Managing a business isn’t easy. But managing a restaurant is even harder. The reality is the number of restaurants closing exceeds the number of restaurants opening. It’s a tough industry to swim in, however, that doesn’t mean your restaurant is going to fail. A restaurant isn’t just about food, it’s about the experience, how a customer feels the minute they enter inside. If you want your restaurant to stick around, it’s going to have to stand out from the rest.
What’s your restaurant about?
Why would anyone go to your restaurant? What are you offering that the place next door doesn’t have? Your restaurant needs to have a focal point. For example, is your restaurant known for its live band? Unique cocktails? Exquisite food presentation? By knowing your restaurant’s theme and strengths, you focus on them. For example, this Chippendale cafe subverts expectations of what a canteen is meant to be like, serving interesting flavour combinations and offering accessible food with fine-dining credentials. Your goal is to make your restaurant a destination for what you offer.
The right staff is everything
Your dishes may be amazing, your restaurant has an outstanding presentation, but if your staff is less than inviting, then it will be all for nothing. Your staff are the first point of contact for your restaurant, and are responsible for leaving a strong first – and last – impression on your customers. It doesn’t matter how much money you invested in the restaurant’s interiors; if your guests aren’t provided with exceptional customer service, they will not fully enjoy their dining experience. Focus on hiring staff members who are friendly and well-trained in the industry. People always remember an experience, so make it a good one.
Personalize the service
Technology has been incorporated into every other industry, so why shy away from it? This doesn’t mean you need a robot serving your guests. You can use technology in order to track customer preferences, providing a personalized service. In addition, you can use technology in order to create a more efficient environment by managing inventory and reducing food waste – two things that will help you lower costs. The restaurant industry is just starting to incorporate technology, so it’s your chance to jump ahead of the rest.
Social media has become the perfect tool for restaurants to open up to their customers. The kitchen is usually kept hidden from guests but you can use social media as a way to be transparent and interactive with customers. By posting recipe videos, blogging about specific ingredients, and posting flat-lay photos of new menu items, you will be building your brand personality and reaching out to a wider audience. People not only want to know what they’re eating but they want to feel connected to where they’re eating.
Get socially active
If you want to leave a strong impression on your community, it’s important that you involve yourself in the community. You can cater for an event, host free cooking classes, donate to a shelter – your community will take notice because we all know that no act of kindness goes unnoticed. Positive exposure is what your restaurant needs if you want community support.