Starting a successful restaurant requires more than just plenty of skill behind a grill. Restaurant owners need to learn the basics about running a business before opening their doors to the public. Read on to find out about five areas of the business to master before opening a restaurant to give the business the best chances of success from the very beginning.
Finances and Accounting
Most new restaurant owners can’t afford to hire dedicated accountants, which is why it’s so important to master the basics of accounting before opening the business. Aspiring restaurant owners need not enroll in full-time courses in accounting, though. Instead, they can get help with managing restaurant operations from a dedicated software program.
Restaurant accounting software makes it easy to keep track of inventory, sales, and employees’ financial information. The right software will also let its users view aggregated data, helping restaurant owners understand when to cut unpopular products to reduce expenses when to hire new employees to increase productivity and more.
Digital and Traditional Marketing
Even the best menu will not entice new customers through the doors by itself. Restaurant owners need to generate hype before their grand openings to ensure that local consumers will show up. This requires a mix of traditional and digital advertising techniques.
Any effective digital marketing campaign will require a professional website, so that’s a good place for new business owners to start. Restaurant owners should learn about social media marketing, local SEO marketing, and other helpful techniques. Traditional techniques like EDDM mailers and posters are also important tools for letting consumers know about new restaurants, so don’t forget to look into these options.
Restaurants need to carry several kinds of business insurance. Restaurant owners are required to have workers’ compensation insurance policies to cover their employees, but most also take out general liability policies and commercial property insurance. Take the time to learn about insurance options in advance.
Staffing and Human Resources
Every new restaurant depends on its staff to create a positive dining experience. Hire experienced professionals, not random friends or family members, and investigate options like local recruiting firms that can make it easier to find qualified candidates.
Once they have a core staff for the restaurant business owners should focus on retaining skilled staff members and reducing employee turnover. This requires learning about HR and researching workplace culture. Creating a positive work environment for the staff is the best way to ensure a positive experience for the restaurant’s patrons.
The right vendors can help restaurant owners save money while providing the high-quality ingredients chefs need to create delicious, unique meals. Restaurant owners can get a jump on inventory management by purchasing dedicated software that keeps track of sales and automatically places orders with vendors before ingredients run out. This will prevent the hours of frustration that come from using paper bookkeeping strategies.
The Bottom Line
Running a restaurant requires a lot of specialized expertise, but new business owners don’t have to go it alone. They can take advantage of resources like specialized software, online business courses, and outside consultants for help with getting a new restaurant off the ground. These resources don’t replace basic business sense, though, so take the time to learn about business management before opening the doors to patrons for the first time to ensure ongoing success.