5 essentials for starting a successful restaurant

 

By Maciej Lesiewicz

Hospitality is an industry that knows no crisis and continues to grow, providing fertile soil and a lot of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs who want to start a business in this area.

According to the British Hospitality Association, this industry has created more than 330,000 new jobs in the UK since 2010, that is 17% of total employment growth in the country. Furthermore, hospitality is the fourth largest industry in Great Britain with 4.5 million employees.

Restaurant imageFor those who already work in this area as an employee but would like to start their own business in the hospitality sector, the challenge might seem hard, but it’s not impossible, especially when taking into account that 80% of the hospitality industry consists of small and medium enterprises.

Head Chef Tom Brown, with an abundance of experience in Michelin starred restaurants both in Cornwall and London, shares his tips on some golden rules to follow if you want to open and run a successful restaurant.

1. Choose your location carefully – Opening a restaurant in a big city can be easier as you have a large number of potential customers and are therefore more likely to be busy, but you still need to choose the location carefully because a restaurant is not going to work well in any area. There are different things to think about; if you open a restaurant in an area like Cornwall for example, the seasonality affects a lot the business and in this area it’s definitely preferable to open it on the seaside rather than in the inland.

2. Build a strong team – The main thing to do is to look after your staff really well because it’s a hard industry to work in and requires a lot of sacrifice and devotion. If your staff leave quickly and you have too much turn over you can’t build a good business.

3. Have a clear identity – You need to look after your customers and understand what they want. There are different ways to attract and retain them; you can open a so called concept restaurant that works really well as a business model, like for example Burger & Lobster who use a very simple concept but one that people can identify with. You can also use different winning strategies as well like being on trends or bet on fusion cuisine and combine elements of different culinary traditions, but the worst thing you can do is not have a right and clear identity. You need to be clear about what you do and to it in the best possible way.

4. Choose good suppliers for your products – If you start with poor ingredients you’ll never obtain a great product and the customers will recognise it. People are much more knowledgeable about food and food sources nowadays. Good products will always bring customers in and they’ll only be happy to pay for great products anyway.

5. Promote your product – Social media is something important to get involved in because it can attract a lot of attention, so if you’re not well known it’s an important tool to reach people who have never heard about you.

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