Dining out is more popular than ever, so what better time than now to start your own restaurant business? Despite how easy it may look, running a successful catering business is tough, and there’s a lot that can go wrong. If you have the experience and interpersonal skills to run a thriving catering outlet, however, there’s no reason why you can’t build your reputation and turn a healthy profit. From creating the perfect ambience to designing your menu, here are three things to consider when opening a restaurant.
Atmosphere: Pay Attention to Details
A restaurant is a place where people come to relax and spend time with loved ones. Therefore, the atmosphere will determine whether people enjoy the experience and want to return. The setting should be clean and well decorated, your staff should be smiling, music should be soft and non-disruptive, and the lighting must create the ideal ambiance. If you’re new to the restaurant business or you feel you could use a refresh, spend some time at your favourite eateries and look around you. What is it about the setting that makes you want to be there? Make notes and use them to build the perfect atmosphere for your restaurant.
Reviews: Provide a Great Customer Experience
The difference between hospitality and retail is that people come to a restaurant or café to relax, and they expect to be looked after. Therefore, it’s your job to make sure your customers remember your restaurant for all the right reasons. Think about this before you open. How will you make sure the temperature is right in your restaurant? Should you invest in some comfortable pub furniture to help guests relax, or perhaps provide newspapers and magazines so lone diners have something to read?
Restaurants live or die by their reviews, so it’s crucial to make a good impression on your customers. It’s often said that a happy customer will tell one person about their experience, whereas an unhappy person will tell ten. It means you need to be attentive to your guests’ needs and respond quickly and professionally to any mishaps.
Menu: Small and Inclusive Is Key
If you’re just getting started in the industry, you’ll want to make your menu as small, yet inclusive, as possible. If what you offer is too broad, people will be confused about what food you serve and will likely be overwhelmed by choice. A large menu will also put a strain on your kitchen, which could lead to long wait times and unhappy customers. Therefore it’s best to stick to five starters, five or six main courses and five desserts.
You should still appeal to a target market and price your menu accordingly, but you don’t want to exclude any major groups from your clientele. For instance, these days it’s advisable to have at least one vegan and one vegetarian option on the menu, and you should be able to cater to other dietary requirements, too. You might also want to offer a children’s menu and a set menu for business lunches.