There is a perfectly logical explanation for the fact that the number of restaurants around the world is steadily rising. To begin with, shifting demographics and changing lifestyles leave people with less time to cook. Next, people are now much more interested in cuisines from all parts of the world and want to taste the flavours of distant regions. Finally, restaurants have always been places where events were celebrated, business deals negotiated and where some quality family time spent.
Still, all this is no guarantee that every new restaurant business will be a success. Just like other businesses, restaurants need to be run efficiently and shrewdly, and the quality of the offer must not deteriorate. If you’re thinking about starting your own restaurant in Australia or somewhere else, have a look at the following tips, which should help you anticipate some problems and overcome the obstacles often found along the way.
Define your target
Before you start working, you have to realise that you can’t possibly cater to 100% of the market, especially a diverse one such as Australian. Instead, you need to focus on particular groups and try to provide the offer they will find hard to refuse. For example, Generation Y members are known to prefer fast food and quick service, while those belonging to Generation X are more concerned with the value they receive for money and prefer family restaurants or establishments that offer all-you-can-eat salad bars and buffets. On the other hand, baby boomers are more inclined to trendy, formal restaurants.
Whether you choose quick-service, midscale and upscale service will depend on many factors, primarily on your target group and the type of food you’d like to serve. Quick-service restaurants have limited menus of items, such as pizzas, hamburgers and French fries. Midscale restaurants, on the other hand, offer full meals but charge prices that customers believe provide good value. Upscale restaurants focus on the quality of offer and ambience. Fine-dining establishments are found at the highest end of the upscale restaurant category.
Another important factor is the food concept, which, again, largely depends on your target group. Some people want to be surprised, others prefer receiving exactly the same product each time they visit. Your choice in this respect also influences the type of interior you’ll have and the equipment you need. You’ll need to hire professionals, such as experts in interior design, and these providers of commercial catering equipment from Sydney, to ensure you create the right atmosphere and have everything you need for preparing food.
Have a business plan
Possibly the most critical element of your establishment is your business plan. You need to put it together well before you heat your pan for the first time. A business plan must include a precise definition of your concept, market description, menu and pricing, as well as financial information, such as your startup capital, expected income and expenditure and methods of funding your business.
Location can be the key
One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is to find the right location. It can really be the crucial element, since no matter how good service and products you offer, if there aren’t enough clients in the area, you won’t make it. Also, make sure you know every restaurant near you location and try to be different in a good way. If you are renting the space, check whether you’ll have the capacity to pay in the long run. There are also other important restriction you should be aware of, such as limitations on the hours of the day that trucks can legally load or unload, customer parking facilities and future development.
Creating a menu
Not only should you offer great quality food, but you have to know about the trends. For instance, you could opt for locally grown food and microbrewed Australian beers or have some exotic ingredients imported. What you definitely need is something that your local competitors don’t offer or a similar offer of better quality and/or lower price in order to attract customers.
Some restaurant owners have little or no experience in running such a business, which means they have to be extremely careful when hiring staff. Even if they are experienced, they still have to pay a lot of attention to recruiting. Each employee should have a clear job description, outlining their duties and responsibilities, which are in line with their qualifications and skills.
Marketing and promotions
Finally, if you manage to put together a great time and offer great food and dining experience at affordable prices, you won’t get very far unless people are aware of the existence of your restaurant. Experience has shown that the best way to promote such a business is word-of-mouth, but you have to know that it’s also potentially the most dangerous. If your restaurant gets a bad reputation for any reason, it will be hard or even impossible to get rid of it. Your marketing strategy will largely depend on your target and what kind of message you’d like to send.
Running a restaurant is not an easy task, especially in places like Australia, where there are really so many establishments offering food from all over the world. You have to be prepared to wait, since overnight success is almost impossible to achieve. Still, if you play your cards right, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruit of your labour.