As a seasoned restaurateur with over a decade of experience, I’ve navigated myriad challenges and celebrated countless successes in the restaurant industry.
I’m thrilled to have the chance to share some of the valuable insights I’ve garnered over the years with you. Whether you’re an aspiring restaurateur on the cusp of launching your venture or an established operator looking to refine your operation, I hope this blog will provide practical advice and inspiration to make your culinary dreams a reality.
Welcome to the journey of running a successful restaurant – it’s a thrilling ride, I promise!
Let’s dive into the 39 ways to run a successful restaurant. This listicle is not just a random enumeration of tips but a comprehensive roadmap that I’ve tread on and found fruitful.
It encompasses everything from building your brand’s identity to streamlining operations, from curating a standout menu to mastering customer service. With each numbered point, you’ll find a world of wisdom packed into practical, actionable advice. So, without further ado, let’s explore these 39 golden nuggets of restaurant wisdom.
1. Have a straightforward restaurant design and concept in mind
Before opening a restaurant, you need to have a clear picture. What kind of food will you serve? What is your target market? What is your price point? Once you have a clear vision, you can build the rest of your restaurant around it.
2. Find the right location
The location of your restaurant is critical. You want to ensure you are in a high-traffic area with plenty of foot traffic. You also want to ensure your restaurant is easily accessible and visible from the street.
3. Create and design a fantastic menu
Your menu is one of the most critical aspects of your restaurant. It should be creative and diverse yet still focused on your concept. Make sure to offer something for everyone, including vegetarian and vegan options.
4. Invest in Staff Training
Your staff is one of your most important assets. They should be adequately trained in all aspects of the restaurant, from customer service to food preparation. Invest in proper training so your staff can provide the best possible experience for your customers.
5. Promote Your Restaurant with Digital Marketing
Once you’ve opened your doors, it’s time to start promoting your restaurant. Get involved in the local community and inform people about your new business. Use social media to reach a wider audience and consider running some marketing campaigns to attract new customers.
6. Hire The Right Staff
Another critical factor in running a successful restaurant has a well-trained and professional staff. The waitstaff should be friendly and attentive, and the kitchen staff should be able to prepare meals quickly and efficiently. Additionally, it is vital to have a manager who can handle customer complaints and resolve any issues that may arise.
Hiring staff is essential. Make sure you invest in the proper training.
7. Consider Hiring a Professional Cleaning Company
Maintaining a high standard of cleanliness is not only essential for health and safety reasons, but it also impacts your customers’ overall dining experience. While your staff can manage daily cleaning tasks, hiring a professional cleaning company is sometimes worthwhile. These experts have the necessary skills and tools to thoroughly clean your restaurant, reaching areas that might be overlooked during routine cleaning. This ensures a pristine and hygienic environment, enhancing your restaurant’s appeal.
Marketing is also essential for running a successful restaurant. The restaurant should be advertised in local newspapers, on social media, billboards, or other forms of outdoor advertising. Additionally, it is essential to offer discounts or promotions to attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back.
9. Restaurant Ambience & Decor
The ambience of the restaurant is also crucial for its success. The décor should be inviting and comfortable, and the overall atmosphere should make customers want to stay awhile and enjoy their experience.
10. Prioritise Customer Feedback
Your customers are your restaurant’s lifeblood, so listening to their feedback is vital. Positive or negative, their insights can guide you in refining your menu, improving your service, or making other necessary changes. Make it easy for customers to leave reviews and suggestions on your website, social media pages, or through comment cards at the restaurant. Regularly review and respond to this feedback, showing your customers that you value their opinions and are committed to enhancing their dining experience.
11. Keep Your Costs Under Control
Another essential aspect of running a successful restaurant is controlling costs. This means carefully managing your inventory so you do not overbuy or waste food, negotiating favourable contracts with suppliers, and controlling labour costs by scheduling employees efficiently.
12. Implement a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are a powerful tool for increasing customer retention and creating a dedicated customer base. It can be as simple as offering a discount after a certain number of purchases or as complex as a points system that customers can exchange for rewards. Regardless of the structure, a well-designed loyalty program can encourage repeat business, enhance your restaurant’s reputation, and foster a strong connection between your brand and customers.
