Seven Tips on Running A Successful Restaurant

The restaurant business is a demanding one and it certainly has its challenges. Here are some tips on how to run a successful restaurant.

· Listen to the Customer.

The customer is always right, yes they are. There is no point arguing this, rather just listen. The customer may give you valuable input when it comes to the quality of your meals. Perhaps you haven’t had a chance to sample the meals over the past month. Well, guess what? Your customers do. So listen to them. This could allow you to fix the problem right away. Perhaps your chef has changed an ingredient or is becoming overwhelmed with the demand and is putting out dishes before they are 100%. This will give you better control over what is happening in your kitchen.

· Budget.

Restaurants deal with small margins so there isn’t much room to make mistakes. Draw up a weekly budget of what food items need to be purchased on a weekly basis, and don’t stock up too much. It will take up space and could become old before it could be used. That would be money, literally, thrown away. Keep an eye on your cash flow and ensure that it is spent wisely.

· Advertise Your Restaurant.

Restaurant owners think that if they build it the customers will come. How? Unless you tell people that it exists no one will come. Advertise your restaurant, whether it’s on billboards, in magazines, or on social media. Tell people about it.

· Give Staff Clear Job Descriptions.

Staff members need to know exactly what their instructions are. They also need to know what is considered acceptable behaviour and what is not acceptable in the restaurant. It they know what is expected of them, this will lead to a smooth functioning restaurant.

· Run Promotions.

Customers love special promotions. They want to feel that they are getting more value for their money, so this will attract them. Offer specials such as a free drink with a meal or a two for one meal deal. Decide on promotions on a monthly or seasonal basis to keep customers intrigued.

· Keep the Menu Interesting.

If you have the same menu for years, customers tend to get bored and venture to other restaurants where they can try something new. Rather have those customers try something new at your restaurant. Perhaps every 6 months to a year, change the menu slightly to introduce new meals. And mix it up a bit.

· Invest in Quality Catering Equipment.

Investing in catering equipment that is reliable and that won’t break down every 5 minutes is a necessity. Find catering equipment that will last for years so that you won’t have to spend precious cash flow on replacing or repairing catering equipment every year.

3 Tips for Renovating Restaurants on a Budget

Renovating a business space where people converge such as a restaurant can be such a big undertaking. For one, there is almost very minimal time with which the restaurant can be closed to do the renovation. As a business entity, it has to stay open to make money. Second, restaurants deal with food and there is nothing that does not mix more than a full-blown construction and food preparation. Combined, it’s the best way to get a headache just from a logistical stand point.

But renovating a restaurant is as important as changing its menu. Patrons don’t just eat with their mouths, but also with their eyes and with what they feel, and giving the restaurant a new look and feel answers that need to feel like they are dining somewhere new. So without further ado, here are some ways to take on this major project, without breaking the bank:

1. Board up like a pro

To prevent a logistical nightmare, take the time to board up the restaurant strategically. Contrary to popular belief, there is no need to close the restaurant altogether for as long as you plan ahead. You can renovate the restaurant in parts and to do this, your contractor should be able to achieve this properly. The board up should be up to the ceiling and should have its own entrance. It’s basically like building an impenetrable fortress inside the restaurant. Nothing should be able to come out or come in the board up. You can decorate the board up façade so it meshes in the interiors of the restaurant as well.

Speaking of contractors, make sure to hire a team with a project manager. Remember, time is of the essence and having a professional work for you solves half of the problem.

2. Look at other restaurants

Instead of shopping for new equipment, look at existing or closed restaurants. These places are surely looking to liquidate their wares including plates, forks, bowls, and other cooking items aside from the stainless steel equipment. The best part is that they will sell this to you in bulk and in a complete set, thus giving you the chance to get an ample discount on what is usually a very expensive shopping expedition if it’s all brand new.

3. Be smart with the fit outs

Although you can go a bit more creative on the furnishings, the best way to save on renovations is by adhering to standard sizes. This helps you plan out the space smarter and you can be sure the equipment will fit, with no need for costly customization. Apply this on the whole restaurant with the help of 3D rendering to make the sizing precise and accurate, including lighting fixtures, restrooms, kitchen, and point of sale areas and you will really see a considerable drop in your budget needs.

Doing so is also very sustainable as it makes the maintenance of the place a complete breeze as you do not need to search far and wide for items to fix your restaurant with.

