New to the restaurant business, or looking to grow your current venture? It’s a hard industry to make it in, but those that do are able to enjoy an enjoyable and lucrative career. Here are a few important things to bear in mind, so you can get it exactly right and avoid common pitfalls.
Do your market research
Market research is important in any kind of business, and when it comes to food it’s most definitely worth doing. While taste is subjective, getting people to sample a dish before it’s put out on the menu can save you a lot of hassle later on. Maybe it’s too sweet or too salty for most people’s tastes. Perhaps the quality of some of the ingredients could be improved, or something else about the dish might not be right from the type of plate to the portion size. If you have a good chef then they should be able to create tasty, balanced dishes. But getting feedback could allow them to make tweaks that will appeal to the masses more and prevent you from having things sent back or people being left unsatisfied.
Get the pricing right
In business, it’s all about getting the pricing right. In a restaurant, you need to be spending enough money upfront to purchase good quality ingredients and other costs but still be turning a profit. A lot of your pricing will depend on the type of restaurant you run. In a diner or a family-style restaurant, for example, customers will want more affordable prices. If you offer fine dining then, of course, people will be willing to pay more, as long as it’s reflected in the quality. This again is something you can check in your market research, and find out what sort of prices people would be willing to part with.
Take on board changes in the world
Customer expectations, wants and demands change all the time. Take the growth in dietary changes like veganism, for example, in recent times there has been a massive growth in the health food industry too with people wanting healthier options on the menu. Due to more concern in the environment, customers tend to prefer food that’s locally sourced and has done fewer air miles. These are things to bear in mind when you’re creating your menus, to ensure that you’re giving people what you want and appealing to as many customers as you can.
There’s no shortage of food establishments out there, and so as a restaurant, you need to be getting yourself out there. Gaining publicity and hype around your brand is important. You need a web designer to set up a good quality site. Sign up with a good marketing agency too who will be able to promote your business online and across social media. Perhaps you could invite bloggers in, and offer a free meal in exchange for a review? Although make sure they have the followers you want your business to appeal too. You could invite food critics in, or host an event.
What advice would you give to someone in the restaurant business looking to grow their venture?