Starting a Restaurant Pt. VI

2009-0228-NOLA-004-Galatoires

Welcome back to the sixth installment of Starting a Restaurant Part VI. In the last blog, I wrote about picking the correct location, hiring the right staff, and various other business tips that are important when opening a restaurant. Today we are going to follow up with tips for when your restaurant opens up.

If you have made it this far, I assume you have had a soft opening or are coming close to opening up. I have loved sharing my knowledge from this industry, and I hope these tips have helped you along the way. Please feel free to contact me with any comments, concerns, or questions. I would be happy to reply to them, and get a dialogue open. Enjoy and please feel free to share!

Don’t Underspend on your Guests

Your guests are the one who keeps the restaurant open, so it’s important to make sure they are satisfied. It’s easy to under budget, or get a deal on things like equipment, desserts, and silverware. Trust me, this isn’t something you want to do. Your guests will notice, and it could turn them off. Make sure you take a set amount from your revenue to improve your guest relations. This could range from sending over a free glass of wine, giving away a gift card, or sending over a free dessert. Nothing will draw guests to return when they know you want to take care of them. By showing your guests you appreciate their business with a small gesture, they will rave about their positive experience to their friends. A restaurant is about personal relationships and connections – make sure you have them!

Be ready to evolve

A restaurant may start as the idea of one person, but it’s the brains of many that get it to function.  One person is not going to be able to handle aspect of the business. It’s important to put your trust into a partner or management team. You can teach them the way you want to run things, and delegate the tasks they are responsible for. Some of them may be the people on the floor, and they could give you feedback on what your guests are thinking. By focusing on communication and your staff, you never know what type of ideas you could create together.

Focus on Organization

Often, restaurant owners don’t want to be to corporate. This is part of the reason they don’t put in an organizational system. This is a mistake. It’s important to put in an organized system from before the doors open. This system may evolve and change over time, but having something in place will make things much more efficient. There is a reason most chains start as an independent restaurant and then flourish into a nationwide.

Thank you once again for joining me for another installment in the Starting a Restaurant series. Check back again soon for more.

Belal El-Atari