According to a recent report by the National Restaurant Association, around 50% of all restaurants today are owned by women. As more and more female owners enter the business, they soon discover that they have specific challenges to face. And they might discover that they also have strengths that could actually benefit them in the long run. Here are a few tips women in the restaurant business should follow.
Know if the Lifestyle is for You
Owning a restaurant is sort of a daydream for many people who want to use their talents or their love of cuisine and make a living from it. However, the restaurant life isn’t for everyone. The daily grind of actually owning a restaurant, having to deal with employees and recruitment, managing expenses, finding and maintaining relationships with suppliers and keeping the restaurant full is a challenge and could easily take a toll on anyone. So, before you decide to make the jump, make sure that you’re ready to deal with the challenge that comes with working in a high stress business like the restaurant industry.
Get a Full Grasp of the Business Aspect of it
While you may have a natural passion for cuisine and love it as a hobby, owning a restaurant is far more demanding. A restaurant is a business first and foremost, and turning in profit is essential, so you’ll have to familiarize yourself with the business aspect of things before you get started. You’ll have to have a solid grasp of things such as taxation, permits and regulation, cash flow, loss and profit statements, etc. If you don’t have a foundation already, you can check out adult community classes in your area or online classes as well.
Always Look for Ways to Improve
In a business as saturated as the restaurant industry, you’ll have to find a way to differentiate your product offering. You need to first have a clear niche and look at what others in your niche are doing. Look at a few of their Yelp reviews and do some undercover work and see what they’re doing well and where they could improve.
For instance, if their food is great but you feel like their decor leaves a lot to be desired and they’re using plastic cups and cheap utensils, you could one-up them up by investing in some modern flatware, improving the lighting, and investing in better table tops. These few adjustments could improve your customers’ dining experience without having to make huge expenses.
Try to gather as much feedback as you can from your customers as well. Ask your waiters to ask for feedback throughout the meal. You could also ask your customers to give some feedback by filling out a questionnaire while they’re waiting for their bill. This will give you some great ideas as to where you could improve and what you’re actually doing right.
Opening a restaurant is definitely a challenge, but a fun one if you know how to go about it. Make sure that you know what to expect and learn as much as you can before you decide to make the jump.