Should I continue my restaurant even though I have been struggling to meet sales after 4 years of operation?
I've been running my restaurant for 4 years and have been struggling with my sales since the inception. It's been a tough struggle for survival. I have had a few patches where I have made some money. Even after all these years project break-even seems far away. I want to refurbish the place before the season commences and I'm unsure if I should take an additional loan for the same.
I suppose the answer depends on whether the problem is with the idea or the execution.
Do you suspect that someone else (or a better version of you) could be successful with the same business?
Have you been working the phones and networking to attract groups, businesses, salespeople to use your space? Are there businesses around you to market to? Are you marketing to your local residents? Do you offer something (environment, culture, service...) that your diners can't get from other restaurants in the area? Can you set up any referral or JV programs with other local businesses? Is the money you're spending on advertising effective? Do you have any loyalty with your customers? Do you cultivate loyalty? Are there other successful restaurants in your area? What are they doing that you aren't? Is there an opening for a slightly different niche?
I haven't run a restaurant, but I did operate in a highly competitive industry in a crowded market. It's typically still possible to do well.
My experience is that success or failure has more to do with the mindset, beliefs, and approach of the owner than the market in most cases. The real problem is we don't know how to tell the difference.
What do you think?