7 Mistakes to Avoid When Opening a New Restaurant


As you open your own restaurant you will find that there are many challenges along the way. You will need to make a lot of difficult decisions and take some risks if you want your restaurant to be a success. Here are some of the most common mistakes that first-time restaurateurs make.

1. The location will only do so much for you

You need to hit the ground running and build as much buzz around your business as possible. It is not just a case of finding a location that you like and then opening the doors for people to come in. You need to make sure that you have leveraged every possible idea that you have to ensure that the restaurant has a great opening night and that word of mouth spreads quickly.

2. Do your homework, crunch the numbers

You need to have a strong handle on how much it costs to make each item on the menu and then cost it accordingly, you should not guess at this, it may take time, but you need that information if you are planning to make a profit. Your chef will be focused on making a dish that tastes and looks great, and rightly so! One thing that you do need to make sure of is that you are selling each dish at a profit. With so many ingredients and cooking equipment bought, this will take some number crunching, but it will be well worth it in the long run.

3. Get the right number of staff

You can play around here a little bit as you find your feet, but don’t take too long. The last thing that you want is to be paying kitchen staff to stand around and do nothing all day. The flip side to this is that there is a great deal of turnover in the restaurant industry, so for opening week you should have more staff than you need, so if people do stop coming into work as something better has come along you have the people you need to remain open and handle any unexpected rushes.

4. Don’t try to do everything yourself

You may think that you can take care of a great deal the day to day running of a restaurant and you may very well be able to for a short time. One thing to avoid is working too hard for too long. You will need help with the running of your restaurant, so get in some good people that you can trust so that you do not burn out.

5. You have to show up

When we say find someone to help you we mean that, don’t disappear and hope that the restaurant continues on. You need to be present to ensure that everyone is pulling their weight and that standards don’t slip.

6. Processes are important

You cannot give free rein for everyone to do things their own way. There needs to be set guidelines on how to do everything from opening bottles of wine to cleaning the toilets. Everything must be done the right way and consistency is very important.

7. Don’t lose sight of your goal

Remember why you are doing all of this hard work. You need to keep your eye on the prize and remember that your restaurant needs to make money in order to survive. To do this there are many balls that you need to keep in the air. You will need to maintain a good reputation, keep the food quality consistent and the costs down. This is not for the faint-hearted and you will need to put the work in. Just stay positive and believe in your skill set.