When you think of successful restaurant owners, who springs to mind? How have they managed to become so successful? Which if their qualities or skills has helped them along the way?
Here is a top 10 list of traits we have noticed in successful restaurateurs:
- Good Planning Skills
Failing to plan means planning to fail. Researching and planning out a restaurant takes a lot of time, don’t be stingy with the amount of time you spend on this. Even if you have been in hospitality previously (or even still are), running your own restaurant is a completely different ballgame. There are some great productivity tools available which can by synced across your devices and stored in the cloud so if you ever lose a device then the information is not gone forever. Identify possible roadblocks and challenges early on – possible challenges could be managing expenses and cash flow or mapping out contingency plans in the event of something going awry.
Consistency is so important in hospitality – how will you maintain consistency in the quality of your offering and your customer service levels? To achieve this, your staff need to be onboard – always be clear so everyone is on the same page. Make sure staff understand what is expected of them as well as what is deemed an acceptable level of customer service.
- Good Communication Skills
Good communication skills are important in all aspects of life but it is particularly important when running your own business which means you need to take up the reins. Put time and consideration into good communication with your staff, customers, investors and suppliers – the benefits will be reaped ten-fold. You should encourage staff to provide feedback and hold regular meetings. Can customers find you online? What about your menu offering? Also consider features of your establishment such as ample parking, tables outside and so on.
We’ve all had a bad experience somewhere along the way whether it was that time you had to keep looking for your waiter or the cashier was so disinterested you began to wonder why she chose this job. Take your own experiences and inject the positive aspects into your business. Create an environment that staff want to be a part of, one where they are happy and supported. Happy staff will give off happy vibes which will rub off on your customers and keep them coming back.
It might sound obvious but few follow this rule: if you want your restaurant to be successful then make sure you are on-site as much as possible. If you’re not on-site then you’re missing the opportunity to get to know your customers, motivate your staff and being involved in the day to day running of your business.
- Devotion to Duty
If you don’t love what you do, it will soon become apparent as your drive to succeed lags. Passion is contagious and so is apathy. Staff who feel the love will have better attitudes and be more willing to ‘go the extra mile’. Your customers will also be able to pick up on the passion or lack thereof.
Let’s be honest, running a restaurant is incredibly stressful. Everything needs your attention at once – customers, suppliers, staff issues, equipment breakdowns and so on. To stay on top of everything, you will need to remain cool and level-headed while everyone else is losing their minds so that you can guide them through.
We certainly don’t mean carrying three plates on your arm and a bowl on your head although that would be a great skill during the dinner rush. It is so important to balance the details of the everyday running of a restaurant (staff issues, paperwork, admin, supplier relationships, finances, etc.) with the end result (greet food and happy customers). Get the balance right and you’ll be a winner.
You need to be able to identify the message you would like to send to potential customers and then communicate that message. What are the competition doing? Can you offer something better? Consider what is unique about your business and build on that whether it’s the location or portions or cost. This will make it easier to keep the competitive edge.
- Courage to Dream
We all have an innate drive to do better and be better. Dreams are an invaluable commodity which drives us forward and gives us energy. Don’t be afraid to dream big and go after what you want!
Are there any attributes you would add to this list? How many of the above attributes do you have? Some of the above attributes can be learned over time so all hope is not lost if you don’t tick every box.