After working in the catering industry for a long stretch of time, have you decided to take the plunge and start up your own restaurant? Do you feel that you can confidently manage such as business? Then it’s important you draw upon your own experience to ensure your new eating establishment doesn’t fail. Here’s where experience is key when it comes to starting your own restaurant:
Choosing your niche
Think back over everything you’ve experienced in your career so far…Are you an exceptional cook when it comes to Italian cuisine? Or do you excel when creating authentic Spanish dishes (perhaps from past experience living abroad or training from an expert)? Ensure your restaurant offers food that you feel confident cooking and serving (which is where your experience in the industry comes in) as it will shape the sort of restaurant you go about setting up, right down the choices available on your menu and the way you design your interior.
The right location
Experience will also help when it comes to finding a location that will fit your customers’ needs and expectations. Do your research and ensure you’ve chosen the best spot for your restaurant, considering factors such as being clearly visible in a busy street, accessibility for less-able bodied customers, and a variety of transport options to reach you. If all of your customers have to get in the car to eat at your restaurant, you’ll be limiting your customer pool.
Recruiting the right people
When it comes to recruitment, it’s important you select individuals with a strong background in the industry that can bring plenty of enthusiasm and new ideas to the table. Ask candidates you are interviewing to demonstrate their skills and experiences to ensure they’re the best fit for your vacancies. Your experience of working with others in the kitchen will help to you feel confident that you’re employing the right people.
Remember - it’s not just your waiting staff and supporting cooks that need to have experience… If you know of a great cleaning company you’ve worked with previously, be sure to give them a call. The saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” is true when it comes to successfully setting up a business, no matter what the industry is.
It’s important that you draw on past experience and market your restaurant correctly. Did a free meal on opening night go down well at a previous place you worked? Or did a social media campaign generate interest months in advance?
Marketing is important for a restaurant that is about to open, so you need to decide what would be best for yours. This could mean reaching out to food bloggers to come in and do reviews or simply contacting the local media. You could seek advice from a previous employer to discover what they did that worked and use your experience and connections to your advantage.
Locally sourced ingredients are popular with customers and restaurant owners who want to show their support for the community they reside in. Think back to that great beef you used to cook at your last place of work or those top quality asparagus heads, and try to source them locally. Your past experience will have a big influence on where you go for your ingredients and could make all the difference to the success of your business.
Experience is essential when setting up any business, so make the most of your past encounters and trust that you’ll be dishing up delicious food to paying customers in no time.