You did it! Whether you had a soft opening or a grand opening (or both), your restaurant is open, staffed, and ready for business. You’ve got your equipment, menu, policies, and food. You’re ready to succeed as a restaurateur.
You may think you’re all prepared for the future, but there is still a lot to do before you’re ready to sit back and enjoy the success of having your own restaurant. Here are 6 things you want to do quickly so you’re ready.
1. Find a work-life balance that works for you.
Unless you’re the kind of person who thrives on very high-stress situations, every day, you’re going to need a way to de-stress and make sure you have time for yourself and your friends or family. Wearing yourself out mentally, emotionally, and physically is going to create both long-term and short-term problems for you that will be reflected in your restaurant, no matter how much you think you’re handling it just fine.
2. Plan for physical growth.
It’s unlikely that your restaurant is going to stay small and unknown forever, especially if you’re working hard to get the word out. You’ll need to be aware of future things like freezer capacity, suppliers, table count, and parking. Think of where you’ll keep extra food, what you’ll use to cook more meals, and where you’ll put the added customers coming in.
3. Make a plan for increased staff.
As you know, it’s hard to hire employees in the restaurant industry these days. When your business takes off, and you need another cook or host, where are you going to find them? It’s good to have a plan in place already so you don’t let yourself get panicked and frustrated when you are reminded how difficult the hiring process is at the moment.
4. Create a plan for testing your menu and refining costs.
In the current economy, it’s more important than ever to be able to capitalize on your budget. Delivering what your customers want while increasing revenue is the best way to stay competitive or, even better, get ahead of your competition. Getting feedback and reviews from your customers is crucial to know what is bringing them back time after time. It’s also important to prune your menu, create new items that leverage fewer ingredients and capitalize on the best parts of dishes, and minimize inventory to combat rising costs.
5. Make sure you have a plan for your future online presence.
Even if you hired professionals to make you a beautiful, functional website, and you created social media accounts and maybe even a post or two, there is more that needs to be done. You need to plan for who is going to respond to social media questions, who is going to update the website, and who is going to answer emails. When it’s peak meal time, or after you’ve closed and are tired, is there anyone available to handle those things? Having a website and social media accounts does you very little good if they are neglected. You need to ensure there is someone ready to take care of it as you get busier.
6. Don’t sweat the details all the time.
Okay, this is more of a don’t than a do, but it’s an important one. If you find yourself constantly running through exhausting mental lists of all the things you need to take care of and finding it overwhelming, it may be time to bring in another person to help you, whether it’s an extra front-of-house worker, another chef, or a manager. It’s important to know when you need help maintaining the great restaurant you’ve managed to set up and open, and there’s definitely no shame in needing help. Adding a person to share the burden of ownership with you can be freeing. When you’re feeling overly stressed, having a partner or manager around can remind you why you wanted to open your own restaurant in the first place – you love this job!
If you need assistance with phone calls, Reachify is perfect for automatically deflecting calls to text messages, online ordering, and so much more. You’ll be glad you have it when you hit peak meal times! Let us show you what we can do for you here.