Running a restaurant is not a one man show, it requires the efforts of an entire team. Similarly, the food menu is the main driving force in getting customers to your restaurant and to make sure they want to pay for the quality that they receive.
And if you are building a brand, then you can’t ignore social media. After all, it is the ultimate platform for getting the word out in this fast paced world. 80% of people read about a restaurant online before their first visit.
So even if you have a strong business plan and a fantastic location or hold necessary licenses and permits to run the restaurant or make use of the best technology, everything falls flat without the right employees, food menu and promotional tactics.
Your staff matters, so choose well
Acquiring new employees is an exciting process. Look up job portals, career sites and referrals to get the most suitable talent onboard. Did you know that the turnover rate at restaurants is as high as 62%? This poses as a serious loss of time and money for any business, so be creative while hiring.
Websites such as Indeed.com, Craigslist, LinkedIn and even Facebook can help you spread the word, if not reach out to the correct people. When you are posting about the vacancies online, don’t be vague. Be as descriptive as possible.
Even if you receive less number of applications, the quality will be high and save you much time. At the initial stage of hiring, you must focus on hiring a head chef, assisting cooks, a restaurant manager, a host, waiters and a bartender (if necessary).
The staff size entirely depends on the “size” and “concept” of your venture. So estimate properly.
There has to be a “second-in-command”
Let’s face it: you can’t do everything on your own. You need to have someone to fall back on during emergencies. Therefore, identify one person from the lot that can take charge confidently in your absence.
If you have a business partner, a restaurant consultant or a close family member who has invested in your venture, then the problem is sorted. Otherwise, choose a person from the newly hired group. See who is genuinely excited to be a part of the team. Check their personal and professional backgrounds.
If you wish to take a leadership test, go ahead. You are the boss. The onus of making a good or bad hire will ultimately fall on you. Therefore, erase all doubts and take your time to select the right person for this “important” job!
In the end, it’s all about food
It is and the sooner you and your head chef understand this, the better it is for the business. Therefore, strategize menu offerings with him or her. Depending on the type of restaurant you own, list down the food items and beverages that will go best with it.
For instance: if you are running a PAN Asian eatery, how many kinds of cuisines do you plan to serve? Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean? Be specific about the many avenues you plan to take. If your head chef is a master of them all, it’s fine.
But if he or she is not comfortable about meeting such varied food demands, then focus on one cuisine. 55% of chefs will make efforts to adjust dishes to be more healthy. Make your restaurant famous for that. In addition to this, involve your staff to try out and vote for different dishes.
This way, you can keep those items that were well received and chuck those that needed some work. Once this is done, get a menu designed that is in sync with your restaurant’s ambiance. Be competitive while finalizing the F&B prices.
Promote, promote and promote
Don’t forget to let everyone know that you are here and how! Before the big opening, make a huge splash on the digital platform. 75% of all online customers use social media regularly. Invite your potential clientele via this channel. Lure them with a complimentary bottle of wine, if they attend the party.
Share a nicely written press release, throw in a couple of social posts and even run a digital campaign before you finally let the cat out of the bag. You can take help of any budding digital marketing agency here to help you with all promotion-related efforts.
Don’t forget to send an invite to journalists and fellow restaurateurs as well. The more people turn up, the more they will talk about your restaurant. Don’t worry. It will be all good. Just keep working hard and focus on quality deliverables.
All the best!