Whether you’re about to start a new business or are already in the early days of restaurant ownership, a startup restaurant can be hard to get off the ground. All fledgeling restaurant owners share the same dream of having a popular restaurant, but that dream can only become a reality if you keep a few key things in mind. Here are four of the top pieces of advice for any aspiring restauranteur.
Get the best equipment
A restaurant is only as good as its kitchen, so make sure you outfit your kitchen with the best possible equipment. Choose the right suppliers—a company with years of experience providing startups with commercial refrigeration products, freezers and other kitchen necessities – and then do your research so you know which refrigeration equipment and other accessories are the right ones for your business. True MFG, as an industry leader among manufacturers of commercial refrigerators and refrigeration equipment, have all the details of what you need in the United States to keep your food well-refrigerated. This is crucial for any restaurant, but especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic. With fluctuating rates of customers, you’ll be sure that your food isn’t going bad before you have a chance to use it with the right refrigeration equipment.
Not only is it a must for keeping everything before its expiration date cool, having the right fridge and freezer are also the necessary tools to pass health and safety guidelines. Make sure you are not on the wrong side of a public health emergency and don’t skimp on your kitchen equipment. Even if you’re a startup and a bit strapped for cash, you can find affordable options with True MFG. Don’t scrimp and save on kitchen equipment.
Run it like the business it is
Starting a restaurant needs to come from passion, but you also need to take it seriously as a business. Using tools like Work Board can help you track key results and strategic priorities easily, and share the progress with relevant employees. You can only make sure that you have achievable goals and see where progress is and is not being made when you have a clearly defined plan that is communicated to all team members. For example, if you wanted to work on customer service and meeting a customer’s expectations, setting yourself some specific OKR goals for the quarter, such as filling a quota of customer surveys, is key to be able to see if your decisions are resulting in actual progress for your restaurant. It’s hard enough keeping track of all the details when you’re launching a startup – take advantage of excellent tools like those offered by Work Board to keep your key results clear to all your employees and meet your OKR goals more readily.
Take a 50:50 approach to marketing
These days, you need a 50:50 approach to restaurant marketing. Restaurants rely on both foot traffic and an online presence at the same time, so don’t ignore either of them. If you have access to outdoor space or a patio, put branded signage up with information about your menu or any special offers. Share photos of your busy restaurant on social media and interact with other local businesses, from supermarkets and retailers to smaller convenience stores. The more you engage with those around you, especially those from the industry, the more engagement you can expect in return. Having a dynamic and interesting social media presence is definitely the fastest way to get people talking about the hottest new restaurant in town.
Find a strong concept
Another way to make sure your restaurant is at the front of everyone’s minds is to think of a unique concept for your restaurant. That doesn’t mean a cheesy theme, it means thinking of a way to make sure people remember your restaurant even after they’ve left. Even better, find a concept that gets people talking about your restaurant with their friends. It should encompass everything, from the menu to the interior design. Head to Pinterest or make a physical mood board of what you would like your restaurant to represent. Ask friends and family for their input too. Remember that it’s not just you that has to like the restaurant, it needs to appeal to a general market as well.
With these tips in mind, your restaurant has the best possible chance of flying to success. Although it’s a competitive industry, consumers are moving more and more towards supporting independent restaurants, so there is every chance for you to create the dream restaurant you’re imagining.