Fast Food Restaurants

A Fast Food Restaurant can be described as a quick service restaurant QSR. They are a particular sort of eatery and surely understood for fast food and small table service. The food served in these eateries is regularly offered from a restricted menu, and normally cooked and arranged ahead of time, kept hot and when a request is put, it is then prepared to be served. In the event that the food is to be taken away, it will be bundled.

These eateries are all the time part of an eatery network, and the arrangements they utilize are institutionalized fixings and once in a while somewhat arranged food will be provided to them through controlled channels. The first in all likelihood began in the United States. Another variety of this is a providing food van or truck, which has the benefit of versatility.

At the season of composing this article there are around 78 well known eateries, and totalled together they offer just about 5000 menu things, and the number is as yet rising.

These eateries are for the most part situated in towns, urban areas, along major roadways, recreation parks and other simple to get to areas. Huge numbers of these eateries give drive through offices. A drive through office empowers clients to put in a request and after that get it at the client benefit straight without leaving their vehicle.

Some of these eateries give eating ranges where food can be requested and eaten on the premises, and a couple will even take arranges by telephone and convey the food to the required address. Numerous pizza eateries give this conveyance benefit at no additional cost to the client, however a base request must be held fast to.

Fast food is any food that is snappy, helpful and normally reasonable. Fast food can be purchased pretty much anyplace that offers food and snacks. Candy machines, drive through eateries and 24hr accommodation shops are the most well-known spots to acquire fast food.

Fast food is for the most part less expensive on the grounds that it is made with less expensive fixings, for example, refined grains, included sugar and high fat meat. A significant number of these speedy and helpful dinners contain a high measure of sodium which can build the danger of hypertension. Sodium can likewise prompt to develop of liquids in the event of individuals with congestive heart disappointment, cirrhosis or kidney ailment.

Today most fast food chains are reacting to clients remarks by changing their menus to more sound choices, and these can incorporate more products of the soil, and lessening the measure of fat, salt and included sugar a large number of their menu things.

Restaurants: Coping With the High Demand In Summer

The summer holidays are here and we’re all taking time out of whatever we do for a living and are spending much of that time eating out. That means that restaurants will get busy due to the high demand. No time out for the restaurant industry during the summer season. How do you ensure that your restaurant is able to cope with the many customers that are coming its way?

· First of all, prepare your staff. Inform your chef and waiters of what is expected of them. Explain to them what is acceptable behaviour towards customers, show them where all the catering equipment is so that they can assist when they need to, explain the importance of promptness and communication, and inform your staff of the season’s specials so that they can promote it.

· Add a few summer dishes to your menu to spice it up. Decide on a few interesting summer dishes that are exclusive for the summer season. Make them colourful and eye catching to entice customers.

· Keep your restaurant in tip-top shape. Ensure that you have processes and procedures in place to keep your restaurant clean every day. Keep all the cleaning equipment in one section so that everyone knows where to get it. If anything is damaged, ensure that your staff know that it needs to be reported and replace it as soon as possible.

· Keep a stock list and check list of all food items. You need to keep track of all the food items entering and leaving your kitchen. Keep track of the dates it arrived and ensure you check how long it has been in stock. Never serve expired food to your customers. This could be detrimental to your restaurant’s reputation.

· Keep your restaurant cool. Summer days can be very hot and that means that people are trying to escape their homes for the hope of a cooler atmosphere. Ensure that you have air conditioning in place to keep your customers cool while they dine.

· Find catering equipment that makes your kitchen run more efficiently. If you are going to get more customers during the summer, then you need to have catering equipment that speeds up your kitchen’s processes. Food Processors, Ice Machines, Juice Dispensers, and Commercial Dishwashers are great time savers.

Summer is a busy period for restaurants and it is essential that your restaurant is able to handle the demand. If you can succeed at good customer service and great tasting meals this summer, it will ensure returning customers all year long.

New Years’ Resolutions for Restaurant Owners

Last year is gone and it’s time to usher in a new year. With it comes planning and resolutions, that will make it a good and profitable year. For restaurant owners this may still be your busy season with some people still being on holiday while the rest of them are returning to work. The New Year is good time to reflect on what has or has not worked the previous year and to plan for the year ahead.

Here are some new years’ resolutions for restaurant owners.

