Wanting to open a restaurant and serve the best delicacies is a great idea, but it requires more than classic recipes to survive the cutthroat competition and stay in business. Studies have shown that a large number of new restaurants don’t make it beyond the first five years. What makes the restaurant business so unforgiving? Few other industries grapple with such scary statistics.
The truth is that the dining industry has infinite options. Therefore, competition is always stiff. As a result, customers know that they can choose the best of the bunch. If they are not given excellent service or if the food is not great, customers usually don’t give restaurants another chance.
However, the majority of failed restaurants can attribute their struggles to a combination of problems that eventually boil over which causes the restaurant to go under. Below are some of the common reasons behind the issues some restaurants face. Consider it as the ‘Things To Avoid’ list for a restaurant.
A bad location is arguably the biggest reason why restaurants don’t succeed. A bad location may mean a lot of things for your joint, including:
- The target market in the community doesn’t love your style
- Lack of adequate foot or car traffic
- Nearby eating joints serve similar dishes as you, but at a cheaper rate.
- Inadequate parking
- Poor visibility
Before opening a restaurant in a given location, do research about your target market and customers, and know what other eating joints are serving, as well as their prices.
While new owners may have good intentions, their lack of experience means that they probably need some guidance when it comes to decision-making. Prospective owners require an understanding of the specific set of demands associated with owning and managing a restaurant. The experienced owner understands the importance of delegating everyday tasks, so that they can concentrate on supervising operations at large. It may take a couple of years before one develops a well-rounded view of managing a restaurant. Therefore, the solution is to ask all sorts of questions, from sourcing catering equipment in singapore, to stocktaking and even food plating.
Taking a back seat
A restaurant owner is the head of the business and should always lead the team. The misconception among some new owners is that the restaurant runs by itself, however, the opposite is true. Running a restaurant takes a lot of dedication and hard work! If you’re contemplating the idea of opening a restaurant but not getting your hands dirty, you may have to rethink your business plan.
Ineffective accounting systems
A good restaurant generates enough cash flow to pay staff salaries and utility bills and has adequate staff. A new restaurant owner should invest in a point-of-sale system. Apart from knowing the right accounting procedures to run a restaurant, owners also need to maintain and analyse the numbers, such as profits and losses being generated by the business to ensure they stay up-to-date.
You need the right people management skills to run an eatery perfectly. In contrast to other businesses where you may be managing a workforce with one area of expertise, restaurants comprise of staff with different skills and personality types. Ideally, the best managers are those who’ve started at the bottom and worked their way up the ranks. This does not mean that a newcomer to the hospitality industry is not capable of running a perfect operation, although it’s uncommon. A bad manager constantly quarrels with his staff and is unable to motivate them to reach their optimum performance during their respective shifts. However, great managers can motivate, equip and empower their staff to their individual strengths and bring everyone together as a team.
Poor customer service is one of the main reasons why many restaurants close before long. Good customer service is crucial to a flourishing business. How you greet and welcome your guests can determine whether customers come back, or find food elsewhere. Waiters and waitresses also need to have the right communication skills, especially when handling difficult customers. One bad review prompted by poor service can deter prospective customers, even with several good testimonials in between.
If you want to survive the first couple of years after your grand opening, you need to make sure your restaurant steers clear of the aforementioned pitfalls. With hard work, diligence, an attitude to learn from mistakes and passion however, you can bring your restaurant to the forefront of the Singapore local food scene!