How To Save A Failing Restaurant

Restaurants fail left and right, especially in the first year – but some careful planning and thoughtful consideration can turn things around.

Restaurant News Resource Opening a restaurant can be one of the biggest risks an entrepreneur could make. The initial capital for this kind of business is significantly large, so you have to make initial provisions for the facility, the interior decorations, tables, utensils, staff compensation and business permits among others.

The conceptualization, actual inauguration and daily operations is just half of the problem at the back of your mind you will always have to be conscious of the volume of people dining in and the revenue margins you are hitting to be able meet your return in investment (ROI) targets.

So if at some point in time you are hitting rock-bottom or just simply having challenges with your business revenues, how do you save a failing restaurant?

We have two important tips that would help you solve this challenge.

First, you have to go back and reflect on the initial stage of conceptualization. What is the concept of your restaurant? Who are your target markets in the first place? Is your restaurant currently living up to this business blueprint? Or have there been some deviations?

If you are able to identify that there is a disconnect between the initial concept and target market to the current operational trends in your restaurant there is a need to review your mechanisms and align them to your vision. For example, if you initially target young professionals between the ages of 20 to 30 years old, you might want to find out if this is the same demography of customers dining in everyday.

Perhaps, you can ask one of your staff to track the number of people and indicate their estimated age. If for instance, you found out that the average age of people dining in at your restaurant is between 32-45 years old then clearly you are not meeting the goal that you have at the onset.

Understand why that is so. Is it because of the food? Are you serving foods that are not apt with the target market? Is it because of the ambiance? Are your tables and chairs appears outdated? Is it because of the location?  Are you accessible to the nearby office space or business district? Or is it the price of your products? Are the young professionals finding it expensive?

Back to the drawing board, you would then have to implement changes based on your observations. You can start with the most obvious as they would usually yield the biggest impact.

Second, if you are certain that your initial business goal is aligned with your current restaurant set-up, perhaps, there is a need to revisit the quality of your products and services.

This is where the concept of ‘customer focus’ and ‘innovation’ comes into play.

It is said that every successful business has this characteristic of being innovative. Being able to anticipate the need or sometimes creating a need for your target market. But before this you have to first understand who your target market is and what their needs are.

Going back to our initial example, if your target market is the young professionals, you have to find out what their average income is and how much they are willing to spend for a meal. You might want to find out as well how much time they are willing to spend waiting for their orders to be served. You might also want to find out what their dietary preferences are.

Knowing certain strategic facts about your customers would enable you to design menu and services that caters their needs directly. From there you can build up and add value so you could convert them to be loyal customers.

For example, you found out that office workers in your area would only have 30 minutes lunch break allotted to them. It may be a good idea to advertise your restaurant as a restaurant that serves food within 5 minutes or the lunch is free!

This gives your customers an assurance that whenever they dine at your place their food will be served at the soonest possible time after they ordered.

Of course, if you make such promises you have to make sure that internal mechanisms are adjusted so you can deliver. You may need to offer menus that are easy and fast to cook, hire chefs and waiters that are efficient and experienced etc.

Saving your restaurant from failure might be an overwhelming task at first, but by ensuring that your business has a clearly defined target market, their needs are being directly addressed and you are able to add value there is no need to fear- your restaurant will sail through! 

Article source: Contributed by RestaurantNewsResource.com, a global restaurant news distribution service.

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