  • Assess the year that passed and be honest with yourself. What methods or processes did not work or caused confusion for your staff? Resolve to find methods that work well with your type of restaurant and that staff can understand easily.
  • Endeavour to try new recipes and be consistent with implementing the new recipes on your menu. Don’t delay changing the menu because you are busy. Set a deadline as to when you will renew it and ensure that it is done.
  • Speak to your customers more often and find out whether they are enjoying the dining experience at your restaurant. Listen to their complaints and resolve them. In most cases customers can give you valuable advice and suggestions that will help your business thrive.
  • Check whether your stock monitoring and ordering system is running efficiently. Most importantly you need to be sure that no old food items are stocked in the pantry. In the New Year ensure that the old stock is out and the new stock is in.
  • Communicate better with all your staff members. When you implement a new special or a new meal, ensure that everyone is aware of what it consists of and how much it costs. If they know better, they can sell better.
  • Make it a point to service the catering equipment at least once a year to ensure that it works efficiently. The last thing you want is for a breakdown to occur while you’re still serving customers. It could make your restaurant look unprepared.
  • Look at what competitors are doing differently. Is your restaurant still doing things the old way? Are there new systems or software available that will make your restaurant run more efficiently? Do they change their menus often or do they stick to unique menu items?

The New Year should be a time for new beginnings and exciting endeavours. It should be a time to reflect and set new goals that will take you to the next level in your business and in your personal life.

Sunflower Oil: Packaging Options for Restaurants

Cooking oil is the most common ingredient used in a kitchen. Restaurants always need to have stock of this versatile ingredient. Because restaurants use it so often, it is important that sunflower oil manufacturers package sunflower oil in the correct containers that are available in different sizes.

There’s no question that sunflower oil supplied in bulk options is a good idea for busy restaurants and cafés. It’s known that on a busy day, it can run out before the end of the day. If your restaurant is constantly cooking and frying food you should keep large containers of sunflower oil. The sunflower oil comes in large containers such as a 200 litre drum, a 1000 litre flexitank and a 36000 litre tanker load. Plus you don’t have to worry about it ageing because it maintains its nutritional value for a long period of time.

The drums are perfect for you if your restaurant serves potato chips or onion rings on the side. You have to submerge the vegetables in frying oil so you will require a lot of it. Having a drum stored in your kitchen will put your mind at ease the next time someone orders extra chips for the table, like every other customer does.

Many recipes need only a bit of oil to sauté onions or braise protein. It’s easier to use a lighter bottle so that you won’t accidentally topple the lot into the pot. So for such applications you can use a 375 millilitre bottle, a 500 millilitre bottle or a 750 millilitre bottle.

If your restaurant doesn’t use such a large amount of sunflower oil then bottles will do. You’ll find that they come in a 2 litre bottle, a 5 litre bottle and a 20 litre Jerry can. Many food places like to make their own condiments and sauces that accompany the table for the fussy eaters. Many places serve customers bread with chilli oil in a bowl. It may seem like a small amount but think of the other fifty tables getting the exact same thing. It would be only a fifty millilitre bowl minus about thirty for the chilli. It would total a litre for one hour. That’s just one self-made condiment.

Pubs make their own sauces in three-hundred and fifty millilitre bottles. You need sunflower oil to make it into a sauce or else it would be just clumpy spicy pieces. That is not enjoyable but with the sunflower oil it gives the sauces a completely new taste. Can you imagine how much of it you would need if you are not using bigger containers? It may not seem to be as much at one glance but it still is quite a substantial amount.

One of the worst ingredients to run out of in a restaurant is the cooking oil. Not only will you not be able to serve the chips, sauce or most dishes but you will also lack a specific texture. Always make sure that you have sunflower oil in stock and use it wisely.

Bad Service Can Ruin Your Restaurant’s Reputation

During the holidays I enjoyed the time off with some surf, sea and sand. As like most people on holiday, I love spending time with special people at wonderful restaurants. Most of the restaurants I went to knew what they were doing and their waitrons were on the ball. I commend such good customer service. However, there was this one restaurant that I went to that did not offer such a good customer experience. Bad service can give a restaurant a bad name.

Let me share my experience with you.

