The restaurant industry is an unforgiving one in which a new restaurant could suddenly explode in popularity while a neighborhood institution closes seemingly overnight. In such a volatile field, it is vital for owners to do everything in their power to control what they can. This includes cutting down on the errors that can quickly drive an operation out of business. Here are five of the most common mistakes made by new restaurants and how to avoid them.
Your location is vital to the success of your eatery. If people can’t find your business or the area is unsafe, they’ll avoid you. Similarly, if you open your first store in the heart of the city’s hippest district, you may find yourself priced out in a hurry. When scouting potential locations, be on the lookout for areas with heavy foot and vehicle traffic during busy meal periods.
Another mistake new restaurant owners frequently make is buying cheap equipment in the name of saving money. Your food is only as good as the equipment used to make it. It’s crucial to purchase supplies that will stand the test of time. You’ll save money by not having to replace items as frequently. It also saves you from wasting time with tasks such as testing the sharpness of knives or scrubbing away grime from the oven.
There are many things you can do well, and it’s okay to accept that finances might not be one of them. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to find a person who will handle this aspect of the business for you. Your restaurant must have a viable plan for paying bills, maintaining payroll, and keeping the food flowing long after the “fun” of the opening is gone.
Just as important as your restaurant’s food is its staff. Poor management can drive away good employees just as quickly as lousy service will keep customers from coming back. Remember that the people you hire are your representatives to the diners, so hire accordingly.
Finally, the last of the common mistakes made by new restaurants is to be ignorant of feedback. Employees and customers are good at telling you the things they want, and it’s up to you to find the best way to give that to them. Simply be willing to listen when the people around you are talking about ways you could your restaurant.