Probably one of the most volatile industries to be in is the restaurant business. Although there are some exceptions, 60% of small businesses, which includes restaurants, fail within three years of opening their doors. To help prevent your business from failing, here are five tips for keeping your restaurant open.
Learn to Negotiate
Although you want to have the best ingredients possible for the food you make, they don’t need to cost top dollar. You can negotiate fair prices with food suppliers so that you can reduce your food costs, which take up a large portion of your budget.
Consider reducing the number of ingredients in dishes on your menu, reduce waste, and buy food supplies at farmer’s markets, through co-ops, or from other suppliers. Controlling your food costs will help keep your doors open.
Marketing Is Important
Take advantage of the Internet to get word out about your business. Marketing your restaurant is vital for success because you need customers walking through the door to keep it open. Take advantage of social media by promoting your business, publish a website with pictures of your food and menu, and advertise on sites such as Facebook to save money.
Also, participate in food festivals, local street fairs and other similar events to get your food in front of people. Word of mouth is also important and if you have great food, people will talk and want to eat in your restaurant.
Instead of using operating capital to buy a new refrigerator or a commercial dishwasher for sale, rent the equipment for the restaurant. New equipment is expensive and you can save the bulk of your capital by renting instead of buying it.
In addition, if a piece of equipment breaks down, you won’t be stuck paying repair bills because most rent-to-own companies pay for repairs or will replace machines that have failed. In some cases, they may also provide the detergent and rinsing agent that you need to keep dishes spotless and sanitary.
Make Use of Technology
Although you needn’t spend a lot of money on it, you need to include technology in your restaurant. A good point-of-sale system will help you keep track of inventory and costs. Also, automate the reservation system to help everyone keep track of the number of occupied tables so that they are not overbooked. Use technology to your advantage to make it easier to keep track of and control expenses.
Have Good Food
The most important aspect of keeping your doors open is having great food. You can talk up your food all you want but if it doesn’t look and taste good, forget it! If you have bad food, you will get one chance with most customers and then that’s it.
However, if you do it right and the food tastes great, customers will keep coming back, bring friends and family with them, and recommend your restaurant to others. Perfect your menu first and then open your business.
By using these tips, you can control your costs and keep your restaurant open.