My companions and I decided to have breakfast at the beach. This particular restaurant is ideally situated on the beach, just a few metres from the sea so you can imagine the beautiful view we were looking forward to. While waiting in the queue to be seated, we were promptly informed that we needed to wait a bit. Once we were seated it took quite some time for our waitron to welcome us and provide us with the menus. When she did show up she advised that the restaurant is very busy and breakfast will take very long to serve. I thought it was good that she informed us of the wait but it felt like she was telling us not to bother with ordering at all. We didn’t feel welcome at this point but we decided to continue with our order. At this point I want to mention that the restaurant had many open tables and it was not full to the point where every seat was taken. It was at a manageable capacity. When our breakfast arrived, the order was interpreted incorrectly and the eggs were under done so we returned it to be cooked properly. The waitron gave us a look that made us feel ungrateful and, quite frankly, uncomfortable. For two eggs to be cooked, it took another 20 minutes. In the meantime we asked for tomato sauce from our waitron but she had forgotten about it. So we asked another waitron to assist with the tomato sauce. During this time I ordered a coffee and my companions ordered refills for their coffee. We continued to ask our waitron for sugar and milk for our coffee but, again, she had forgotten about it so we asked another waitron to assist us.

Furthermore, the milk jug was dirty. Restaurants need to take pride in their catering equipment and ensure that it is always clean. My coffee only arrived with the breakfast and my companions’ refills arrived after they had eaten their breakfast. In total we spent 3 hours at the restaurant for two breakfasts and three cups of coffee.

I am a person that is quite patient in a restaurant but when the waitron doesn’t welcome you politely and makes you feel like it’s a burden to have you at their restaurant that gives the restaurant a very bad image. Restaurant management needs to be aware of how their waitrons treat their customers, as it could mean the difference between returning customers or a bad reputation.

Small Innovative Catering Equipment That Make Your Life Easier

There’s a lot of catering equipment out there and, of course, the words catering equipment conjures up images of cutlery and crockery in your mind. It could also include kitchen equipment and appliances. Yet, there is a whole other world of catering equipment that many people miss or take for granted because of their small stature. Let’s take a look at the undermined and underestimated catering equipment that makes our lives easier.

  • Baking Sheets. These are so innovative and convenient during the baking process. It seems like such a simple sheet but it saves you buckets of time because you don’t have to scrub burnt baking trays anymore. The baking sheet acts like a non-stick layer between the baking tray and the food.
  • Ballers. What are ballers, you may ask? This little catering equipment is the size of one kitchen fork. It has a handle along the shaft and at the two ends of the handle it has a half hollowed metal ball. It is generally used to ball melons or any other fruit. You can create a fruit bowl of neat round fruit scoops.
  • Cake Dividers. These are round metal rings that have thin metal glides within the ring. It allows you to cut a cake into perfectly even slices.
  • Garlic Press. Are you still struggling with garlic preparation? Then look no further. The garlic press is a nifty invention where you can put a clove of garlic inside it and with the force of the two opposing handles you can crush the garlic in one swift move. Quick and easy.
  • Oil Tester. With this little technical invention you can place the one end of the oil tester in the cooking oil to check whether the temperature you require has been reached. No more adding ingredients to the cooking oil before the time.
  • Pizza Cutters. This is a wonderful piece of catering equipment if you eat or serve a lot of pizza. This round blade simply glides through the pizza slicing it perfectly.
  • Sharpening Stones. After a lot of use, knives tend to go blunt. Yes, they do. So you need to sharpen them if you want to slice the food with ease. A sharpening stone in your kitchen is quite handy for those moments when you need to sharpen your favourite knife.
  • Speed Pourers. Many people think that this is an unnecessary piece of catering equipment, but until you’ve used one you’ll never understand. The speed pourer inserts into the top of a glass bottle perfectly. It allows you to easily and without a mess pour olive oil or vinegar.

The Worst Advice We’ve Heard On Writing A Restaurant Business Plan

Starting up any business can be really taxing and stressful, but not having a good business plan in place can really set you up for a disastrous journey.

Fail to Plan
Plan to Fail

It rings true for anything you decide to take up in life.

A diligently prepared business plan not only provides clarity to the business owners in terms of the financial requirements, resource planning and the return profile of the venture, but it’s a roadmap that drives you forward from goal to goal. A business plan for a restaurant is particularly challenging, as it involves an industry that already has a large number of players and is highly dynamic. If you haven’t already created a restaurant business plan today, it’s never too late for you to start now.

Let’s hit the road running then, and start off with a real humdinger! We’ve rounded up some of the worst pieces of advice that we have encountered. They are in no particular order.

