5 Big Mistakes Restaurant Owners Make

Starting a restaurant is not easy. And running it is even harder, as the hospitality industry is extremely volatile, especially in hard times like now. Market volatility, though, is just one of the many reasons why service businesses fail. Today, we prepared a list of common restaurant mistakes. Avoid at all costs to keep your restaurant business afloat.

1. Poor Personnel Management

If your employees are not satisfied with their working hours, wages, or career growth opportunities, it will affect their productivity.And if they do not share your values, they simply will not care about anything except for their salary. So be a good leader for your team: communicate with them and take care of them. Build strong relationships with your employees by trusting them, treat them as equals, and never look down on them – and you will have reliable and motivated people by your side!

2. Bad Location Choice

This restaurant mistakes actually might cost you your entire business. Spending crazy amounts on rent does not guarantee high traffic since day one. There are many factors to consider when choosing your location. Visibility is one of them, both on-street and online. Analyze whether there is enough foot traffic in this place and if people can see and notice your restaurant on the street. Find your competitors in the area and evaluate your chances to compete with them. Think about your restaurant’s accessibility: are there enough parking places nearby? Can people easily find you on the map? Will they be able to access you via public transport? Is your facility disabled-friendly? And most importantly, is your location a good fit for your target audience?

It’s also critical to make sure people can find and reach out to you online through your website, an online ordering system, or a social media account.

3. Customer Dissatisfaction

As hard as it may be to please each of your clients, taking good care of them and treating them right should always be your number one priority. People will not come back if your waiters are gloomy or rude, which will ultimately cause your restaurant to fail. Make sure you eliminate all possible reasons to make your customer unhappy: too loud music, bad smell, dirt, or mix-up in the orders. Educate your staff on how to deal with potential conflicts, negative reactions, and angry customers.

Inflated ego problems can also be added here as a restaurant mistake; unwillingness to improve your service quality, ignoring constructive criticism online (or even worse, responding to these comments in an unfriendly or impolite manner) will only increase people’s discontent. Listen carefully to your clients. Figure out the reason behind your mistakes and do your best to avoid them in the future.

4. Poor Resources Allocation

You might spend hundreds of thousands of dollars before you finally make any profit, so be wise when allocating your resources. Don’t spend all your money on costly furniture and equipment or trendy Instagram-worthy interior design. Good financial planning is what will help you avoid waste of money, so make sure you pay close attention to it before starting your business.

5. Poor Marketing

With the existing competition, just serving good food is not enough anymore. And bad marketing decisions can cause irreparable damage to your business, so if you don’t want all your efforts go down the drain, make sure your marketing plan is SMART:

  • Specific – clearly define your goals. Be specific with the results you want to achieve (for example, to increase the number of customers by 20% by the end of the year).
  • Measurable – create a certain metric to understand when your goals have been met. This will help you see the progress.
  • Attainable – make sure your goals are realistic. Evaluate all possible hurdles and allocate all the necessary resources to achieve the goals you have set.
  • Relevant – ensure these goals are worth the time and effort. Remember that they should align with your values.
  • Timely – set a deadline to stay focused on your goals. Have a clear vision, which goals will be short-term and which ones will take longer to achieve.

Another strategy to promote your business is to take your business online; make an Instagram account to share pictures of your dishes and drinks and behind-the-scenes videos, implement an online ordering system to increase your amount of deliveries. You can also attract customers with loyalty programs and discounts by offering combos and special menus for vegans. To encourage people to come back to your restaurant, send them e-mails and text messages, or invite them to special live music or wine tasting events in your restaurant. 

Now that you know the main restaurant mistakes, do your best to avoid these things when running your own business. Make sure you communicate with your employees and clients, be careful with your finances, and be adaptable – and your business will live happily after! 

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