July 5, 2020

Confidential File: The Secret to Starting a Stellar Restaurant Business

Why do 60% of restaurants fail to make it past their first year?

From the California Business Journal NewsWire.

Are you toying with the idea of opening a restaurant business? Have you already started your journey?

As you may already know, running a profitable business is never easy, especially in the restaurant industry.

About 60% of restaurants don’t even make it past their first year. This is why it is key to revisit and re-evaluate core issues.

In order to do this, we need to go back to the basics.

Understanding the why

When taking the first steps, you might Google “how to open a restaurant” and find step-to-step guides (such as on wikihow) that are informative, concise and detailed.

While this is indeed truly valuable and definitely encourageable, one must first start with a foundational understanding by asking:

Is food just about eating?

Don’t be deceived. Yes, this question might seem simple, but it is the most crucial question to the restaurant industry. One might look at this question and plainly reply, “we need food for nutrients.”

While this seems the most obvious answer, it falls exceedingly short.

If it were just for nutrients the popular predictions of the 1960s that food tablets — meal replacements completely void of all emotional value of food — would have become increasingly popular.

As you ponder the answer, let this lead you to the next question.

Are restaurants just about food?

This is an interesting question because the answer is not as obvious as one would expect. The simple response of ‘we go out to eat food’ also falls short. Not everyone who goes to a restaurant orders food. Even the answer “eating good food” is lacking.

There is this anecdote that attempts to shed light on a broader answer:

A businessman once took a vacation to the Caribbean and while he was there he fell in love with a banana liqueur, claiming it was the best tasting drink he had ever been exposed it. He was so enthralled with it that he decided to start a business selling them in his home country. However, once arriving home he opened his suitcase filled with bottles and handed them out to his friends who, to his dismay, were utterly disgusted with the drink. After tasting it himself, he oddly agreed.

Our senses then are affected by context. Taste therefore becomes subjective not just from person to person but from context to context.

Depending on the aura and atmosphere of a restaurant, a person might be more or less likely to enjoy the meal in front of him. Creating vivid memories and ensuring an entertaining experience becomes just as important, if not more important, than the food itself.

Answering the ‘So What?’

This all might seem very simple and elementary but it is crucial when starting out in the restaurant industry.

Understanding the need to create a holistic experience becomes the foundation for your restaurant. From there, you will be able to create exceptional unique selling points and find your niche market.

Having a strong foundation will allow you to have a clearer vision that will help you to set your priorities.

Finding quality wholesale suppliers will save you time and stress. Use reliable suppliers to ensure good quality ingredients and timely delivery so that you can focus on other priorities that give your customers a positive experience. Hire the right people that are authentic and create the perfect vibe for your restaurant. Let the atmosphere set the stage for your restaurant and you will be on the right track to starting a memorable and hence successful business.

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