Opening up a restaurant can feel intimidating. While there is a lot of room for success in the restaurant business, there are also plenty of restaurants that fail quickly. The reasons restaurants fail varies significantly from poor location, lack of preparation, or inadequate management. Despite the risks, if your dream is to open and run a thriving restaurant, do the homework, create a plan, and do it.Here are three pieces of advice for new restaurant owners.
1. Buy the best equipment for what you need
When you are starting a new business, you may be tempted to look for the best deals on equipment, as opposed to the best equipment. You may be familiar with restaurant auctions or companies that sell used restaurant equipment at a seemingly great price. However, if you have to pay to have the equipment inspected, cleaned, and repaired, you probably aren’t getting a great deal in the end. Additionally, if you are settling for less than you need to save money, you will end up spending more money in the long-term because you’ll need extra equipment.The best approach is to prepare for the investment of new, high-quality restaurant equipment to fill the exact needs of your restaurant. Go Food Service provides a wide range of restaurant equipment to fill your needs regardless of the style of restaurant you are planning to open. You can peruse their website or contact them directly for information and recommendations on equipment based on your unique needs.
2. Network with other owners
While your first assumption may be that other restaurant owners are no more than your competition, that is often far from the truth. Most restaurant owners appreciate how hard the restaurant business can be and are extremely encouraging of each other. You can network with other owners for advice and support. Talk to other owners in your community to coordinate events and sales. Many small communities have a variety of community events that engage residents with local businesses. Join the Chamber of Commerce so that you can be part of the planning committee for those events.
You can also join a professional organization for restaurant owners such as the National Restaurant Association, which hosts networking events and trade shows. These types of organizations can allow you to connect with restaurant owners all over the country and allow you to learn from those who have been in the business for years. All industries have professional organizations, and anyone who has belonged to one can attest to the benefits they provide small- and medium-sized business owners.
3. Develop strong supplier relationships
Developing a strong relationship with your vendors and supplies will help you in the long-term. As you become a reliable customer, your vendors will value your business and go the extra mile to make you happy as a customer. Additionally, when you use a single supplier like Go Food Service, you can develop a relationship with them and feel comfortable contacting them when you need help, support, or suggestions. Additionally, if you have any problems with your equipment, you will be interacting with one supplier, as opposed to multiple supplies. If you utilize an auction house or used equipment supplier, you will have no one to contact when there are problems, since most sell everything “as is.”
When it comes to food vendors, you may have more opportunities for sales or discounts based on orders and volume. Creating a strong relationship with your salesperson is the best way to connect to the vendor because they have some power within the company to advocate for their prime customers.