How to Succeed when Taking Over an Existing Restaurant

Restaurants seem to pop up all over the place practically overnight, and disappear with the same consistency. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do to help ensure the success of your restaurant. If you are opening a brand new restaurant, be sure to do your research so you don’t end up having to close! If you plan to buy and take over an existing establishment, here are some pointers to help you and your new enterprise… so you have the best possibility at succeeding where others have failed.

Understand Past Failures

Be incredibly thorough when searching for your desired restaurant. If somebody else wasn’t able to survive there, what makes you any different? During your search, consider the location and ambiance of the space, as well as the customer demographic in the area. Some factors to consider are: the age and income of residents in the area, as well as ethnic backgrounds. You wouldn’t want to put a high-end, top of the line steakhouse in a young, low to middle income neighborhood. This could result in it being hard to keep tables full and ultimately pay your staff.

Hire Slow, Fire Fast

When it’s your money at stake AND your future on the line, don’t take any chances when it comes to staffing. Start with the most important positions: head chef, kitchen manager, bar manager, and so on. Have a detailed and difficult application process for the highest positions. Look for experience and references, and don’t be afraid to contact past employers. When you have a good team behind you, it’s easier to look ahead to the future. In order to attract top talent that will stay, you need to be willing to pay for it; don’t be afraid to ask what an employee expects to be paid and then decide what is fair. Negotiating is okay, but having a good staff is better.

Renovate and Refresh!

Chances are the space you move into will be “restaurant ready”, but it may not be inviting to new customers or staff. We recommend replacing all of the kitchen equipment so you know exactly what you have and when you bought it. This can be a costly upgrade, but consider it as part of your budget before choosing your location. You can actually save a good amount if you buy everything at one time from big store suppliers like The Restaurant Discount Warehouse. However, don’t be cheap; the best talent is used to using the best equipment, so be sure to buy accordingly!

We aren’t saying the restaurant industry is going to be a piece of cake simply by following our suggestions, but it will surely make it easier. When it comes to restaurants, success boils down to three things: location, staff, and atmosphere. If you can provide these three elements, then compliment them with some delicious food, your restaurant should be alright!