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The Ingredients For Success: A Guide to Restaurant Management For Beginners

By Contributing Writer
Rosana Beechum
January 28, 2022

For those with a career in hospitality, opening your business is just the tip of the iceberg but making it a success is what will set you apart from your competitors and showcase all your hard work. Management in the hospitality business can be extremely challenging, regardless of your working environment. Those working at the top will have to consider various factors to ensure that the premises are managed correctly, so the business is booming, especially if you’re a new restaurant owner. There is much hard work ahead for new restaurateurs to ensure that your new business remains afloat and is profitable.

Your first couple of months within the industry can be very telling and is crucial for working out any mistakes to avoid bigger slip-ups along the way, regardless of whether these wrongdoings apply to the food, the premises or the management. Management is particularly important when it comes to the hospitality sector, and having a solid team behind you as a restaurant owner is imperative for success. Whether you hire a manager or do the job yourself, we’ve outlined all the ingredients for success in this beginner’s guide to restaurant management so that your dining room remains full and your customers are kept satisfied.

Remember That The Customer Is Always Right

It may be a hard pill to swallow for some, but it’s important to remember that the customer is always right when it comes to any customer-facing role. It can be damaging to your pride when members of the public criticize your hard work, especially when it’s regarding a place that you pour so much love and attention into. Nevertheless, it is crucial not to let your ego get the best of you so that you can be attentive to your customers’ needs and to listen to all their criticisms, whether they be positive or negative.

Instead, make sure you make it apparent that their opinion matters, listen intently to their praise or complaints and ensure that you do everything in your power to rectify the situation or to least prevent them from never coming again or leaving a scathing review. A lot can be forgiven from a customer’s perspective so long as the management take realistic approaches to improve the situation and appear genuinely sympathetic.

Reversing your roles will help you in this instance and thinking about how you’d like to be served when you visit a restaurant. How would you expect the service to be? How long would you say it is acceptable to wait for a table? Consider all the factors that you would consider a restaurant of a high standard to be made up of and draw comparisons between yours. Doing so will help you gain a better insight and make you more willing to implement changes to better your customer satisfaction levels.

Be Careful Concerning Your Finances

Much like any business, cash flow is a huge part of success and exercising caution surrounding your finances is imperative during your first few months of operation. It’s easy when preparing to open an eatery to focus solely on the funds needed to prepare it for opening day and forget that start-up expenses are just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll need to consider all your ongoing cash needs while your business is getting off the ground and gaining popularity, as it’s doubtful that you’ll see a return on your investments until word-of-mouth about your restaurant has spread and you start getting regular custom.

Due to this, it’s expected that at the start, you’ll be putting more money into the business than you’ll be getting out of it, but despite this, it’s vital for you to make sure that you’re staying on budget and that your incoming cash flow is higher than your outgoings. You can do this by keeping an eye on your finances yourself or utilizing the services of a financial advisor, who will be able to realistically assess your spending and ensure that you don’t get into financial worry. Alternatively, you could seek more advice from fellow restaurateurs in person or via the internet by using sites like Yelp, whose website is full of valuable resources and blog posts about the running and maintenance of a restaurant. Take a look at their website for more information about managing a restaurant and see how their content could help broaden your knowledge further.

Hire Staff Who Share Your Values And Vision

Another crucial ingredient for success within restaurant management is hiring the correct staff. Not only is it important to recruit individuals who can work hard, but it’s also essential to offer jobs to those who share both your personal and professional values/visions. We are almost sure that any business, regardless of which sector they operate in, can attest that their workforce is the backbone of their business which is also applicable to the hospitality sector. Members of staff that are experienced and committed to your business are the individuals who will help your establishment become the most successful and create an inviting atmosphere that will make customers keep coming back.

As well as hiring staff that will ultimately help you, it’s essential that you, in turn, help your workforce by ensuring that you provide the relevant training through yourselves or a professional training company and that they are not overworked and prevent burnout. When hiring staff, you’ll need to ensure that appropriate and stringent training regimes are followed, whether you’re addressing customer service or food-handling practices. Especially if your restaurant is popular, you don’t want to create the impression that certain days/staff are better than others, so it’s essential that your training and schedule remains as consistent as your food.

To remain relevant in the food industry, a well-trained workforce is what makes you stand out from your competitors, saves you time and money and increases your profits at the end of each working day. You can prevent burnout or overworking your team by ensuring that you have enough staff on the roster for busy periods like lunchtimes and dinnertimes, ensuring that tasks are shared evenly between staff members and enough staff on standby make allowances for emergencies or sickness.

Save Some Money For Marketing

Marketing and advertising within the food industry is another vital ingredient for success. Alongside managing the physical elements of running a restaurant, it’s also essential for a manager to allocate finances for marketing as solely relying on word-of-mouth promotion is outdated and will only gain you so much popularity. Many small businesses and new restaurants attribute most of their marketing success to the use of the world wide web, so much so that it’s become hard to imagine a business functioning without it. Some of the best opportunities for marketing and advertising are the ones presented to us by the internet and the free-to-use social media platforms associated with it.

You can choose to hire a professional to manage your social media presence, or you can choose to look after it yourself through sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. The use of the previously mentioned platforms can also help you connect with customers, both existing and new. You can also advertise any changes to the menu, share photographs or reward your followers by holding special promotions that are only applicable to those who follow the restaurant on its social media platforms. 

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