13. Supply your staff with the best uniforms
Regarding restaurant uniforms, investing in the best quality is essential so restaurant staff can look professional and presentable when interacting with customers. Quality restaurant uniforms look good, last longer, and will comfort your team. Uniforms also play an essential role in restaurant branding and marketing; for example, logo shirts or aprons can be used as a visual reminder of your restaurant and its services. A carefully thought-out uniform can make all the difference in building customer loyalty and creating memorable experiences by showing that your restaurant takes pride in appearances and professionalism.
14. Provide your staff with the best superannuation
Finding the right superannuation fund for your restaurant staff is an important decision with far-reaching consequences. It provides a secure financial future for your employees and can positively impact other aspects of your business, such as retention, staff morale and flexible wage policies. A good superannuation fund should provide low fees, diversification of investments and flexibility regarding when to retire or switch funds. Additionally, the fund you choose should include a variety of retirement solutions to suit all stages of life so that your employees feel their financial security is taken care of regardless of their age or lifestyle. By creating an effective superannuation plan for your team, you not only give them peace of mind but can also truly set yourself apart from the competition within the industry.
15. Provide your staff with the best salary
Restaurant owners must strive to provide their staff members with the best salary possible. Reasonable payment will help motivate your team to work hard and remain loyal to your business. This, in turn, can lead to better customer service, as happy and well-paid employees are likely to be more enthusiastic and friendly in their interactions with patrons. Moreover, providing competitive salaries allows you to attract and retain a team of the most talented individuals with the know-how necessary to achieve high success. Good pay is undoubtedly one of the keys to an excellent team that puts in its best effort daily.
16. Provide your front-of-house staff with the best ordering platform
As the restaurant industry evolves, it is becoming increasingly crucial for businesses to provide their staff with the best online ordering platform. An efficient online ordering system allows customers to have a seamless experience with their favourite restaurants, eliminating the hassle of waiting in line and increasing overall customer satisfaction. Furthermore, having an intuitive platform for staff members to take orders allows your business to efficiently manage inventory levels, improve accuracy, save time and money by automating orders and ensure smooth transactions. Equipping your team with the right tools at their fingertips can increase customer turnover and boost profits while improving efficiency within your business. These benefits make it clear why providing your staff with the best online ordering platform is essential today.
17. Reward your staff with the best wine as an incentive to perform (Yarra valley wine)
Providing incentives to staff at a restaurant can be beneficial in multiple ways that are essential for any successful business. Incentives like the best wine can help ensure quality and consistency in service provided by staff while also helping to encourage employees to maintain a high standard of excellence. Best wine can also be used to reward or appreciate employees’ hard work, making them feel valued and helping boost their morale and motivation. These incentives directly lead to improvements in customer experience, helping build customer relationships and increasing return visits, thereby positively impacting the restaurant’s revenue. Therefore, Offering good wine is an essential consideration for any restaurant owner interested in making their business a success.
19. Give your staff gift vouchers as a sign-off appraisal
Giving your staff gift vouchers as a sign-off appraisal can be a great way to show your appreciation and motivate them to continue performing at their best. It is essential to acknowledge the hard work and dedication of your staff, who play a crucial role in the success of your restaurant. Gift vouchers are tangible rewards that can be used to purchase items of their choice, making it a personal and thoughtful gesture. By recognizing their efforts, you also reinforce a positive work culture and foster a sense of loyalty among your staff. This can ultimately lead to better retention rates and higher job satisfaction, translating into better service and experiences for your customers.
20. Give your staff suitable working hours
Providing your staff with reasonable working hours is essential for their well-being and job satisfaction. As a restaurant owner, it is crucial to ensure that schedules are created with fairness and transparency. This means considering each employee’s availability and preferences while ensuring that shifts are distributed equitably. Staff members who feel they have been given fair working hours are more likely to be productive, motivated, and have a positive attitude towards their work. Additionally, it can help prevent burnout, promote work-life balance, and lead to better retention rates. Ultimately, by giving your staff suitable working hours, you are investing in the overall success of your restaurant.
21. allow your staff to roster annual leave and days off for special occasions
Allowing your staff to roster annual leave and days off for special occasions is crucial to show that you value and respect their personal lives. It can be challenging for employees to manage their work and personal commitments, especially during peak periods in the restaurant industry. By allowing them to request time off in advance and plan around important events, you empower them to balance their responsibilities outside of work. This can lead to better job satisfaction, increased loyalty, and a happier and more productive team. While it may require some flexibility on your part as the owner or manager of the restaurant, the benefits of allowing your staff to take time off for annual leave and special occasions will pay dividends in the long run.
