Tips for Running a Successful Restaurant
Celebrity Chef Rob Rainford offers advice on how to transform your restaurant into a fine dining experience
There are a number of reasons why some of the most renowned restaurants are at the top of their game and will remain on the A-list.
Having a successful restaurant takes more than having a stunning exterior or gorgeous décor. It takes a special understanding of your industry, knowing your competition, recognizing your flaws and strengths and learning how to keep people coming back.
Here are a few key things to remember when trying to run a successful restaurant in today’s foodie world.
Market yourself. You have to get people talking and spreading the word about your fabulous restaurant. World renowned chef Rob Rainford says marketing is something that is important to all businesses.
“If you own a local restaurant, it’s important that the neighbourhood is familiar with your establishment,” says Rainford, who’s in the midst of promoting his latest book, Born To Grill™.
“We live in a world with social media - this means restaurant owners are now more involved than ever in their own marketing,” he continues. “Your guests can now report in real time the experience they’re having in your restaurant. Big chain restaurants buy TV and Internet ads, but if you’re a small business owner you can use an interactive Internet platform to your advantage. If no one knows about you, you won’t survive.”
Lead a strong team. Good work ethic and commitment to excellence on everyone’s part goes a long way. Having a committed staff who shares your goals is vital to any restaurant. You need people who are going to represent your brand and do a good job of portraying the image you want your restaurant to be known for.
Whether you’re an established restaurateur or just starting a new business, Rainford stresses how important it is to stick to your restaurant’s mission statement.
Great food and great service. Without high quality food accompanied by excellent customer service, there’s no point in opening the doors to your restaurant. This should be the top priority for any restaurant - this is one area you can’t afford to cut corners on. All good restaurants understand that small touches go a long way with customers. So do it right and do it with passion.
“My philosophy is that great service along with great food will keep a restaurant alive. Paying customers are entitled to be treated with the utmost respect and treated as guests in your establishment,” says Rainford. “Also, do what you do exceptionally well; you can’t be all things to all people, so find your niche along with your cuisine and work it to the max.”
Word of mouth. New customers are vital to new business growth, but it’s even more important to keep your regulars happy. These are the customers who have been loyal to your restaurant for years and as Rainford says, “Their recommendations can easily be considered gospel.”
Personal testimonials have always been one of the best ways to grow your business, and with the continuous growth of social media, word of mouth advertising has evolved. Now, a simple Twitter post or a status update on Facebook allows your recommendation on a new restaurant to get to a larger audience quicker.
Keep in mind that when a customer walks through the door of a restaurant they expect nothing less than excellence in every aspect of their visit. So use these tips to help take your restaurant to the next level - a fine dining experience your guests will never forget.
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