The majority of restaurants end up failing within their first five years — yet people still yearn to open them. Your restaurant doesn’t have to be one of the restaurants that fail. There are measures you can take to avoid the mistakes that doom eateries. Read on for helpful tips.
1. Poor Customer Service
In the restaurant-going experience, customer service plays a huge role. If people didn’t want to be served, they would have stayed home to eat. Make sure that your wait staff is behaving professionally and courteously at all times. Inattentive waiters or rude bartenders are sure to leave a bad impression on guests.
2. Negative Yelp Reviews
Yes, in the age of social media, Yelp can absolutely make or break a small business’s success. Many restaurant owners have even taken to replying to reviews on Yelp, thanking customers for their positive reviews or requesting a second chance from customers who write negative reviews. Something helpful you can do is to approach tables and ask them for constructive feedback. Not only will guests feel more welcome and taken care of, but they will also be less likely to vent on a public forum and will instead offer constructive criticism in-person.
3. Low-Quality Ingredients
Americans want quality ingredients. Things that are organic, hormone-free and gluten-free tend to be appealing to guests. More and more restaurants have been adopting the use of high-quality ingredients in their food.
4. Lack of Awareness
If your restaurant is tucked away at the end of a strip mall where passersby are unlikely to ever see your storefront, start spreading the word. Create Twitter and Facebook pages if you don’t already have them, and add pictures. Have an attractive looking website and spruce it up with close-up photos of the food and atmosphere. Reach out to journalists who write restaurant columns, and ask them to come review your food for the local paper. Cater events, and pass out business cards to event attendees. Make sure people are hearing about your restaurant and tasting your food.
5. Rehashed Idea
If your business model is commonplace, it’s time to give it a makeover. If your restaurant is casual family dining, maybe it’s time to experiment with a more upscale vibe. Add modern décor, a bar, or some booths with leather seats. Brainstorm different ideas to see what would fit with the culture of your city.
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