22. provide your kitchen with suitable commercial kitchen equipment
Providing your kitchen with suitable commercial kitchen equipment is essential to running a successful restaurant. The right equipment can help your kitchen staff work more efficiently and produce higher-quality dishes. Investing in equipment that can handle the volume of orders you expect and withstand the rigours of daily use is vital. High-quality equipment can also be more energy-efficient, saving you money on utility bills. Additionally, investing in modern equipment can appeal to customers who appreciate the latest technology and give your restaurant a competitive edge. By providing your kitchen with suitable commercial kitchen equipment, you’re investing in the long-term success of your restaurant and ensuring that your customers receive the best possible dining experience.
23. give your staff the best rostering system
Giving your staff the best rostering system is crucial for your restaurant’s efficient management and organization. Using a modern and user-friendly rostering system, your team can easily view their schedules, request shift swaps or time off, and receive real-time updates from management. A sound rostering system can also help you optimize your labour costs by providing insights into your staff’s working patterns and identifying opportunities for increased efficiency. This can lead to better staff planning, reduced wage costs, and better restaurant management. Additionally, a streamlined rostering system can lead to higher employee satisfaction, as it reduces the likelihood of scheduling conflicts and miscommunications. Investing in the best rostering system for your restaurant sets your business up for success and ensures that your staff can work efficiently and effectively.
24. Provide your chefs with the best knives to use
Providing your chefs with the best knives to use is a critical part of running a successful kitchen. A high-quality knife can make all the difference when preparing ingredients efficiently and precisely. Investing in sharp, durable, and comfortable blades for extended periods is essential. Chefs who use the best knives available will be able to work more quickly and accurately, which can help improve the quality and consistency of the dishes they produce. Additionally, investing in high-quality knives can also promote safety in the kitchen. Dull or improperly maintained knives can increase the risk of accidents and injuries. By providing your chefs with the best knives to use, you’re investing in the safety and success of your business.
25. Give your chefs the best aprons to wear
Providing your chefs with the best aprons to wear is integral to ensuring their comfort and safety in the kitchen. A high-quality apron can offer protection from spills, splatters, and burns, while also helping to keep chefs’ clothing clean and hygienic. When selecting aprons for your chefs, choosing ones made from durable materials that can withstand frequent washing and heavy use is essential. Adjustable neck and waist straps can help ensure a comfortable fit, while pockets provide convenient storage for tools and essentials. Additionally, choosing aprons in colours or styles that match the aesthetic of your restaurant can help create a cohesive and professional look. By providing your chefs with the best aprons to wear, you’re investing in their safety, comfort, and the overall presentation of your restaurant.
26. Provide your chefs with the best kitchen shoes to wear
Providing your chefs with the best kitchen shoes is crucial for their comfort and safety. Kitchen shoes should be slip-resistant, easy to clean, and durable enough to withstand the demands of a fast-paced kitchen environment. When selecting shoes for your chefs, choosing shoes that fit correctly and provide ample support to help prevent slips, falls, and foot fatigue is essential. Look for shoes made from high-quality materials that can withstand exposure to heat, grease, and liquids. Additionally, choose shoes specifically designed for kitchen use, as they often feature specialized features such as reinforced toe caps or antimicrobial linings to help maintain hygiene standards. By providing your chefs with the best kitchen shoes to wear, you’re investing in their safety and comfort, which can ultimately lead to better performance and productivity in the kitchen.
27. Provide your chefs with a knife sharpening service
Providing your chefs with a knife sharpening service is an excellent way to ensure they always have sharp, efficient knives. Dull knives can be frustrating and dangerous, slowing productivity and increasing the risk of accidents. Offering a knife sharpening service can improve efficiency in the kitchen by allowing your chefs to work more quickly and accurately. It can also help extend your knives’ life, reducing the need for frequent replacement. By providing a knife sharpening service, you invest in your business’s success and your staff’s safety. Additionally, this service can help create a positive and supportive culture in the kitchen, showing your chefs that you value their work and want to provide them with the best possible tools to succeed.
