Updated: Dec 20, 2019
2020 is a new opportunity to change your habits and make sure your restaurant survives for many years to come!
Opening a new restaurant is fun and exciting!! You did it.... you opened your first, second or even your third restaurant and beyond.... congratulations!! The only problem is that none of it means that you still can't fail. Sorry but it's the truth and here's why!
I've known or know dozens of restaurant owners... some successful and some not so successful but it became extremely simple to determine who would be around and who would very likely struggle.
Owners who aren't engaged with their restaurant(s) tend to suffer losses the quickest. Our best and most successful customers are the ones that are engaged with their restaurant and consistently demand performance from their managers and get feedback from their customers. No, not micromanaging, just really thorough oversight and holding managers accountable.
Owners who are engaged with their restaurant but don't fully understand their numbers will tend to rely on their managers too much. The problem is that most people don't like sharing bad news especially if it reflects poorly on them which means the owners may never get the true story until its too late!
So how do you fix it?
Talk to your customers and get their feedback. Don't hide! Try creating business cards with a general email account so your customers can reach both you and your general manager if they have problems or concerns.
Don't rely on others or industry standards to run your restaurant. Each restaurant is different and therefore will have its own metrics! For example, at Skrible we've found that the traditional 35% food cost doesn't exist. A 35% menu item... yes but a 35% overall food cost.... no! And using a 22% overall liquor cost is another potentially fatal mistake. Owners who have a basic understanding of food cost, alcohol cost, labor cost, and breakeven have a much greater chance of success!
Don't be a narcissist when it comes to running your restaurant. Invest in outside people who can help make sure you keep a clear picture such as accountants and inventory auditors like Skrible (www.skrible.co).
Don't calculate what you're restaurant can do, figure out what it has to do in order to breakeven. But don't just expect it to happen.... create a strategy and plan to make sure it happens!
In 2020 hundreds of DFW area restaurants will close and others will move in to take their place. Regardless if it's your first restaurant or your tenth restaurant, following these four simple tips coupled with great food and great service can help your restaurant(s) stay around for years to come!