Restaurant Management 101
Running a restaurant is a dream job for anybody who has the talent for crafting amazing meals. Unfortunately, there is a lot more to it than that. You have to have a concept for your establishment, a unique menu, the right staff, and the day to day chores involved with running a restaurant can become mind numbing. You have to have the right attitude, don’t be afraid to promote, keep a watchful eye on the competition, and keep communication with your customers open.
In this day and age, if you aren’t using social media such as Facebook and Twitter to interact with your customers, then you are missing a rather large piece of the puzzle. Social media users interact with your restaurant to find four things, promotions/discounts (such as a 10% off coupon), exclusive content not available anywhere else (people like to think they are privileged insiders!), information on new products (such as your new happy hour menu), and the ability to share opinions (comments, criticism, etc).
You also have to stay competitive on a number of other fronts. Running a restaurant is not easy, and it is ill advised to try and sit back or “coast”. You have to keep working the concept.
– Play up your strengths and make them things that matter to your patrons.
– Determine the deficiencies in your competition, and work to exploit them.
– With that in mind, identify your own deficiencies and work to correct them.
– Work to create points of difference between yourself and the competition.
– Know your audience and work to keep them in your corner and coming back for more.
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At the core of your establishment is the menu, and it should properly convey the passion and care that goes into creating each course.
– The most attractive menu item names start out with the preparation method, so don’t be afraid of words like braised, seared, or pan fried wood fired and poached. This significantly ups the prestige factor.
– Make sure your customers know why a certain dish is special, if the beef is dry aged, if the eggs are farm fresh, if you bake bread in house every morning, etc.
– Ingredients can often elevate descriptions. If something unique or exotic is used in the preparation of a dish, then highlight it.
– Get specific. If you are serving pasta, tell them what kind of pasta, as well as what kind of sauce goes on it. The more specific you can get, the greater is the customer’s perception of the dish.
You must also have the right personality to run a restaurant, with just the right balance of tolerance, business sense, positive energy, leadership skills, presence, persistence, and passion. Basically, you should be able to work and play well with others.
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