9 Key Details That Contribute To A Restaurant’s Success (or Failure)


Cohesive Menus

There’s much that goes into ensuring that a restaurant is as good as can be, but the most important detail is the menu. It has to be. While customers can enjoy the atmosphere, the drinks, the price, whatever else you have going on, if the food isn’t up to standard, then they won’t be coming back anytime soon. It’s not just about making delicious food, however. A restaurant gains a lot from having a cohesive menu. Do the meals that you offer make sense when you see them side by side? Essentially, it’s about picking some sort of theme. There’s a lot of space for freedom still, of course; what we’re saying is that your menu should not be entirely random. 

Finding Good Staff

What do people go to restaurants for? Ultimately it’s all to have a good time. And there’s no avoiding the fact that your staff will play a big role in this. We’ve all been to restaurants where the staff seemed a little miserable or treated us like we were an inconvenience. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it does make you think twice about the establishment. Would you visit again, if the staff hindered the experience? Probably. So when it comes to your restaurant, make sure that you’re hiring talented and likable people. If they don’t like engaging in small conversations with other humans, then they’ll be ill-suited to the world of restaurant work. Of course, finding good staff can be difficult — for that reason, it’s important to put together a hiring process, and not to rush anything. It’s better to wait for the right employee, rather than hire someone who will turn out to be an underwhelming employee.

Handling the Money

If there’s one thing that restaurant owners know, it’s that handling the money side of things can be pretty time-consuming. It is, however, essential. It’ll have such a big impact on the venture’s overall success or failure that it’s not something that you can avoid. If you have a solid grasp on the money side of things, then you’ll find it much easier to avoid many of the problems that cause restaurants to fall into difficulties. Take a read of some tips for restaurant accounting, and set aside some time each week. You’ll find that it’s much easier to feel like you’re on your way to restaurant success when you know that the money aspect has been taken care of. 

Additional Revenue 

The profit margins of restaurants can be pretty slim. For this reason, it’s important that all restaurants look at ways to maximize their revenue. Fortunately, this is something that’s possible for many restaurants. There are two primary ways to add additional revenue to a restaurant. One is to extend the hours that you’re open. Many restaurateurs shy away from opening for lunch, but it’s something that’s worth considering. There are a lot of people — more people than we usually give credit for — that prefer to go out for lunch rather than dinner, for one reason or another. Another potential revenue stream is hosting events. Could you host parties or weddings, for example? You may need to upgrade your space somewhat to bring it up to the standards of event hosting, but if you can do that, then you’ll find that there’s a lot of scope for boosting your income.  

Finding Reliable Suppliers

It’s not just the meals that you make; it’s the ingredients you use to make them. One of the best things that a restaurant can do is to take their time when it comes to their suppliers. This is true of all ingredients, but especially of fresh produce. It just has too big an impact on the overall quality of the meal to be left up to chance. As well as the quality, check reliability. There’s nothing worse than having to tell a customer that they can’t have their preferred dish, all because you don’t have the ingredients you need to make it. (It’s important to remember that this job isn’t just up to your suppliers: taking stock of your inventory will also help to prevent any problems from arising.)

Monitoring Feedback

It can be difficult to get feedback from a customer in most industries, but this isn’t the case in the restaurant world. One of the good (and bad) things about food is that everyone has their opinion, and won’t mind sharing it with you. This can help you to make any changes as you see fit. Of course, it’s not as if you should make changes based on one person’s feedback. However, if you find that you hear one thing over and over, then it’s probably worth listening!

The Neighbourhood

There are some highly important details that can have a tremendous impact on a restaurant’s success or failure. The location is one of them. While it is possible to succeed in a remote, out of the way location, the truth is that you have to be pretty special to succeed in those spaces. In most cases, your reputation must already be developed — the out of the way restaurants will be your second/third operation. For nearly all restaurants, it pays to be in the mix. You might have to spend more than you’d like on rent, but it’ll be worth it. If there’s a restaurant district in your corner of the world, then that’s where you’ll want to be

Pushing Forward

You might be experiencing a wave of success right now, but will it always be that way? Not necessarily. As with most industries, it’s important that you continue to push forward and develop. If you don’t, then it won’t be too long before it feels as if your best days are behind you. Pushing forward usually involves three things in the restaurant business. One is updating the menu. Another is updating the decor and your branding (for example, your signs, the physical menu, your restroom stalls, etc.).. The final one is to keep things fresh by investing in your staff’s training, or even having an ongoing hiring policy so that there’s always fresh talent keeping standards high. 


Finally, we can’t discount the role that luck plays. The margins between success or failure in the restaurant industry is slim. Sometimes, you can’t pinpoint why things went wrong, or why things went right. Of course, there’s every chance that there is no such as luck, and that what we see when we see a restaurant succeed is simply the outcome of a lot of hard work. 

It’s best to take the view that “the harder you work, the more luck you’ll have.” If you incorporate the above details into your thinking, then you’ll find that you’re on the right path towards success. 


Latest Issue

BDC 317 : Jun 2024