Life as a restaurateur can be one of the most fulfilling provided that you actually know what you’re doing, and what you’re getting yourself into. But believe it or not, many first-time restaurant and bar owners go into the business blind.
The truth is, not too many people understand the dynamics and all of the moving parts that are required for a successful restaurant or bar operation, especially after COVID-19 has altered how restaurants operate in 2021. And this is where most first-time investors fail.
Studies have shown that the average restaurant lasts about 10 to 16 years if successful after the first 5 years. But it’s also known that more than 60 percent of restaurants and bars fail within the first year alone. And this failure can be largely avoided if you know how to tweak your operation.
Here, we’ll explore a few of the things you should never do if you want to be successful in the restaurant business.
Inadequate Equipment & Tools
Many first-time restaurant owners try to cut costs as much as possible just to get their establishments up and running. And this is perhaps the worst strategy of all.
Though you’ll want to keep costs low on average, you’re not going to be successful if you fail to provide your employees with the equipment and tools they need to do their jobs.
For example, many restaurants and bars that feature an elaborate wine list have beverage and wine coolers that are specially made to keep wine at a specific temperature. And a host of other measures are also utilized to keep wine stored properly.
If you have a bar and your wine isn’t being properly stored, not only will it go bad faster, you’re going to lose a lot of money as you pour it down the drain. And the same goes for any piece of equipment inside your establishment.
Ensure that your equipment is up to date and that it offers your employees the ability to perform their jobs to the best of their abilities.
Poor Inventory Practices
Just like not having the proper equipment can be a huge pitfall for your business, so too can not having adequate inventory when you need it. And this is where you’ll notice your poor inventory practices in the form of dreaded “bad reviews.”
For example, imagine that you’ve just gone out to dinner with several business associates, and after finishing your meal, your entire party of 12 decides to order the Chocolate Delight topped with freshly made cream.
Well, what happens when your server comes to your table and tells your party that nobody can have the Chocolate Delight because your venue is out of whipped topping? Chances are, you’re probably going to be highly disappointed.
As a restaurant owner, you have to ensure that every one of your menu items is available. And if you cannot offer them, be prepared to offer something similar (or better) when the time comes.
Hire Inexperienced Bartenders
One of the most coveted positions within a restaurant and bar environment is that of the barkeep. And rightfully so, because typically a bartender is the most well-rounded and experienced member of the FOH staff.
Bartenders are supposed to know the art of customer service better than anyone. And if you have a bartender who simply goes through the motions and never interacts or engages with your guests, you’re likely going to ruin your bar business.
A bar environment is supposed to be fun, relaxing, and energetic when appropriate. And without an experienced bartender who can not only handle high-volume but also deal with an array of guest personalities, your bar will soon become the talk of the town and not the type of talk you’ll want to hear.
The reality is, there are a million ways to fail in the restaurant business, but only a few are sure to help you succeed. And as long as you focus on making every detail of your operation top-notch, you’ll be able to reach the success you desire.