ll typically require an accessible site, preferably one with sign visibility and ample parking. You also need to ensure that your business enjoys the ability to use a commercial kitchen and that you can offer your customers amenities such as clean restrooms and a comfortable dining decor.
Many successful restaurant chains spend considerable resources scouting locations carefully. Local market and site conditions matter in terms of bistro success.
Three: Don’t Ignore Health And Sanitation Issues
Few things will destroy a new restaurant venture faster than adverse publicity stemming from a sanitation crisis. People won’t take their loved ones out to eat in establishments that furnish poorly cleaned utensils and plates. Failing to ensure that your kitchen staff complies fully with safe food handling and preparation practices can derail your new venture very quickly.
For example, successful restaurants today pay close attention to food product recall announcements. During a recent Listeria outbreak, some firms promptly removed recalled packaged salad ingredients from the menu to protect their customers.
Four: Provide Ample Staffing
Sometimes new restaurants economize by employing too few people. Customers usually won’t complain about an abundance of cooks, waiters, waitresses and kitchen staff. Yet they certainly will object if a visit to your restaurant requires far longer than anticipated due to slow service. Patrons locating a table, placing an order, enjoying a meal or paying a bill usually prefer prompt attention, even in leisurely dining environments.
The co-owner of a restaurant which hired 50 employees before opening a new facility noted during an interview recently that customers today will simply leave if a restaurant expects them to wait too long for service. As a hospitality sector business, dining establishments must meet high expectations for prompt, friendly customer service.
A Promising Future
A well-run restaurant holds great appeal. By avoiding serious mistakes that many other entrepreneurs make, you’ll provide a lucrative and secure future for your venture.