Restaurant development and operations

So you want to develop and operate a restaurant. In a hotel, in a resort, a stand alone, where ever. Consider the following, and these are just the basics!

The restaurant business concept stage

  • Do you have a restaurant development check list?
  • What is your development cost estimate and timeline?
  • Do you know how to get your team together and who should be in it?
  • What will be your concept and unique positioning and branding and how are you to develop name awareness?
  • What kind of analysis of the competition will you focus on?
  • What future expansion is envisaged and how will you expand your brand awareness?
  • What suppliers are available with what product?
  • What menu will suit?
  • Do the initial figures work?

Business planning and operations

  • What legal structure suits you?
  • How deep will your market analysis be so you can ascertain the needs taking into account competitive offerings and pricing?
  • What will your management and support organization be? Do you know how to create your management structure and organization, skilled in operating one?
  • Have you done a feasibility study and are you capable of creating your detailed operational business plan?
  • Building, leasing, joint ownership, what is your development plan?
  • What professional and advisory support will be needed? Need expert advice with startup expenses and capitalization, and other startup costs and your financial plan?
  • How will you fund this? How will you fund growth?
  • How do you implement administrative and financial reporting that makes sense?

Issues to consider with the restaurant location and its actual site

  • Do you know why the real estate aspect matters?
  • Will you lease?
  • Are you knowledgeable enough to negotiate a lease with a fair rent?
  • Do you know all the design and architectural issues needed to be addressed and managed?
  • Are you skilled in compiling technical  agreements with service providers? What professional assistance is needed?
  • Are you skilled in restaurant space planning, kitchen area and adjustable space planning, or will you leave all of that to others?
  • Have you considered design aspects including the consistency of appearance, color, curb appeal, furniture, fixtures & equipment, intimacy, lighting, music, signage? What about parking, insurance, permit needs?

Menu and beverage considerations

  • What strategies are you implementing with your menu and its menu design?
  • Know what menu engineering means going into operations?
  • Who are your vendors and why, why will you purchase from whom?
  • What hygiene and food storage  standards will be implemented?
  • Can you cost out a menu, control inventories, understand what a preparation list is, calculate the cost of goods sold, and have the skills set to lead the team and your chef?
  • Do you understand the responsibilities of owning a liquor license, other liquor license considerations, knowledgeable on wines, and all other beverages?

Marketing your restaurant operation

Do you know how to create and utilize a website, direct mail and data management? Compile monthly email newsletters, identify best advertising options, make use of special events, use media releases to best advantage, write articles, make best use of the local business network, put local networking functions together, create culinary events?

Human resources

How skilled are you in the hiring process, pre-employment screenings, compilation of  the employee manual, training manual, creating the job specification and job description for each position, your service and kitchen training and development plan,  defining your service standards, initiation of incentives, payroll control, labor and employment contacts, best practice and work scheduling?

Then you have to run it, and grow it.

Where do you begin? Restaurant development and operations are complicated, need advice? For advice that works to save you from going broke, contact Mark, at least for a chat!!

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What makes a great restaurant?

A value experience makes a great restaurant. Basic. Whether it is the pub down the road or the Italian at the Four Seasons, the food presented and the experience offered needs to offer real value. That means the more it costs the more you need to offer, from ambiance to service. The customer wants great food at a fair price and that package is what you need to produce.

The food offering should be tasty, fresh, exceptionally well cooked, something that gets those taste buds tingling, in my case I like it to be reflective of the location and culture one is in.

Creative menus, not a standard offering one can except to receive in about 75% of hotel and resort restaurants.

Consistency in the food and service quality delivery. No good great one day, appalling the next

Service, the same old motto, It’s all about people. In no particular order the service needs to be attentive but not overbearing, timely and that does not mean quick or prompt it means as the dinners wish, beverages offered and refilled with out request, personable but not over friendly and well-educated and knowledgable staff who understand the product being offered.

An experience to remember, a feel good place. You do not need to spend a fortune on decor and fixtures and interior design but what is offered needs to gel together.

New crockery and flat ware will not solve your problems!

Every table should be placed and located to best advantage in relation to the service delivery, the eye contact that each guest experiences from each chair assessed in order to make best advantage of it. How a customer feels is critical. It is also, in my opinion, the most important component by miles in which a restaurant is judged. That is part of the design process.

Simple, not really, it’s an art, especially to make an adequate profit.

See my further blogs on this most interesting topic.