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Over the years the standards that eating establishments such as restaurants and diners must have has risen dramatically, and not just the quality of food either. Starting an establishment that’s going to serve food isn’t as simple as hiring a few chefs and providing them with a kitchen either: you need a lot more up your sleeves to open a successful eatery. So, to ensure that you get off to the best start and maintain this, we’ve come up with the top tips on building a reputable eating establishment.
Work on your dining area
Whether you like it or not, first impressions make a whole lot of difference. If potential customers walk into your restaurant and aren’t impressed by your decor or layout, it’s likely that they will turn around and find somewhere else to eat. So, it’s important to ensure that your decor is bang on, especially your dining area. Here are some tips on creating the perfect eating atmosphere:
- Lighting is extremely important when it comes to eating. Think about when you’re sitting down for a meal at home – you don’t eat in the dark do you? It’s important to ensure that there is sufficient lighting in your restaurant so that your customers can see what they are eating without straining their eyes. However, lighting that is too bright can bring on headaches and strain your customers eyes too.
- Creating an eating area that goes with the theme of the rest of your establishment can be difficult, but it’s a good idea to keep the flow going throughout so that it makes sense to your customers. However, some items of decor simply don’t belong in a restaurant such as decorations that hang down from the ceiling. Keep your table areas clear of clutter and clean and you’ll be onto a winner.
- Make sure that you’ve got a clear greeting area for your customers to book themselves in. Having a cluttered area will make your business look disorganized and it can come across as unclean.
- Choose your furniture wisely. Much alike decor in a restaurant, having the wrong kind of furniture to sit on and eat your food on will leave a lasting impression – and not a good one either. RC supplies online have perfect examples of furniture for all different kinds of eating establishments, so take a look to give yourself some inspiration.
- Decor and furniture isn’t always the only thing that can put customers off. Have your staff members in matching and neat uniform will create a sense of professionalism and also help determine who is a member of staff and who isn’t. You should also encourage friendly and upbeat attitudes with your staff members, as the opposite will give your business a bad name.
Speaking of staff members, filling a kitchen full of chefs isn’t as easy as you may think. Anybody can walk into an interview and claim they’ve got experience in a kitchen, but for the sake of your business, you should demand qualifications in the field to ensure you’re hiring experienced chefs. Not only that, your chefs will also make your life easier by already knowing the routine and expectations that a kitchen demands. Jobs such as cleaning, food hygiene, and even presentation of food won’t be something you have to worry about as much.
Fine dining or casual
One thing that you need to decide before opening a restaurant, is what kind of eating establishment you want to run – casual or fine dining. It’s important to know the difference between the two so that you can make a decision based on the type of eatery you want:
Fine dining requires better than the best service. You can expect many food critics to want to check your food out, and this will involve punishing tests throughout their visit such as cutlery being placed on the floor to see if your servers notice. This kind of restaurant will also require a higher standard of food in the sense of both presentation and quality of food. In fine dining, there is also practically no limit on food times, as long as it comes out the quality your customer is expecting. Fine dining restaurants often receive michelin stars from critics because of the standards that are upheld. You can expect to charge more for this kind of service though, so it’s definitely something to consider.
Casual food is much more relaxed. While you will still need to ensure that your food is cooked to standards and that your chefs are following correct rules in a kitchen, you won’t have to worry as much about presentation with your food. This is because you’ll be expected to have fairly priced food that’s on your customers tables faster than if you were running a fine dining restaurant. You will still have to impress critics, but not to the standard of fine dining.
Use HOTS service
No matter what kind of eatery you’re planning on running, good service is always a priority. In the catering industry, maintaining a reputable service can be difficult, especially if you’ve got a particularly difficult customer. A great routine to follow when it comes to service is the HOTS service:
H – Hello
O – Offer
T – Thank
S – Smile
A simple premise that won’t let you down in regards to providing service to be proud of.
One thing is for sure, you can’t expect people to pile into your restaurant if they don’t know you even exist. Sure, you’ll have some customers from passersby, but you need to make sure that you build excitement to keep people coming in and also coming back for more. In this day and age, the best way of building excitement is through social media. With approximately 215 minutes per week, per person being spent on social media, it’s no wonder that it’s the most efficient and easiest way of getting your message across. Excite people by posting regular updates, pictures of your food, awards or achievements that your restaurant or staff have received and most importantly, free food. Offering a free meal in the form of a competition will excite and entice people.
Act on feedback
Feedback from your customers is another extremely important factor to take note of. While you might feel like your service is up to standard, and that your food is second to none, you need to look at the overall reviews of your restaurant. If the majority of customers aren’t impressed with what you’re serving, it’s time to make a chance. After all, the customer is always right.
It’s always handy to keep a review box where your customers can write an anonymously leave reviews for your restaurant. You should also welcome reviews on your social media pages so that you can take note of them. Not only that, if someone leaves a bad review of your restaurant, you’ll be able to rectify it much easier.
Clue up on food laws
Lastly, but certainly not the least, it’s imperative to clue up on your food laws. Depending on where you live, there might be different laws that need to be abided by. Make sure that yourself, your front of house staff, and your kitchen staff are well versed so that you can practice top standards of food hygiene and not risk having your kitchen shut down.