Like pretty much every other area of new business, the food industry is hyper-competitive. With well over 80,000 food outlets currently open, it’s fair to say the UK has eating out covered.Regardless, you may dream of becoming a restauranteur and running your own business, but there’s a lot to think about when it comes to opening a restaurant.
Before you fire up the oven, make sure you’ve carefully considered these areas.
It’s Not Just Food
Yes, when it comes down to it, the success of your restaurant will be based heavily on the quality of your end-product, but there’s more to worry about than cooking a good steak.
You need first to make sure you’re prepared for the logistics, and finances, behind running a restaurant:
- Staffing: What sort of size team do you need for the restaurant to run smoothly? This includes, kitchen, restaurant and bar staff who also need to fit your business culture. Further to this, do you like managing people? A well-run team is a key ingredient to success.
- Equipment: Quality catering equipment from the likes of JLA doesn’t come cheap, but it’s essential for producing the right standard of food efficiently and on time. Appropriate cooking, cooling and cleaning kit should represent a significant part of your budget.
- Technology: When running your own business, it’s important that your back office is running smoothly, so what tech will you employ to help keep things ticking along?At the base level, efficient point of sale (POS) software is necessary to keep your service transactions in check.
What’s Your USP?
It’s difficult not to find a saturated market these days, and the restaurant business is no different to most in that a lot of businesses are vying for the same customers.
So, what is the factor that will separate you from the competition? To find this, you need to be on top of your market research from the moment you start and know your competitors, the local area and what will attract patrons to your establishment.
You’ll have no doubt sat in many restaurants in your time and thought about what you like or could do better, but don’t mix personal preference with business acumen. It’s important that you honestly analyse what your local competitors are doing well, and not-so-well, and take that forward in your planning.
What themes are overdone in the area? What’s lacking? Where’s the right location for the restaurant to attract good foot-fall?
There are so many questions to ask within your market research, but once you have completed it there is one thing you need to really nail down.
That, is a clear and defined restaurant concept, which will give your entire operation its direction.
Don’t Assume People Will Come
Your food can be the best in town, your location superb. Even your service is second to none, but that doesn’t mean people will come.
It’s important you let the world know you’ve arrived, that means making an initial investment in advertisement, and perhaps some introductory offers to get people through the door.
If you’re confident in your overall product, the hardest thing will be getting people to visit the restaurant for the first time. Once they’re in, the food, location and service will keep them there, and word of mouth becomes a powerful tool.
It’s a tough market but, with the right passion and preparation, you can be a success in the restaurant industry.