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A restaurateur's diary

Challenges of being a restaurateur 

The road to becoming a successful restaurateur has its ups and downs. While celebrating many milestones and achievements, you also have to overcome various problems. Here are the most common restaurant problems and solutions to help you prevent problems before they happen. From kitchen issues to budget issues, what are restaurateurs struggling with and what can they do about it?

Outside of the "sacrifice mode," great restaurateurs recognize that by building relationships with their guests and training their staff in true service, they will do everything from creating food and beverages that delight and inspire. 

Challenges of running a restaurant

Restaurants face a myriad of challenges every day when running their business. From demand forecasting to inventory management, from order management to customer management, a restaurant covers many areas. With increased demands and higher scalability opportunities comes increased challenges. The best way for restaurateurs to streamline their workflow is to have an end-to-end management system.

Restaurant management is a tough job because it requires balancing the relationships between employees, business owners, and customers. You are usually the most visible person in a restaurant. However, managers also need to oversee background tasks such as inventory management, staffing, and scheduling.

Benefits of running a restaurant 

Owning a restaurant seems like an ideal business for someone who likes to cook. However, a successful restaurant business depends on more than just a love of food and cooking. A restaurant is a business that must maintain consistent hours, serve consistent quality food, and generate consistent profits.

Profitability and sales are the lifeblood of any business, so it's only logical that this would be high on a restaurateur's list of priorities. During the recent recession, the best carriers have perfected lean operations. Sales are growing, albeit slowly, and restaurateurs compare it to the new world in recent years, not to the years before the great recession. Leading restaurateurs are taking smart, targeted actions to increase traffic, guest numbers, and PPA. By now, they've looked at every line item on the income statement, evaluated all supplier relationships, and decided what to keep and what to let go.

Challenges and rewards of running a restaurant 

Not surprisingly, owning a restaurant comes with a fair share of responsibilities that require you to stand up. While it seemed like a dream come true, initially the restaurateur had to spend months constantly designing, overseeing and perfecting every little detail in the project.

Knowing people's minds is critical to creating concepts. As a restaurateur, you have a lot of moments where you feel like a psychiatrist, whether you studied psychology or not, and that certainly gives an edge. It's a highly dramatic business. 

Employee dissatisfaction is a problem in restaurants and can lead to high turnover. Take a moment to say thank you to a waiter for a job well done or to a head chef who does his best. You can also organize a small party at the end of a very profitable month.

Advice to aspiring restaurateurs

As we mentioned before, what makes great restaurateurs unique is that they know when they need help. The sheer workload can overwhelm you if you don't take some of the stress out of yourself. Here are the key employees you should hire to share responsibilities and keep operations running smoothly: For starters, a great restaurateur understands the importance of a good chef. It's not enough to just have someone who can cook; it takes a creative, dedicated chef to make a restaurant stand out from the competition. Make sure you find someone with a passion for cooking and an eye for detail. Additionally, a good chef should be able to take the reins and lead the kitchen with confidence.

Another key role for a restaurateur is the front-of-house manager. This person is ultimately responsible for ensuring that guests have a positive experience when they visit your restaurant. They should have a knack for customer service, as well as strong organizational and problem solving skills. The front-of-house manager also needs to be able to manage the restaurant's staff, while keeping up with the ever-changing trends of the industry.

As a restaurateur, make sure to stay up to date on the latest trends in the restaurant industry. Spend time researching different dining styles and trends in order to give your guests the best possible experience. Also attend food-related events and industry conferences to stay abreast of the latest developments. Additionally, make sure to keep a close eye on the competition, so that you can stay one step ahead. Always look for ways to improve your restaurant, from introducing new menu items to improving customer service. In short, strive to provide the best possible experience for your guests so that they keep coming back for more.

By Roger K. Olsson

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