10 Restaurant Essentials For Every Successful Restaurant
To brand your restaurant, you’ll want something unique. This is key in helping you stand out from the crowd. For example, while almost every diner has breakfast specials, not all of them have a signature dish on their menu. You want to create a breakfast specials menu that makes people say now that is a good place to have breakfast.
Some diners and restaurants choose to serve breakfast all day. If you choose to do this, it’s more important to make your diner stand out with an amazing menu. The better the experience and the better the food at your restaurant, the better reviews you’ll get when you show up in the search engines for terms like the closest breakfast place.
Serving all day breakfast nearby at the closest diner for breakfast is not a gimmick. It’s a marketing technique that brings in customers. To keep those customers coming back, you need to brand yourself. Start with an amazing menu and then consider your decor. Is it just as unique? Does it provide the right environment for your customers? Breakfast is comfort food so make your decor match. Make it a comfortable, cozy place where people will keep coming back.
Restaurants are more than just a place to sit down and eat. They’re places where people can go to feel welcome and create lasting memories with loved ones. There are more than 1 million restaurants in the United States alone, which means there’s a lot of competition in the restaurant industry. If you run or own a restaurant, you may be wondering how you make your restaurant stand out from the rest.
One important way to stand out is to make sure your restaurant is functioning properly. The better functioning it is, the less likely there will be room for error. Smooth operations can lead to your restaurant developing a fantastic reputation and attracting loyal customers. Here are ten restaurant essentials every successful restaurant needs, and how these essentials will contribute to a memorable customer experience.
The Right Location
One of the most important restaurant essentials is picking the right location. Location can make or break your restaurant before it even opens its doors. If a restaurant is in a location that’s hard to find, there’s a chance not a lot of people will go out of the way to find it. No one will be able to see your restaurant and therefore, no foot traffic will come your way.
Choose a location that has a lot of visibility and gets a lot of traffic going by it. You can also choose a location based on events that happen in the area. For example, if there’s a performance driving event each year that draws a large crowd in your town, try to get a restaurant location near that event. Those who attend the event will be more likely to eat at your restaurant if they’re able to walk by it. The closer you are to busier locations, the more likely you’ll get decent foot traffic into your restaurant.
Another part of identifying the right location is looking at the neighborhood you’re eyeing for your restaurant. What are the neighbors like? Are there a lot of family-owned businesses, or is it more of a downtown scene? If the location doesn’t fit your aesthetic, your business could suffer. Do your research on the area before you make a final commitment.
Another important aspect when it comes to restaurant essentials is facility inspections. Inspections are incredibly important in the restaurant industry. If a restaurant fails an inspection, it could shut the restaurant down for good without hesitation. If you own or manage a restaurant, you need to make sure your facility passes inspections. These inspections include a hazard analysis and a critical control point inspection. It’s also crucial that your restaurant pass inspections conducted by the health department.
If your restaurant doesn’t look like it’ll pass certain inspections, make sure you work to get these issues under control as quickly as possible. If your restaurant failed an inspection due to asbestos concerns, look into asbestos abatement services right away. If you failed an inspection from the health department, figure out why and fix the issue as quickly as possible. The sooner you can get these issues fixed, the sooner you can open your restaurant up to the public safely and healthily.
A good strategy for passing inspections is to be prepared for them ahead of time. Make sure you’re storing food at the right temperatures, there’s plenty of soap equipment in the bathrooms, and your facility is properly secure and well maintained. The last thing you want is to put a ton of effort into your restaurant just to be sidetracked due to not passing inspections.
Proper Cooking Equipment
Some of the most important restaurant essentials are the pieces of cooking equipment you acquire. You need proper cooking equipment if you want your restaurant to be successful. You’ll need equipment that properly stores and cooks all the food you’ll serve. This equipment includes a range, oven, deep fryer, walk-in cooler, and freezer. You’ll also need other cooking equipment such as pots, pans, and utensils to help you cook the food you plan to serve.
You could buy this equipment brand-new, or you can opt to get secondhand equipment if you don’t have the budget for new equipment. Make sure the secondhand equipment works properly and will get the job done before you spend money on it. Your budget may be tight already, and it would be a shame if you spend some of that budget on equipment that doesn’t work properly.
A Finalized Menu
As you work your way through a list of restaurant essentials, this one should be near the top. A finalized menu is crucial for restaurants to have. Without it, customers will not know what there is to eat at the restaurant or what your overall theme is. Your menu is the foundation for your restaurant, so make sure it’s finalized and in good shape while you’re open for business. It should clearly outline who you are, what you serve, and your prices. There’s no shame in experimenting with new cuisine, but make sure the new recipes fit your style of food. If you run an Italian restaurant, stick with Italian recipes so your customers see consistency in your menu.
