Are you considering restaurant ownership as your next career move? It’s an exciting and rewarding venture but can also be daunting. Navigating the restaurant industry requires confidence in many areas, including business structure, marketing, and revenue strategies, customer acquisition, technology solutions, and safety protocols.
The good news is that you can confidently take on restaurant ownership with the correct information and resources at your fingertips.
In this article, we’ll share insight into:
- The six steps you should take to make restaurant ownership a reality
- The questions you should ask as a new restaurant owner before opening up
Important Questions to Ask as a New Restaurant Owner
- What business structure and concept should you use to run your restaurant?
- How will you create a marketing strategy to attract and retain customers?
- What revenue streams are available in the restaurant industry?
- How can you acquire essential resources and funds to support your restaurant venture?
- How can you ensure safety protocols and food hygiene standards are met?
- What technology solutions are available to simplify restaurant operations?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you successfully transfer into new restaurant ownership. To help you get there faster, here are six essential steps that all aspiring restaurateurs should keep in mind:
Step 1: Choose your business structure & niche
To start, you’ll want to consider the type of restaurant ownership arrangement that works best for you. Is it a partnership? A corporation? Sole proprietorship? Each restaurant ownership type has its own advantages and disadvantages – and different tax implications. Researching what option is best for you and consulting with a tax professional are both essential steps in the restaurant ownership process.
Knowing your particular target market can help to make this process easier by providing insight into what it will take to stand out from the competitors in their area. Researching restaurant industry trends, consumer demographics, and local customer tastes can provide valuable insight into what restaurant concept would be best for you.
Step 2: Create marketing strategies
This should include building an online presence, developing a customer loyalty program, and experimenting with different pricing strategies.
Marketing is the best way to spread your restaurant’s awareness and get new customers in the door. Finding out what resonates with restaurant patrons will help you to create an effective marketing plan that reaches your desired customer base.
Creating an effective marketing plan can be challenging in the highly competitive restaurant industry. For new owners especially, it’s essential to understand why success in this area is vital: you need customers not just visiting once but coming back regularly and bringing along new guests.
What’s a cost-effective solution frequently used today? Social media marketing! Free yet impactful, your posts can be shared by others, potentially broadening your reach exponentially overnight.
One key part of social marketing is the ongoing monitoring of social channels. Restaurant owners should respond quickly to any negative feedback they may receive. Offering swift responses to critical feedback shows that your business cares about customers’ opinions and prioritizes satisfaction above all else.
As well as putting customers first, keeping a consistent posting schedule is essential. What are some key posts to be sharing?
- Restaurant updates.
- Weekly promotional items.
- Any new food or drink items.
- Special events.
- Recipe or cooking tips.
You can dive into our complete restaurant social media marketing guide here to find more tips.
Step 3: Identify your restaurant revenue streams
When embarking on your restaurant venture, one of the most important aspects to consider is how you will generate revenue. Fortunately, various revenue streams available within the restaurant industry can help you make money and succeed. Options include traditional methods such as food sales or catering services and more modern approaches like online ordering or delivery services. Also, consider offering loyalty programs, discounts, and promotions to drive business further and improve customer engagement. With the right combination of revenue streams and strategies in place, you’ll be well on your way to achieving success as a new restaurant owner.
Incorporating additional ordering options is a great way to go when considering the best methods for maximizing your restaurant’s revenue. Offering multiple ways to order your food can provide convenience and flexibility to customers while also helping you make more money. Along with traditional dine-in or carry-out ordering, you could look into implementing online ordering or delivery services.
Consider setting up reservations or online waitlists so customers can join you when their table is ready. With these options in place, you’ll be able to serve a more extensive customer base and increase your profits as a result.
Step 4: Acquire resources and finances
Before taking ownership of a restaurant, it is critical for there to be a strong business plan. Restaurant owners must acquire resources such as staff, ingredients, tools, equipment, and technology solutions. They also need to develop skills or have plenty of experience in menu planning, employee retention, etc.
Developing restaurant industry-specific skills can be beneficial for owners to understand how to make their business successful in the long run. This includes understanding food cost percentages, accounting principles, and labor cost controls. Knowing these vital elements of operations will help restaurant owners set realistic goals and manage their restaurants more efficiently.
Step 5: Implement safety protocols
Focusing on restaurant safety protocols is essential to restaurant ownership. Food and restaurant safety protocols are necessary for restaurant owners as they are responsible for the health of their customers. Restaurant owners should ensure that they meet all state and local health codes, including proper food storage, employee hygiene, and restaurant cleanliness.
To ensure a safe and healthy environment for diners, please read our article on the most efficient techniques for handwashing and disinfecting surfaces in your restaurant.
It’s also important for new owners to have a plan to ensure that their restaurant is safe from fires, floods, and other disasters. Restaurant owners should create an emergency preparedness plan to protect themselves from any natural or man-made disaster.
By understanding restaurant safety protocols and implementing them, restaurant owners can ensure a safe place for customers and employees alike.
Step 6: Utilize technology to streamline operations
As a modern restaurant, you need to be utilizing the latest technology solutions to make your operations run smoothly and efficiently. Cloud-based POS technology is a great way to give your customers an easy and seamless payment experience, as well as providing you with detailed reports and insights into your restaurant’s performance. Additionally, connected solutions such as self-service kiosks and kitchen automation can help reduce waste and labor costs while ensuring quality results in the kitchen. By implementing these technological solutions, you can significantly reduce the amount of manual work that goes into running a restaurant, allowing you to focus on other areas of the business.
To learn more about how Mad Mobile can help you get staff onboard and trained easily, while equipping you with restaurant management solutions that help you grow, reach out to one of our experts today.