How to Grow Your Restaurant Business
The very best way to grow your business is by providing such an outstanding experience that your customers can't help but tell other people about it and how wonderful it was so that more people and more people and more people pour in to give your business a try and have the same wonderful experience and so on and so forth.
Many restaurants are inclined to spend a fortune on coupons, advertisements and other gimmicks to draw people in but then when they've got those people they don't do everything they can to provide a fantastic experience and they lose those people and have to spend more money to try and lure more people inside in an endless loop of getting and losing customers.
A much better and lower cost investment is to make sure that every single person who comes in has a great experience and to also make sure you don't let anyone leave in an unhappy frame of mind. If you can do that and instill that ethic and that goal in your employees then you will never have a lack of customers. There is nothing wrong with using advertising and marketing tactics to draw people in but it is a crime to then turn around and fail to win those new customers over and convert them into lifetime patrons and walking billboards for how great your place is and how everyone should try it.
Another key to growing your business is to always be sure and treat your business like a business. Keep excellent records on a daily basis. Take inventory every single week. Do quality checks of both the product coming in from your vendors and the product being served by your kitchen. Pay attention to the waitstaff and everyone who has any interaction with your guests and make sure that your guests are being treated the way you want them to be treated at all times.
Don't be tempted to steal from your own business in order to avoid paying taxes because what this encourages is your employees to steal from your business as well.
As soon as the employees catch wind of the fact that you're not keeping records at the end of the day or the end of the week and you are simply taking cash out of the drawer and going home with it they will realize this is the kind of restaurant where they can do the same. Of course, they will be right, because without records how will you know how much they are taking and you will soon see your profits shrink down to nothing. This is doubly true for bars.
The way to become a successful and happy restaurant business owner is to not become a slave to the restaurant. Make sure there are always at least two people in the business who know how to do any given task. Learn how to delegate and how to manage and don't feel like things will fall apart if you aren't there because if that's true then you haven't done a good job of training your employees to run the business the way you want it gone without your having to be there and watch them every second of the day.
If that's how you run the business you will quickly burn out and become resentful and either quit or sell and never gain the financial independence or the level of success that you were hoping for when you started.
I firmly believe that all business owners should work towards becoming absentee owners if for no other reason than because it means the business at that point is profitable enough that if you aren't an absentee owner you can take the additional money you would have paid a manager and invest it in the growth of the business or opening a second location. And if you don't do that then the business can support your being absent and still be run profitable which is a sure sign of success.
A business that doesn't generate enough income to afford the owner the ability to work on the business rather than in the business is in need of help and you should not be satisfied until you have grown it past this point.