The 6 Essential Traits Of A Successful Restaurant
Opening a restaurant is no easy feat, but keeping it up and running and successful is just as difficult. Employee retention, customer loyalty, excellent food and service, great bookkeeping: all are factors that lead to success. Here we’ll look at the 6 essential traits of a successful restaurant and how you can be sure you have them all.
1. Knowledgeable owners
Starting at the top of the pyramid, any successful restaurant needs an adept owner; someone who can make the hard decisions, can keep employees inspired, and keep the restaurant running smoothly. That being said, owners shouldn’t do it alone
. Having a business partner, someone to share the workload, will help both from getting burnt out. Another option is franchising, which gives the owner a lot of the systems already built and in place.
2. Location Location Location
Where should you build your restaurant? Is it in a walkable neighborhood? Who will it attract and are you close to them? All these questions need to be answered before choosing your site. Read this article we wrote on how to choose the best site for your restaurant.
Download the "10 Things to Know Before Opening a Restaurant Franchise" PDF
3. Customer Loyalty
Keeping customers coming through the door time and time again, and bringing their friends and family, is key to a successful restaurant. Do you surprise and delight?
Have weekly specials, something that entices people to come back. Be sure your service is impeccable, friendly, and helpful. Acknowledge issues that guests complain about, and fix them if possible. Give regular a shout out on social media or add an extra piece of bacon every now and again. Let them know that you see them as a human and not just another customer to help your bottom line.
4. Marketing and Reviews
Customer loyalty is great, but you need customers first! Social media is a powerful tool, but it also means you’re open to negative reviews. Yelp doesn’t have to be your enemy.
Respond to every review, even negative ones. Show the guest that you’ve heard their complaint, share it with the team, and see it as a chance for improvement. Pro tip: do not respond to a negative review immediately. Wait a day, give yourself a chance to cool off so you don’t respond in anger.
5. Employee Retention and Appreciation
Treat your employees how you’d want to be treated. Celebrate birthdays, major life events, give them shout outs on social media, show them positive reviews that mention them. A happy employee means a happy guest,
because the food and service will be that much better.
6. What’s on the menu?
Of course the base of all of this is stellar food
. What’s that one menu item that keeps bringing back time and time again? Don’t overwhelm your guests with 500 menu options. Be really good at what you do. Be aware of trends in the restaurant industry
so you can be sure you're on the cutting edge and providing the food your customers are looking for.
It all boils down to the people: who is managing, who is cooking, who is serving, and who is eating and enjoying. Restaurants are not just brick and mortar buildings,they are an experience and a social outing.
Your guests and staff are your community- and communities can be a powerful tool.