To many, opening a new restaurant is a dream. The idea of providing good quality food, making customers happy and earning money seems an opportunity too good to turn down. There are an estimated 56,000 restaurants in the UK, an industry worth an estimated £25b. These restaurants began from a dream, and started from somewhere, right?
For all aspiring restaurant owners, there are several key things to avoid to ensure the success of your new restaurant. With extensive experience providing funding to new-start restaurants in the UK, WestWon have collated this advice, outlining the common mistakes to avoid when making your restaurant dream into a reality.
Underestimating the Costs Involved when Starting Up
It’s all too common to underestimate the total cost of setting up a new restaurant. Catering equipment is not cheap. While it’s possible to buy used, cheaper equipment, it may not be the right equipment for your business. When writing your business plan, you should include a budget for all costs, even less obvious ones should be considered such as insurance, licenses, permits, etc.
Concept or Unique Selling Point (USP)
Your restaurant must have a unique selling point. If your restaurant doesn’t stand out from competitors, why would a customer try yours instead of a restaurant they already know and trust? Researching your target customer can help create a concept for your restaurant. A concept could be anything from a specific cuisine, to the location of your restaurant. This will be your calling card – the unique thing makes your business different. It is that intrigue that makes customers consider visiting your establishment. Aspiring restauranteurs who do not have a unique selling point are much more likely to fail.
You may have the best unique selling point in the world, but a bad location can result in any business failing. It’s important to research your intended area and analyse whether the location will attract the target market you are aiming to draw. For example, a restaurant with suitable and ample parking, which is visible to passers-by is vitally important.
Does your location attract the foot traffic? Is it near any local amenities where people are likely to go out and have a meal? Are there transport links or communal car parking nearby for potential customers?
Trying to Please Everyone
It’s easy when opening a new restaurant to try and please everyone. Wanting to make a good impression with all types of people is natural, as revenue is especially important in the early life of a business.
However, the simple truth is that it is impossible to please everyone. Trying to do so can prove to be detrimental to your business. Your restaurant has a target market; and you should stick to it. Not everyone likes the same cuisine. Remember also that customers have different values, with some focusing on prices, others upon quality, even still others will care more about location.
Trying to please everyone can lead to negative reviews, and your restaurant can quickly gain a bad reputation.
Hiring the Wrong Staff
Restaurants will fail before even properly starting, if they’ve hired the wrong staff. You need employees who buy into the aims and beliefs of the business and who are good with customers.
If your employees have poor time management, poor organisation, and especially poor customer service, then you will gain a bad reputation extremely quickly. Once labelled, this can be hard to change.
Many new start restaurants employ family members and friends – people they can trust to buy into the business. Employing a chef who has experience in the cuisine you offer is also vitally important.
For more advice on how to avoid these common mistakes, please give WestWon a call on 01494 611 456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by George Shillingford.