It is an exciting prospect to open your own restaurant; you must have the tenacity and wherewithal to be borderline obsessive about it to ensure that it succeeds.
From the early stages of planning your food and drinks business to the continual demand for your personal time, it is a full-time job on steroids to be a restaurateur. You must be prepared to continually be on guard for ways to increase positive customer experiences and increase profit; they are tricky balls to juggle.
Before you even think about opening a restaurant, you need to have a carefully thought out concept. The concept of a restaurant involves more than just deciding the style of cuisine. You need to choose whether you are going to focus on high-end, casual or fast food, and each of these options although very different, all require meticulous concept planning. You could even base your food and drinks business concept off one of these famous drinking quotes.
You need to think of the planning for the restaurant design, the competitive challenges, the market demographic, and the all-important financing strategy. Your concept strategy will need to exploit culinary trends, and support a strong branding strategy. It is at this initial stage that you set the path for either success or failure.
Do not underestimate the power of being highly knowledgeable about your industry. The clientele to your establishment will immediately know whether the insights and business acumen offered is genuine, as they are more than likely industry leaders themselves. Invest in your business by undertaking innovative and professional courses to strengthen your brand. For you or your wine buyer, Le Cordon Bleu offer diplomas and courses to develop sensory evaluation techniques and to learn how to turn your concept into a business venture. You will gain valuable insights into your operational and strategic approach to the food and drinks business. You have the opportunity to learn from the best in the business.
Menu engineering is the study of your popular menu items and their profitability, and how these two factors are influenced by their placement on the menu – the ultimate goal being to increase profit per guest. If you sell items that have varying levels of profitability and popularity, menu engineering may help you to increase your profits. A well-executed menu engineering effort can increase profits by between 10% to 15%, and it is important to re-evaluate your menu annually to squeeze out further percentages of profit that may have leaked out due to complacency.
Your first step is to cost your menu. It is advisable that a senior member of kitchen staff completes this procedure as they know first-hand the ingredients needed for each menu item. This is a time-consuming process but absolutely necessary. From the figures, you can categorise the menu items into groups of high profitability and high popularity; low profitability and high popularity; high profitability and low popularity; and finally, low profitability and low popularity. You will see the menu items that need to be promoted within your sales strategy, and those that need to be reconsidered for inclusion on the menu.
By developing a bullet proof concept strategy, supporting your staff by to become highly skilled in the industry, and keeping close checks on your menu and profit margin, you will be able to sustain your food and drinks business and let it flourish under your guidance.