1. “Don’t research the neighbourhood layout.”
Really? What were they thinking? The neighbourhood is what is going to feed your income, grow your business, and ultimately keep your doors open. If you don’t know where your potential customers are, then how will you fill those seats?

Do your research on what the locals prefer, how often they frequent the restaurants around their homes, and what would be their draw card should a restaurant open up nearby. These are all aspects you will only know if you do your homework. Go talk to the neighbours, send out survey sheets, run an ad competition, or simply set up a little takeaway pop-up stall near the location you have chosen, to see if any customers come sniffing.

2. “Stick with a fixed menu or it will become expensive to maintain.”
Variety is the key to an abundant and exciting life. Provide your clientele with just that! Global restaurant consultant Aaron Allen, provides great advice on how often should you change up your menu. Restaurants on board the digital bandwagon nowadays have also converted to using e-menus for their restaurant ordering system. That way, you don’t have to spend big costs each time you decide to spruce things up. Avant-garde and rudimentary are also the trend nowadays. Just make sure the theme fits with your restaurant.

3. “Wing it till something sticks.”
In an industry that is highly saturated and dynamic, this is a really bad idea! Not having a foolproof menu, not planning for the right headcount, or not formulating a game plan when it comes to the year ahead, can just set you up for failure. Vague and ambiguous business goals like “being different”, “aim to become the best in the business” are merely lofty terms that inform nothing about the underlying business proposition.

4. “Social media is the trend today, so you need to come online now.”
Don’t get us wrong. Social media is indeed the trend today and most businesses are advised to break the barriers and establish their presence as far as possible. In fact, a popular advice given is to leverage on the trending topics and use them to gather eyeballs and customer attention. However, going overboard on social media without having thought through your PR or communication strategies can lead to more harm than good. How will your staff handle customers’ feedback online? Dealing with online negativity is yet another tricky endeavour, which can greatly affect the reputation of the business. If you need more guidelines on dealing with customers online, read this related article.

5. “Leave your personal goals out of the equation.”
Top-performing athletes and successful entrepreneurs from many fields set personal goals for themselves. Why shouldn’t you? Your personal goals are just as important and they should therefore be included in your business plan. You’re not only setting goals for the business, but also for yourself. Set these out upfront and you will see how they can tie in with one another down the line.

Here’s Why Service Is Better in Privately-Owned Restaurants

When people choose to dine out, there is no shortage of restaurants to choose from. Some of those restaurants are chains, owned by a large corporation that opens them in bustling areas to give people a convenient and decent place to dine out. However, it’s the privately-owned restaurants that chefs and lovers of food open to dish out their hearts to their neighbors, offering a true taste of love through food.

It’s in these privately-owned restaurants that you’ll not only find food that pays attention to the details, but also the staff as well. While chain restaurants certainly do their best to give a good experience to reflect the company’s manufactured image, privately-owned restaurants definitely have more to lose and will go above and beyond to earn your business. It is the goal of the privately-owned restaurant to please guests and want them to come back time and time again.

Owner operated restaurants will also bend over backwards to accommodate your needs, whether it’s a seating request for a special table or a dietary need that must be met. Chefs in privately-owned restaurants make food from scratch and don’t prepare your meal until you order it. Chain restaurants can accommodate your wishes to a certain degree, but there is a lot of chaos and confusion in those kitchens. For many working in those restaurants, it’s merely a stepping-stone to getting the experience they need in a kitchen or restaurant environment and quite often, is a job that helps them pay for college or culinary school. If you’re strictly gluten-free, you might be surprised to find that things can get mixed up or cross-contaminated in the kitchen of a chain restaurant. However, a privately-owned restaurant will specially train the entire team to prevent this from happening.

Additionally, these restaurants have so much more at stake because they have built their restaurant business with their own two hands. So making it stand out from the thousands of other restaurants in a busy city is crucial. By ensuring that customers are thrilled from the moment they walk in to beyond their departure, they are cementing their financial security by creating a customer for life. Training is also a factor for excellent service in privately-owned restaurants. They spend much more time getting their staff from the hostess to the servers to the kitchen crew to be on the same page for how to treat every guest that walks in.

When dining out at a privately owned restaurant, take note of the service you receive. You’ll likely discover it goes well beyond what you expected to ensure you’re met with a friendly face that is knowledgeable, communicates effectively, meets your needs and takes care of you while you dine.