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How to Run a Restaurant

Running a restaurant is not for the faint of heart. It involves long hours of being on your feet, dealing with a wide array of personalities, and juggling multiple tasks at the same time.

So, what does it take to not just run a restaurant but to run a successful restaurant? Take five, put your feet up, and let’s dig in.

It’s time to get your hands dirty

As you begin your culinary journey, you’re going to want to take a hands-on approach to everything.

You’ve taken the time to invest in something of your own, so you don’t want to just hand it off to those who aren’t as invested as you are.

This will require adept problem-solving skills because most days will entail at least a few operational hiccups. You will be required to think fast and produce quick solutions; whether faced with a disgruntled customer, an inventory shortage, or staff members calling in sick.

That being said, it’s important to remember that you are only one person!

On most days, there are just too many things for you to handle effectively all on your own. This is a great opportunity to hone your delegation skills.

Start by assigning simple day-to-day chores to trusted employees who can get the job done. This will allow you to focus on the more prevalent issues that need to take priority for you.

An added benefit of delegating is that your employees will see what’s involved in the intricate day-to-day operations and setting the groundwork to assume more responsibilities later.

A well-balanced budget

It’s vital to establish a system for your accounting needs. You’re going to have your hands full managing your business, so it’s essential to use software or hire an accountancy and bookkeeping firm to support you in your financial endeavours.

A whiz in the kitchen

Hiring the right chef, cooks and kitchen staff is crucial if you want to keep customers walking through the door.

Your highest priority should be making your diner’s taste buds water, so they will not only keep coming back but bring their friends along as well.

Service with a smile

Employing the right wait staff may turn out to be one of your biggest challenges. Restaurants are filled with unpredictable customer interactions like diners with dietary restrictions, last-minute group reservations, and self-proclaimed ‘foodies’ who send their dish back several times until it meets their standards.

It’s important to have trusted staff who are adept at handling these scenarios with an upbeat, positive attitude.          

Culinary innovation

In order to ensure continued growth for years to come, you need to be open to trying new things and keeping things fresh.

Keep yourself open to new ideas and ways you can improve your overall operations. Whether it’s changing your menu to reflect the demand for cleaner eating options, addressing the zero food waste movement, or updating your EPOS system to simplify your customer’s experience, great managers embrace innovation to keep their restaurants competitive.

The Right Marketing Mix

Developing a buzz around your restaurant means a lot of marketing and promotions.

Focusing on your surrounding community is a great way to appeal to your local client base.

If you would like to be seen more as a destination restaurant, then focus your effects on the latest culinary trends, this will appeal to a much wider audience and even create some conversations about what you’re offering!

Other effective marketing techniques include:

  • Get online: In many cases, a good website acts as your customers’ first impression of what you have to offer – so make sure that your site is the best representation of your restaurant!
  • Get social: Be sure to set up a presence on all of the major social channels. Not only can you advertise special offers, but it’s also an excellent way to allow your customers to share your business with their friends.
  • Word of mouth: Happy customers are the best form of advertisement! As long as you keep giving them good food, friendly service and a clean, relaxing environment, they will gladly spread the word.

The road to success

Throughout the ups and downs of your restaurant journey, a firm balance between consistency and innovation will help you overcome daily challenges while reaching your overall goals.

Consistency will allow you to set an example of stability with your staff, keeping steady lines of communication open while setting expectations and rewards. This will encourage staff loyalty and retention, resulting in a reliable service to your customers.

Finally, having an innovative mindset will keep your eyes open to new trends, demands, and changes in the restaurant industry.

Being proactive in this area will keep you one step ahead of the competition and even put your on the right track for if you decide to sell your restaurant! Bon appetit!

Faye Ferris

About the author

APAC Sales & Marketing Director for, the world’s most popular website for buying and selling businesses globally, which attracts over 1.2 million visitors each month.