Opening your own restaurant is a challenging endeavour. If you have decided to break into the restaurant business, have the funds behind you and a firm idea of what you want to achieve, you are well on your way to making your dream a reality.

With the food industry booming, with independent cafes and restaurants offering everything from tapas to takeaways, it is a popular industry for those keen to turnover profit and make a success out of their passion. Below are some handy suggestions to help your restaurant make the best possible impact.

  • Define Your Target Audience

Knowing your target audience is a decision to make very early on in the process. Getting an understanding of the specific market you want to break into will also help you to develop your menu concept, restaurant branding, goals in terms of overall identity. Do you want to offer your customers a high-end dining experience? Perhaps you’re a millennials top choice for brunch and burgers? Maybe you want to offer families a Spanish experience on a weekday? You also need to decide if you will provide table service or counter service, for example.

All these questions need to be answered when you are developing your business plan and working out your budget, as you will be able to be realistic about what you can offer your customers and the type of service you can provide.

  • First Impressions Count

Your restaurant’s brand and design are very important players when it comes to opening a restaurant. The food business is a saturated market, so you need to develop a brand that will stand out, that offers diners something new and exciting that’ll get them talking. With customers often sharing their experience on social media nowadays, tap into this market and spend some time conducting research on how best to brand your business through aesthetics and design. This will encompass everything, from the interior décor, the design of menu holders, to the food presentation itself.

Food for thought…

According to research by Zizzi, 18-35-year-olds spend five whole days a year browsing food images on Instagram. 30% would avoid a restaurant if their Instagram presence was weak.

  • It’s All About Teamwork

You cannot hope to run a successful restaurant without a hard-working, dedicated, efficient team of staff behind you. It can take one experience of bad service for a customer never to return, and badmouth your restaurant to others. Therefore, take the time to train your staff fully, and focus on employee retention and happiness to ensure you have the best possible team behind you, who communicate well and can gel in order to see a shift through without too many mistakes being made. Lack of training will shine through to customers, so ensure your staff has been given proper attention and all the training they need to provide efficient, fluent service to keep your customers coming back.

Running a restaurant will often seem an uphill struggle. It will take an investment of your time, effort and money. If you are willing to give it 100% and focus on the suggestions above along the way, you could potentially see your dream become not only a reality but an instant success.