There's a reason why 60 percent of restaurants don't make it to see a second year of business and 80 percent shutter within five years: It's a tough industry.
Restaurant managers must balance the books, mitigate risks and retain employees all while pursing customer loyalty. Whether you own a restaurant or you'd like to some day, it's worth checking out these top mistakes that can turn a restaurant on its side.
Romanticizing the job
A person could be a great chef at home, but drown when faced with 10 food tickets at a time. That's because you can't fake it until you make it if you want to own a business. The head chef should ideally have a decade of experience under his or her belt, and managers need to have a wide variety of skills, especially some experience working with people.
A few bad managers can soil a restaurant's reputation on sites like Glassdoor, making it difficult for an eatery to retain and find new employees. What's a business if no one wants to work there?
As Thrillist pointed out, some people pursue the fame and glory portrayed by famous chefs like Gordon Ramsey without realizing the sacrifice it takes to open an establishment. The source warned that aspiring restaurant owners must prepare themselves mentally and physically to endure the pain of missing many social events such as birthday parties, summer barbecues and more. Be ready to do some dirty work, too.
Neglecting important systems
Restaurant owners and managers have their work cut out for them. These folks have to wear many hats and be a cog in many major systems. Failure to pay attention to one module of the business can cost you a fortune. For example, if you don't put a plan in place to reduce slips, trips and falls, you may pay hand over fist in liability costs.
"Worker's compensation claims cost an average of $20,000 per accident."
According to EHS Today, 95 million workdays per year are squandered due to slip-and-fall injuries. As a result, worker's compensation claims cost an average of $20,000 per accident. Unless someone has spent some time working a dinner shift, he or she might not be aware of these slippery situations.
Inconsistent execution and poor service
Even if a restaurant owner is great at bookkeeping, managing employees and their safety, and hiring talented chefs, he or she must still focus on providing quality and consistent service. Just take a look at Yelp if you don't believe that these are major determinants of a successful business.
Failing to provide consistent dishes and beverages is one thing. However, if guests don't feel special, they're not going to frequent the place. They will probably tell all of their friends to stop dining there as well.
Of course, if you can pull off a myriad of tasks and skills, the industry can be quite lucrative. Solid planning is the best way to ensure your establishment will flourish. Start by implementing a solid shoe program via Shoes For Crews and work from there. Safety is the most important aspect of any respectable business.
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