For anyone’s who’s ever lived the saying, ‘Opening a restaurant is the easy part; the real challenge is making money at it,’ we found a great article on restaurantowner.com, How to Turn Your Good Restaurant into a Great Business.
As a restaurant owner, it says, you probably have all kinds of terrific traits that will serve you well, but no one is born knowing how to start or run a profitable business. The article provides practical advice for staying out of the weeds (a common pitfall in all kinds of businesses, not just restaurants!) and functioning at a higher, more CEO-like level.
How do you create an operation that runs the way you want it to? How do you avoid having to be involved in every single little thing? How do you know which things you need to be involved in? How do you focus on big-picture activity that can help your business grow? And, how do you have a successful business and manage to have a fulfilling life outside the business? Read on…
As a restaurant owner, you (understandably) may see your central role as ‘running the restaurant,’ focusing on the day-to-day aspects. But if you’re doing that, you’re not doing a whole host of things that are necessary to having a successful business. If your restaurant, this article emphasizes, is dependent on you, the owner, for day-in, day-out operations, you may be headed for failure. Learning to detach and delegate are two biggies.
Many independent restaurants don’t want to be compared to McDonald’s. But the authors point out that there are important lessons to be learned from founder Ray Kroc, who came up with approaches and guiding principles that many in the industry consider ‘ingenious’ and relevant to all kinds of business owners, especially those who own restaurants.
Work on the business, not in it. Kroc understood and analyzed every function and procedure, and from that knowledge, developed very specific and comprehensive standards and procedures. With these in place, others could be taught precisely how to run a McDonald’s in a systematic and successful way, with consistent and predictable products and service.
The ‘system’ is the solution. He knew—and made sure that—everyone had to follow ‘the system’ to a T in order for individual restaurants, as well as the entire enterprise, to be successful.
Like Kroc, restaurant owners need to focus on building systems that will produce consistent, predictable and high-quality results every time, day after day.
As you’re becoming more comfortable with a more CEO-like role and perspective, there are three main areas you’ll need to focus on:
- Operations – everything it takes to prepare and serve your ‘products’
- Financial – managing cash, reporting and expenses
- Marketing – how you get customers in the door
Only when you let go of the belief that you need to be working 70-hour weeks in the restaurant to keep it going can you focus on these critical business areas. And only when you refocus in this way can you give each of these the amount of attention they require, which will increase your chances of success.
Be sure to read more here for more great information, including developing your own systems and operating manuals on your way to owning a great business!
Image courtesy of Marcus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net