Make sure your menu is well organized, too. You can have the entrees listed in categories based on their ingredients. You can have pasta dishes in one category and chicken dishes in another. Or, you could list it based on what kind of meals they are, such as salads or full dinners. You can also list out the sauces for pastas and the kinds of dipping sauce you have to make things incredibly easy for your customers to find. The easier your menu is to read, the better.
The Right POS System
Restaurants must have the right POS system for their team. A POS system (also known as a point of sale system) is a system where customers can pay for the service they receive. It’s the system you’ll use to process payments from customers who eat at your restaurant. Depending on the POS system, you’ll be able to check out customers on devices such as kiosks and tablets. Your POS system will also track sales and add on applicable taxes.
There are POS systems that are specific for restaurants, so do your research and look into ones that will help you run your restaurant effectively. Look for systems that will help your servers put inaccurate orders and properly track your sales. If you can’t find one that seems to work, you could always contact a company that can help with the engineering and product development of a custom POS system. It may cost money upfront, but you’ll know that it will work for you and your restaurant for years to come.
Discussing having reliable employees is a must when discussing restaurant essentials. Having reliable and trustworthy employees will help your restaurant function smoothly and effectively. Good employees for the front end and back end of the restaurant are a must. These roles include cooks, bussers, dishwashers, waiters, waitresses, and hostesses. Each one of these roles plays an important part in the restaurant, so they must be properly trained and know why exactly it is their role is so important.
Restaruant hiring managers should look for key characteristics when hiring staff. They should look for hard-working people, those who work well in a team, great communicators, and can learn quickly. It’s also important to hire people who have the right skills, especially back in the kitchen.
These employees will work hard for you, and in return, you should provide them with a safe working environment. Clear the restaurant of any hazards that could injure them or make them sick. If you don’t and they get hurt on the job, they could hire a workers compensation lawyer to help file a claim.
A Set Dining Area
An important item on the restaurant essentials list is having a set dining area. This is the area where customers will sit down inside your restaurant and eat a meal. The dining area should make customers feel welcome and show off your restaurant’s brand and aesthetic. If you’re running a sports pub, you may have a bar, some tables, and a couple of booths in place to create a relaxing atmosphere. If you own a five-star fine dining restaurant, you’ll want your dining area to project a classy atmosphere.
Be sure your dining area is big enough to seat your potential customers properly. You don’t want them to be too close together while they’re eating. You should also make sure the dining area is well-defined so there’s no confusion as to where customers will eat. The dining area should also have its temperature regulated so that it’s not too hot or too cold for customers. Keep up with important heating and commercial AC maintenance to ensure your guests are comfortable at all times.
A Clean Prep Area
A clean prep area is one of the restaurant essentials you can’t afford to skip. The prep area is where the kitchen staff prepares the restaurant’s food. If they don’t prep the food beforehand, they’ll get behind once the restaurant gets busy. This can cause the kitchen to get backed up and result in longer wait times for customers.
A clean prep area consists of space to cut and slice food, wash produce, and store everything properly. Since the area is dedicated to prepping food, this space must be clean. Always have employees follow proper sanitary procedures and have them wipe down the prep area with cleaning products after they use it. The prep area should be safe too. Make sure the fire alarms are working in the prep area. If they aren’t, call a company that specializes in commercial fire alarm services and get them fixed as soon as possible.
A Clear Marketing Plan
You can have the best restaurant in the world, but it won’t do you much good if the public doesn’t know about it. That’s where marketing comes into play. When discussing restaurant essentials, you have to discuss what your marketing plan is. A marketing plan will help you target your audience and spread the word about the restaurant in a strategic way. The more you make people aware of your restaurant, the more likely they’ll stop in.
There are several factors that go into a restaurant’s marketing plan. Restaurants can utilize tools such as social media platforms, a website, and online pay-per-click advertising to market their business. Restaurant marketing managers can also use traditional media to get the word out. Traditional media includes television, radio, and newspaper advertising. Each platform has its pros and cons, so make sure you research before you invest heavily in your marketing plan.
You should also make sure your marketing plan is legal. You may think a marketing tactic will make your restaurant’s name well-known, but it could result in legal trouble if you aren’t careful. If you have any questions around a marketing avenue, be sure to consult with a business attorney to see where the liabilities are.
Something That Makes You Unique
If you want your restaurant to stand out, you have to get creative. Offer something that makes your restaurant unique and memorable. This can include unique recipes, decor, or services. For instance, having curbside pickup services could set you apart from the competition since it’s a feature that promotes efficiency and supports on-the-go customers. You could also host theme nights that draw in crowds or host events such as an open mic night or trivia. The more unique services you offer, the more likely customers will remember your restaurant’s name.
Every manager or owner should have a clear list of restaurant essentials that work for their business. Some of them are industry-wide while others are niche to the restaurant. It’s crucial for restaurant staff to know what these essentials are and the role they play in the restaurant’s day-to-day functions. If everyone knows why these ideas are important, they’ll understand the bigger picture and get a sense of how their role contributes to the restaurant’s success.