Food & Beverage 101: Simple Tips for Launching a Successful Venue
Life in the restaurant business is known for being one of the most exciting and continuously changing industries around. And if you enjoy going to work where one day is never like another, this is definitely the business to be in.
But the restaurant business isn’t for the faint-hearted or the risk-averse. In fact, this business has a history of higher than average failure ratings. As such, studies have shown that more than 60 percent of all restaurants fail within the first year, and 80 percent fail within five years of opening.
Beyond the disheartening statistics, as long as you have knowledge of the industry and you can offer guests a unique experience and consistent quality, you’ll more than likely be able to succeed.
If you’re thinking of opening a restaurant or food & beverage venue of any kind, the following tips will prove beneficial as you establish yourself.
Be Picky with Your Staff
One of the biggest reasons why a restaurant or F&B venue fails is due to inconsistent service, or otherwise poor service. And this has a lot to do with whom you hire.
Food & Beverage workers mostly fall into a younger demographic. And this often includes high school seniors, college students, and those who are in between college life and a professional career. Correspondingly, many of these individuals are working a customer-service-oriented job for the very first time.
When you hire your staff, it’s good to keep in mind that experience in the hospitality industry will be a key characteristic when you’re reviewing applications. And while you’re likely to hire some individuals without several years of experience, focusing on those with a few years of experience under their belt is considered the best strategy.
Review your job candidate’s references thoroughly. And offer a short probationary period where you can evaluate their performance.
Pay Attention to Inventory
As mentioned, consistent quality is often the key determining factor for success in the restaurant business. As such, if you’re unable to maintain consistency, you’re going to run into bad reviews and a host of other issues regarding the service you provide.
One of the biggest reasons for inconsistent service is the failure to keep inventory managed properly. And if you’ve ever been to a restaurant and couldn’t sample a menu item due to it being “out of stock,” then you probably have an idea of how this works.
For example, if you offer desserts that require whipped toppings, you should ensure that you have a well-stocked kitchen complete with all of the ingredients and tools you’ll need to make the dishes as listed or described on your menu. And if you can’t provide these dishes, you’re likely to see a few angry faces in your restaurant.
Having a sound inventory system in a hard copy and stored on a spreadsheet can greatly assist you in keeping up with inventory.
Offer something Unique
The truth is most regulars who frequent the same establishments over and over again do so because they enjoy the atmosphere and the quality of service that you provide. However, others will seek you out if you offer something unique in your local community.
For example, some local coffee shops offer pastries and other items just to have something else besides coffee which can be found at a variety of competing coffee shops. And it’s by having something else of value that you’ll be able to establish yourself as unique among your competitors.
Additionally, venues with live entertainment, group functions, or an exotic selection of wines and spirits are all examples of places where an element is offered that you can't find in other venues. And these are huge attractors for customers.
Making it in the food & beverage industry takes hard work, long hours, and a lot of dedication. But if you can make a name for yourself through great service and great products, you’ll be on your way to a successful career in the hospitality industry.
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