In Part One of our Definitive Guide to a Successful Restaurant or Café business Fit-Out we learnt about:
- Creating a Business Plan (& sticking to it)
- Setting a Budget (but not skimping on the kitchen)
- Location, Location, Location
- Hiring a Fit-out Company
- Design Dreams (plus practicalities)
In Part Two we will look at:
- Timelines (plan, plan and plan again)
- Marketing (shout about it)
- Staff (hire well)
- Open (soft launch)
- Repeat (eat, sleep, repeat)
Plan, plan and plan again:
Keeping on track, sticking to your timeline, can be one of the hardest things – that is why it is important to make sure the deadlines you set are realistic.
As a starting point, refer to your business plan and ascertain when your business needs to be operational to maximise your revenue streams.
A good fitout company will help you manage your timescales and especially when to purchase your key items, such as furniture and equipment.
Shout about it
You need to let the world know your plans – you are about to open the doors to your dream business so you need to start creating hype as soon as possible.
Create a website and start gaining a database of interested customers, get them excited with updates and countdowns. Use social media platforms (Facebook, instagram) – there is no reason why you can’t build an online following and loyal customer base before you’ve even opened.
If online isn’t your thing (or even if it is!), bring the focus to your restaurant or cafe shop with window graphics promoting the business – even create a gorilla marketing campaign in the area.
There are many options to build intrigue ready for the big reveal.
Customer service is invaluable, so recruit early and recruit well.
With your staff, you will need to find the perfect balance between emotional skill and technical skill (51% personality against 49% technical ability).
Make sure you leave yourself enough time to do recruit properly as a quick fix can sometimes bring with it long-term issues – so plan, hold onto your nerve and know the right people are out there!
Before your grand opening to the public – have a trial run.
Invite a restricted audience and to test how your business operates.
As well as family and friends, you need to invite those who will be more critical – so invite a cross section of people you don’t know.
You need honest feedback (not a party!) – you need to know what’s working and what needs improving.
Eat, sleep, repeat
You did it.
The doors to your business are finally open.
Now, the hard work begins!
Once open it is critical that you maintain consistency and quality.
By all means listen to customers and employees via comment cards but keep it simple with a couple of questions such as “What did you enjoy?” and “What could we do better?”.