Did you know that 60% of restaurants fail within their first 3 years of operation? According to a research study by National Restaurant Association and Cornell University, only 40% of new restaurants survive their 3rd year in business.
Why is this so? The food industry is increasingly becoming competitive which means that making a single wrong move could cost you your entire business. Despite there being a wide range of challenges beyond your control, there are major mistakes arising out of your own doing or undoing that could endanger your business.
So, if you are new to the industry, you should strive to avoid these mistakes at all costs. Here are the top 4 biggest restaurant owners mistakes that should be avoided:
1) Poor Choice of Location
Regardless of how small this issue may look, especially even when you have good access roads to your restaurant, believe me, it matters a lot.
If you are a fast food restaurant and not strategically placed along the highway or somewhere easily accessible, you might be in for a shock.
Just as the name "fast food" suggests, customers don't want to waste time walking for long distances to access your restaurant. They are normally looking for the quickest accessibility possible.
If your business is selling pizza, then opening the restaurant near a college could be wise. However, if there are already plenty of restaurants offering pizza there, then you should probably look for another location.
Generally speaking, researching for somewhere to base your business goes beyond just looking for a place to rent, which is a common mistake made by many restaurant owners.
Finding the right place involves knowing your market and the level of competition to expect there. Otherwise, you may find yourself lost among other restaurants offering the same type of food.
2) Lack of Uniqueness
What are you best known for? One of the determinants of success for any restaurant is its level of uniqueness.
This doesn't necessarily mean that you offer completely different menu items from other restaurants. No. It could also imply that your style of service needs to be different, not to mention that the taste of your food has to be outstanding.
What will make a customer prefer you other than your competitor? This depends on how appealing you are to your target customers. For instance, if you want to advertise yourself as a family restaurant, then definitely what you are offering has to be appealing to both adults and kids.
Before starting your business you should do some research. For example, make sure that no one else in town has the name you intend to use.
In summary, it could be hard to be completely unique but at least you should improve on not less than three things that other restaurants offer and innovate three things they don't have.
3) Lazy Staff Team
Having lazy employees could be hard to notice because it usually starts small and gradually becomes worse to the point of threatening the life of your business.
Laziness could result from any of your staff members and you should be in a position to stop it as fast as possible. For instance, a cook could be bored with making the same kind of food every time and might develop a habit of skipping steps. Another example is where one of your waitstaff team is in a bid to rush somewhere and ends up cleaning half of the table and leaving customers unsatisfied with their service.
All these kinds of laziness will portray a negative image of your restaurant due to the bad customer experience. The worst scenario is that your customers will turn to hate your business and might even go ahead to discourage others from coming there.
Hence, you should discourage any form of laziness among your employees and motivate them regularly towards offering better services.
4) Lack of Focus
Just like any other business, staying focused is an important skill that new restaurant owners should possess.
The restaurant business is constantly evolving, which means one can easily fall into the temptation of buying expensive catering equipment or overspending on trendier packaging at the expense of important operational needs of the business, among other things.
However hard it seems, you should discipline yourself so that you don't end up spending excessively on things that add little value to your business.;
As an owner, you should have the end in mind even before you start your business to avoid any form of distractions that you are likely to face, or if they happen, to know the best way to deal with their negative effects.
Starting your own restaurant is accompanied by lots of challenges which you should be prepared to face. However hard making decisions could be, you should ensure that your business keeps moving at all costs.
Despite the large number of mistakes that you are likely to make, you should strive to avoid making these 4 biggest restaurant owners mistakes especially. They have the power to cripple your restaurant business or kill it for good if not arrested early enough.