If you have a genuine passion for the culinary arts and wish to share your gift with the world, opening a restaurant can be a fantastic vehicle for doing so. However, while some fledgling restaurateurs are overnight successes, their stories do not represent the majority of first-time proprietors. Many of these individuals are unfamiliar with how much work goes into opening and managing a restaurant and wind up making a plethora of mistakes as a result. So, if you’ll soon be opening the doors to your very first restaurant, take care to avoid the following missteps.
Failing to Research an Area
Opening a restaurant in an area on which you’ve done no research is an extremely risky venture – and one that is highly unlikely to pay off. For example, if the type of restaurant you intend to open can be found in abundance in a particular neighbourhood, city or township, you may want to consider seeking out an area in which you won’t face such steep competition. Conversely, if an area is completely bereft of a certain type of restaurant, this may not necessarily indicate a good opportunity, either. It may turn out that there’s simply no demand for the type of restaurant you wish to open in this particular area.
So, in the interest of avoiding unpleasant surprises down the line, take some time to research prospective locations. Among other things, this will entail taking a good look at which restaurants are most successful in a given area, as well as which ones have trouble keeping their doors open. You should also look into any restaurants that were recently forced to close down and try to learn from their mistakes.
Having too Large a Menu
While variety may be the spice of life, there’s such a thing as too much variety – at least, where restaurant menus are concerned. Wanting to offer an expansive menu that showcases a plethora of culinary delights is perfectly understandable, but large menus can prove burdensome for you, your staff and your patrons.
For starters, a menu with too many options is liable to confuse certain diners and turn deciding on a meal into a stressful experience. Secondly, expecting your kitchen staff to master an unmanageable number of dishes is practically guaranteed to facilitate massive job stress. Lastly, having too many menu items stands to hurt your financial bottom line. After all, more menu items require more ingredients – and unless you’re working with a limitless budget, an enormous menu can quickly put you in the red.
Laying Everything on the Manager’s Shoulders
To be clear, any manager you place in charge of your restaurant should be reliable, personable and skilled at dealing with both staff and patrons. However, no matter how dependable a candidate you select, you shouldn’t lay every conceivable responsibility on their shoulders. Additionally, while having a good manager may enable you to let your hair down a little, you should not leave the running of the restaurant entirely in their hands. As the owner, you should always be aware of what’s happening in your establishment and play an active role in solving any problems that arise. Even during periods of downtime, you should get in touch with your manager to request pertinent updates.
Getting the Wrong Type of Liquor License
If you intend to serve alcoholic beverages at your restaurant, it is imperative that you obtain the right type of liquor license. The type of liquor license you’ll need largely depends on the type of business you intend to open and the types of liquor you intend to serve. That being the case, any aspiring restaurateurs in the Sunshine State would do well to learn more about the various liquor license permit types in Florida.
Opening a good restaurant in the right area can be a highly profitable venture. Being able to share your culinary gift with the world and turn a healthy profit in the process is something that many budding restaurateurs can only dream about. However, as is the case with any kind of business, not every restaurant is guaranteed to be an immediate moneymaker. In fact, if you enter the restaurant game with the presumption of overnight success, you’re essentially setting yourself up for disappointment. Anyone looking for practical ways to keep a newly-opened restaurant afloat should steer clear of the mistakes discussed above.
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