We live in an era where people are excited about food. Cooks and chefs are the new rock stars, with hundreds of TV shows, web series, movies, blogs, and podcasts devoted to the craft and enjoyment of food. It probably wouldn’t have seemed possible ten years ago, but the art of cooking has received unparalleled interest in the modern era.
But this doesn’t mean that it’s easy to be a chef or restaurateur. The restaurant industry is one of the most difficult a professional can enter into. With long hours, steep overhead costs, unpredictable revenue, and low pay, this is an industry for people in love with their work. Even though selling food remains a labor of love, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be focused on making your business model the most efficient and orderly that it can be. Here are some ways to do just that.
- Know Your Identity. There are too many restaurants that try to be all things to all people. Rather than specializing on something that they can do in a truly unique way, they get caught up in the weeds of trends and passing whims. If you are having trouble keeping up with material costs, local changing tastes, and demanding workers, it’s time to focus on what you do best. Don’t focus on the trappings. You can look neat and trim without spending a boatload of money with Chef Works Inc. Pour the rest into food you’re passionate about, refining your flavors until they are really amazing. Once your audience knows you for a specific delicacy, you can start to build a bedrock business. It’s not about the building, it’s not about having the coolest people on staff. Those things can help, but without a strong culinary identity centered around a focused menu, you’ll have trouble making the books work.
- Trim the Fat. Take a careful look at your recipes and general business processes. If you can refine your menu and recipes to be composed of only the necessary ingredients, you can save time and money. If you are able to find a way to make your food more quickly, without sacrificing quality, you’ll be able to net more covers per night. If you are in a location that costs more than it is worth, move to a part of town that’s more affordable, but which still serves your customer base.
- Find Quality Workers. Some restaurateurs sacrifice excellence for stability. This is especially true when it comes to a workforce. If you have employees who are serviceable, but really aren’t up to snuff, it’s worth your while to find motivated people who can do the job. This takes time, but when you’ve assembled a truly excellent staff, you’ll be surprised how much better things work, in service and in the books.