Due to the extremely time-intensive and experience-led nature of any good restaurant, we can often feel that the ones that really ‘do a great job’ are watertight. We imagine that for something so complex to work, especially for any length of time, they must be doing something right. And to a certain extent, that’s completely true. However, even the best restaurants can suffer from issues that leave them less popular than they might be.
A restaurant is one of the most popular kinds of business to start, own and operate, but also a business most likely to fail within its first two years. This is because there are so many moving parts, and because it’s a guest-experience that fights with takeout delivery, an increased awareness of home cooking and of course, the social scene of the local environment, a restaurant can find itself on its knees if it does not pay attention to every little thing.
This means that if you want to build a restaurant that will stand the test of time – or you wish to take inspiration from the greats – it’s also important to know how you might get things wrong. Let us consider how you could do that:
Impeding The Waiters
It’s not uncommon for us to think of waiting or waitressing as a fairly low-level job. In some States, they aren’t even guaranteed an hourly wage. This is of course preposterous. So is the first assumption. Waiting staff have an incredibly hard job to do. Not only are they the frontal ambassadors for your restaurant, but they must also be able to build a rapport with their guests, communicate their desires perfectly, upsell and suggest menu items, navigate the floor with heavy plates of food, and upkeep their personal grooming to an extensive degree, but they need to do all this quickly, quickly, quickly. Make things easier for your waiters. First, pay them hourly of course. Split the tips evenly each and every night. Ensure that the restaurant floor plan is logical and open enough to allow free and direct movement to the right tables. The more you help your staff maintain the flow of the room, the more successful each service will be.
Requiring Anything Less Than A Gold Standard Of Hygiene
Even big restaurants, especially those that are independent, can be caught out by health inspectors. One simple mistake by a chef can cause the hygiene star rating of an establishment to tank. We needn’t patronize you and tell you how this might affect business. But you might be surprised as to just how granular this could be. Imagine two people looking at restaurants to visit around town. Will they prefer to pay for a star jump in hygiene? Often, yes. Will anything less than five-stars seem suspicious? Absolutely. You need to continually ensure your staff are fully trained and are kept accountable to their hygiene standards, each and every night. To that degree, you can uphold your reputation.
Keep Things Fresh
Often, restaurants find a ‘winning formula’ and then stick to it. However, times move on. Tastes change. A head chef should never rest on their laurels, but instead consider their menu as if it was fashion. Sure, certain staples are timeless. But modern tastes must always be accounted for, unless you’re running a niche historical food place. Change with the seasons. Celebrate local product. Always. Stay. Relevant. Or your competition will.
With this advice, we hope you launch your career in cuisine with strength.
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