Starting off as a Restaurateur – Part 1
It is many people’s dreams to own their own restaurant and being a successful restaurateur, but just because you can cook food at home or enjoy eating out does not mean that you can start a successful business. There are many facets to running a good restaurant and this blog delivers some tips on how to do it.
Learn to Cook
Even though you are not planning to be an executive chef or anything it will be a great boon on many counts that you know more than just the basics of cooking. That way you can fully understand the needs of a chef, you can also judge if the chef is doing his job properly or pulling the wool over your eyes. Being able to cook you will know the ingredients needed and the equipment the kitchen will require, if necessary you can also step into the breach if there is a busy period or the chef is sick. In a way think of it as your insurance.
Learn All Parts of the Business
It does not stop with learning how to cook, you must know how every part of a restaurant and how it works if your business is going to succeed. If you know how to wait on tables, wash dishes, tend the bar you will know how a restaurant ticks. Therefore, you need to know the demands on your staff and can estimate how long it should take them to do a particular task. Your staff will respect you more if you can talk their language and teach them through experience how to do things.
Never Stop Learning
Never stop learning, when you have mastered the art of keeping the bar, then take a wine course. If you have learned how to commis chef then extend your knowledge as a patissier. The more you learn the more you can help others, and you can train others in different facets of the business.
Look After the Money
It is one thing to have many patrons, but to turn that business into profit takes another skill entirely. You will have to understand the business side of things also. You may have an accountant but it is up to you to pull a business plan together and stick to it. You will have to sort out costings, how much it costs to make a dish, how much wages you must pay, what overheads are required etc. Without this sort of detailed knowledge, you cannot effectively put a tariff together that will make your business profitable.
Do not underestimate startup costs, these can easily run away from a restaurant owner, often one thing leads to another and another and so on. Build in a contingency plan in your budget and plan for a period of time when you will have expense but no revenue. Many restaurants go through lean times for any number of reasons, and those businesses that have plans for such time that are more likely to survive. Running a restaurant, you need to have complete financial understanding of what is happening.