4 Ways to Improve Your Restaurant Business Plan

By Katrina McKinnon,
business.com writer
May 30, 2017
Image Credit: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Why are restaurant business plans important for attracting customers when they will never see it? Although your customers may not see it, they will feel the effects of your business plan.

If you don’t have a well-organised kitchen workflow, your customers get served cold food. If your staff is poorly trained, your service suffers and you can lose customers. 

Even though myth that nine out of ten restaurants fail has been debunked in a study about Why Restarants Fail, research has shown that restaurants fail due to poor location or a lack of understanding of the demographics - both of which should be included in your restaurant plan. Therefore, make sure you have the plan that will ensure that your restaurant runs smoothly and improves over time. In the restaurant business, change and constant improvement are of outmost importance.

Improve Your Restaurant Design and Visual Appeal

According to this study from the University of New Hampshire, everything from the exterior of your restaurant, the letters on your doors, pattern of your tablecloth, colour of your staff uniform and all the way to the design of your menu, matters. It is wise to hire a reputable interior designer to help you make the most of your restaurant space. They will not only make it beautiful, but functional, as well.

Your exterior is just as important as your interior. Your potential customers are not going to walk inside and then choose you over your competition. They will make that decision outside, looking at your facade. Make it stunning.

Perfectly designed menus and flawless staff uniforms promise professional and superb service. That is a very important part of a customer’s experience of your restaurant, so offer your best. Visual appeal and nice design is what loyal customers to great restaurants love and appreciate.

Ensure Efficient Organisation and Workflow

Preparing and serving food is time-sensitive. Nobody wants to eat cold soup or wait for their meal for an hour. To achieve timely service, you need excellent organisation and workflow. This even means making a kitchen plan that ensures logical and interrupted workflow.

Another way to increase productivity and ensure better service is careful reservation organisation. Studies show that restaurants that have the practice of pooling reservations, rather than locking the reservations to a table have a 15 percent higher turnover, 15 percent of the time. This increases productivity and efficiency.

Organization also involves cleverly chosen menu items. You should include healthy options, vegan and gluten-free meals, but also drop the dishes that don’t sell well. Revise your menu from time to time and make it better every time.

Make Productive Marketing Efforts

The first step among the many to come in your marketing campaign is to create a good website. After that, you need excellent social media profiles that are active and responsive to your customers. Also, include the possibility of online booking and take food orders through your website.

To master the online marketing strategies, you will need to learn a bit about SEO for restaurants and social media platforms. You will also need to make sure the good word is spread about your restaurant. That is achieved by working closely with social media influencers or organising events such as blogger meetups and the like. Positive reviews from these people can launch your restaurant into the foodie stardom!

Keep Up the High Hygienic Standards

Even if you get launched to the stars, you need to keep your feet on the ground and cover the basics first. And the first thing about any restaurant is hygiene. Everything about your restaurant needs to be spotlessly clean: the kitchen, the staff uniforms, the linen, utensils and even the facade.

You need to pay extra attention to the cleanliness of your washroom. All your other efforts to leave a good impression and attract customers will be in vain if your washroom is not up to standard.

People get repelled by the unclean toilets and they are not about to come back to a restaurant with badly maintained washroom. Cleaning tip - clean the washroom at least once an hour.

These are the four pillars of a strong restaurant business plan. Still, the race for your restaurant success is not just about keeping a restaurant afloat. It is about improving your restaurant constantly and keeping up with the competition.

However, you should not go and implement just any business trend unsystematically. That would backfire sooner or later. Take advice from the seasoned experts and their tips and start by implementing the best researched changes in your business plan first.

Keep your eye on those that match the type of your restaurant and the issues it has and work your way up from there. You can start pooling your reservations as soon as tomorrow, but it takes a bit of time to change the kitchen outlay.

But, if following these tips mean that your restaurant will become better and more profitable, and it does, put those changes into your business plan and watch it grow!

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