Opening your own restaurant can be an exciting time! New food, new customers, new team – there’s a lot going on! But if you’ve never run a restaurant before, do you know what to expect? Here are some things you can expect in your first year.
1. Surprise Costs
Things happen! Your equipment breaks, you lose cups and forks, and it all starts adding up. What to do? According to Touch Bistro, you should have reserve funds for 3 months of operational costs. Make sure you have a cushion for the unexpected!
2. Know Your Numbers!
According to Chef Store, most restaurants won’t turn a profit in their first year for many reasons. It’s important to keep an eye on your numbers but don’t panic or be afraid of them. Just keep an eye on revenue, your costs, etc and you will be just fine! Make sure you think long term in regards to profit and loss – plan five years into the future!
3. Make Good Marketing Moves!
Make sure you are doing what you can to market your restaurant! There’s no need to spend a ton to do this. There are many simple marketing methods you can use to get your biz out there to the community and draw people in! According to Next Restaurants, a good website is key. Also, making sure that website has good SEO (i.e. the right keywords, etc). Email marketing is another option – collect email addresses from potential customers and send interesting emails that grab attention – this can be done using fun subject lines. Also, make sure you have a call to action in your email so your customer knows what to do next. Examples include: Book Now! Order Now! Call Us! – you get the point!
4. Don’t Pass on Consistency
Once you have your concept down, make sure you keep it consistent. Remember that episode in Seinfeld when Jerry convinced Abu to switch his restaurant concept 180 degrees? Lets just say it didn’t go well. According to Society Insurance, once you have established your identity, your processes, your style, your operations and more, KEEP IT THE SAME! Your customers will keep coming back to you when you repeat the experience they enjoy so much!
Your first year isn’t going to be easy – but the more prepared you are the higher your chances of success. Also, don’t go it alone – ask for help and support when you need it.
Good luck! You can do it!