28. Give your staff the appropriate linen to polish and dry their equipment
Providing your staff with appropriate linen to polish and dry their equipment is essential to creating a clean and hygienic kitchen environment. The right linens can help prevent cross-contamination and ensure your equipment is properly sanitized and ready for use. When choosing linens for your staff, choosing high-quality materials that can withstand frequent washing and heavy use is essential. Look for lint-free, absorbent, and non-abrasive linens to avoid damaging sensitive surfaces. Additionally, it’s essential to have separate linens designated for specific tasks to prevent cross-contamination. For example, use different towels for drying dishes and wiping down countertops. By providing your staff with appropriate linen, you ensure your kitchen’s cleanliness and safety while ensuring your equipment is appropriately maintained and ready for use.
30. provide your staff with the best waste disposal systems
Providing your staff with the best waste disposal systems is crucial for maintaining a clean and hygienic kitchen environment. A proper waste disposal system can help prevent the buildup of garbage and debris, which can attract pests and create unpleasant odours. When selecting a waste disposal system for your restaurant, choosing one that is durable, easy to clean, and designed to handle the volume of waste your business produces is essential. Look for systems with odour control, noise reduction, and hands-free operation to promote ease of use and safety. Additionally, consider investing in recycling and composting systems to help reduce your environmental impact and promote sustainability. You invest in your kitchen’s cleanliness and safety while promoting responsible waste management practices by providing your staff with the best waste disposal systems. This can help improve the overall reputation of your business and help you attract and retain environmentally-conscious customers.
31. Give your kitchen team the best online butcher to work with
Giving your kitchen team the best wholesale meat supplier ensures that your restaurant serves high-quality meat dishes. A reputable wholesale meat supplier should be able to provide your restaurant with a consistent supply of fresh, high-quality meats, including beef, pork, poultry, and other specialty meats. Look for a supplier that sources meat from trusted farms and producers and adheres to strict hygiene and safety standards. Choosing a supplier who can meet your restaurant’s needs, including volume requirements, delivery schedules, and pricing. Additionally, consider choosing a supplier that offers a wide variety of cuts and types of meat, as this can help you create a diverse and enticing menu. By giving your kitchen team the best wholesale meat supplier to work with, you’re investing in the quality and consistency of your dishes, which can ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
32. Give your team the best dry goods supplier
Giving your team the best dry goods supplier ensures your restaurant consistently supplies high-quality pantry staples, such as grains, spices, and baking supplies. An excellent dry goods supplier should be able to provide you with a wide variety of products at competitive prices while also offering flexible delivery options that can accommodate your restaurant’s schedule and inventory needs. Additionally, look for suppliers that provide high-quality, fresh products free from contaminants or impurities. When selecting a dry goods supplier for your restaurant, choosing one with a reputation for excellent customer service and who can respond quickly and efficiently to any issues or concerns is essential. By giving your team the best dry goods supplier to work with, you’re ensuring that your pantry is well-stocked with high-quality ingredients, which can ultimately lead to better-tasting and more consistent menu items.
33. Provide your staff with the best phone answering service
Providing your staff with the best phone answering service is crucial for ensuring that your customers receive the highest service and support. A good telephone answering service should be professional, courteous, and efficient, with well-trained operators who can handle various inquiries and issues. Look for a service that offers customizable scripts and protocols so that your callers receive consistent and accurate information every time they call. It’s also essential to choose a service that can integrate with your existing systems and technologies, including your customer relationship management (CRM) software and telephone system. Additionally, consider selecting a service that offers advanced features such as call routing, voicemail transcription, and call recording, which can help you improve your customer service and streamline your internal operations. By providing your staff with the best phone answering service, you’re investing in the satisfaction of your customers and the success of your business.
34. Provide your kitchen staff with the best rangehood cleaning service
Providing your kitchen staff with the best rangehood cleaning service is crucial for maintaining a clean, safe, hygienic kitchen environment. A good range hood cleaning service should be able to thoroughly clean and sanitize your range hoods and exhaust systems using industry-standard equipment and techniques. They should also be able to work around your restaurant’s schedule and minimize disruptions to your kitchen operations. When selecting a rangehood cleaning service, it’s essential to choose one that is licensed, insured, and with a proven track record of delivering high-quality service. Look for services that use eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning products to promote safety and sustainability. Additionally, consider choosing a service that offers preventative maintenance and ongoing support to help you maintain the cleanliness and efficiency of your range hoods and exhaust systems over time. By providing your kitchen staff with the best rangehood cleaning service, you’re investing in the safety and well-being of your employees and customers while ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations.
