Starting off as a Restaurateur – Part 2
From our first blog on how to begin in the restaurant trade we covered many elements, from learning how to cook, to understanding the business side of things also. In this blog we continue to dispense great tips of becoming a restaurateur and how to make your business profitable and fun.
Location, Location, Location
You may have the best chef in the world, have the greatest wine cellar on the planet, the most expensive décor, but if your restaurant is in the wrong location you will fail. Research the location for opening a restaurant because it is the most important thing. Select an area and see which restaurants are doing good, visit them and see their recipe for success. Talk to the owners and tell them your plans and ask their advice, good restaurateurs do not fear good competition, it brings more business into an area.
See what type of food is liked in the area and what similar types of food are not, there is no point being dogmatic and saying you are opening a vegan restaurant in a cattle ranching area, it will not work. Fit your offering into the demand and do not be dramatic and try to teach the people your idea of food, many great chefs have tried to do this and miserably failed.
Hire Your Team 6 Weeks Before Opening
A restaurant team is like a band, it needs to rehearse together before it can play, and everybody must know their part down to a tee. If one element of the team does not perform then the whole gig will be blown. A good idea is to employ staff you already know and have worked with before. That way they know your expectations and you know their work habits. Be fair with salaries, good staff is hard to find and more importantly harder to keep. Once you have found your chef, agree a menu, allow him to take the lead but explain the restaurant’s philosophy and how your restaurant fits in to the dining demographic of the area. Don’t let him just make dishes up that are just created to show how technically good he is.
Design a Restaurant That Fits the Area
First and foremost, you want your restaurant to be welcoming, it must fit the surroundings that you are in. Opening a very formal dining establishment in a theme park for instance would be like the proverbial recipe for disaster. Make your restaurant inviting, comfortable but clean, service attentive but not overly, and value for money. People will always pay for quality but there is a price point to every area and you must quickly find what yours is. Your prices have to attract customers but you also have to make a profit, a way of solving this is the careful design of the menu and the construction of the dishes.
Running a restaurant is hard, the food business is notoriously difficult, so why do so many people want do it? The answer is simple, running a restaurant can also be the most rewarding career ever, it can be fun making your patrons happy and creating wonderful dishes out raw ingredients.