35. Use the best wholesale vegetable market for your menu
Using the best wholesale vegetable supplier for your menu ensures that your restaurant serves high-quality, fresh, and nutritious produce. A good supplier should be able to provide you with a wide selection of seasonal, locally-sourced, and organic produce at competitive prices. Look for suppliers with solid relationships with local farmers and producers who prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Choosing a supplier who can work with your restaurant’s needs, including volume requirements, delivery schedules, and pricing. Additionally, consider choosing a supplier that offers additional services, such as pre-washed and pre-cut produce, which can save your kitchen staff time and effort. By using the best wholesale vegetable supplier for your menu, you’re investing in the quality and freshness of your dishes, which can ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
36. Work with the best wholesale seafood in Melbourne
Working with Melbourne’s best wholesale seafood supplier ensures that your restaurant serves high-quality, fresh, sustainable seafood. A good seafood supplier should be able to provide you with a wide selection of fresh fish, shellfish, and other seafood at competitive prices. Look for suppliers with solid relationships with local fishermen and producers who prioritize sustainability and environmental responsibility. Choosing a supplier who can work with your restaurant’s needs, including volume requirements, delivery schedules, and pricing. Additionally, consider choosing a supplier that offers additional services such as portioning, filleting, and custom orders. By working with the best wholesale seafood supplier in Melbourne, you’re investing in the quality and freshness of your seafood dishes, which can ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
37. Find the best coffee wholesale supplier
Finding the best coffee wholesale supplier is crucial for ensuring that your restaurant serves your customers high-quality, flavourful, and aromatic coffee. A good coffee supplier should be able to provide you with a wide variety of coffee beans, including different roasts, blends, and origins, at competitive prices. Look for suppliers that source their coffee from reputable farms and producers and prioritise fair trade and sustainability. Choosing a supplier who can work with your restaurant’s needs, including volume requirements, delivery schedules, and pricing. Additionally, consider choosing a supplier offering additional services such as custom blends or single-origin coffees, training your staff on coffee preparation techniques, and equipment maintenance and repair services. By finding the best coffee wholesale supplier, you’re investing in the quality and taste of your coffee offerings, which can ultimately lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
38. Invest in a platform that generates customer feedback
Investing in a platform that generates customer feedback can provide your restaurant with valuable insights into the preferences and experiences of your customers. A good feedback platform should be easy to use, accessible, and customizable to your restaurant’s needs. Look for platforms that offer multiple channels for feedback, such as online surveys, email, text messages, or mobile apps, to ensure that your customers can provide input conveniently and comfortably. Additionally, choose a platform that offers real-time reporting and analytics so that you can quickly and easily identify trends and patterns in customer feedback. Choosing a platform that integrates with your existing systems and technologies is essential, including your point-of-sale (POS) system, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and social media accounts. By investing in a feedback platform, you’re demonstrating your commitment to customer satisfaction and loyalty while identifying opportunities for improvement and growth.
39. Implement and streamline operations
Streamlining operations in your restaurant can help you improve efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance the overall customer experience. Here are a few ways to simplify your processes:
- Automate processes: Consider using technology to automate repetitive tasks, such as order taking, payment processing, and inventory management. This can help you save time and reduce errors.
- Simplify the menu: Offering a simple and focused menu can help reduce food waste, speed up service, and improve consistency. Consider removing underperforming items or combining similar dishes.
- Cross-train employees: Cross-training your staff can help ensure everyone can handle multiple tasks and responsibilities, reducing the need for specialized roles and improving flexibility.
- Use data to guide decision-making: Collecting and analyzing data on sales, customer feedback, and operational metrics can help you identify opportunities for improvement and make data-driven decisions.
- Optimise the layout: Analyze the flow of customers, servers, and kitchen staff to identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies. Consider reorganizing furniture, equipment, and workstations to optimize space and improve the flow of people and products.
Streamlining your operations can create a more efficient and effective restaurant that delivers better customer and bottom-line results.
Running a successful restaurant requires much more than offering great food and drinks. It involves carefully selecting suitable suppliers who can provide you with quality ingredients, finding the best coffee supplier to serve your customers delicious cups of joe, investing in a platform that generates customer feedback so you can identify areas for improvement, and streamlining operations to increase efficiency and reduce costs. By following these tips on how to run a successful restaurant, you’ll be sure to create an unforgettable dining experience for your guests while also boosting sales at the same time.