restaurant business

4 Tips for Surviving the First Year in the Restaurant Business

If you enjoy working with others, you may want to get into the food industry. The National Restaurant Association states there are 1.6 million new restaurant jobs that will be created by the year 2027. Providing meals to your customers can be a rewarding experience. The good news is you can make a living in the restaurant business AND be your own boss. Setting your own schedule is one of the reasons many individuals select this type of business. However, the first year will require plenty of hard work.

These tips can allow you to survive the initial stages of opening your restaurant business:

Tip #1: Replacing equipment

Of course, you will need to rely on restaurant equipment when it comes to cooking for large numbers of people. Having an industrial-sized refrigerator, stove and freezer are essential to helping you succeed in business.

However, you should have a game plan in mind if one of these critical components breaks down and you’re unable to use it. You should have access to a company that can either repair the equipment or replace it quickly. Also, you’ll need to have backup parts or equipment in the event there is something you know will break often. This is especially true if perhaps the part is hard to get.

You will have a greater chance of being prepared if you build a relationship with a company in your area that does repairs and/or sells the parts and equipment you may need. You can do this by purchasing your kitchen items from and establishing a relationship with them in advance. Know what parts and pieces they stock, how long it takes to get a replacement part, should you keep certain parts in stock and do they handle emergency and weekend calls?

Tip #2: Tweaking the menu

Making a profit on your restaurant will mostly depend on the quality of the food you serve and the variety. It’s a great idea to offer foods that people enjoy eating to help secure return customers.

Keep in mind that over time you may want to add or delete from your current menu to keep things interesting for your patrons. This can enable you to have a variety of good, new things for your customers to try while keeping your best-selling items on the menu as well. Why knows, you just might find a new best seller as well.

Tip #3: Hire the right staff

Choosing the best employees is critical when you have a restaurant. It’s essential to select friendly and qualified people to take orders, prepare the food and serve it.

The most efficient way to do this is by ensuring you receive a resume from potential employees and conduct an interview before hiring any person. Listed below are questions you should consider asking during this time:

1.  What makes you feel qualified to do this job?

2.  Can you work the scheduled number of hours that are needed?

3.  Are you currently employed and if not, who was your last boss?

4.  Can you provide references that will vouch for you?

5.  What are your salary expectations?

6.  Have you ever committed a felony?

Our best piece of advice here is to make sure you call references! It is critical. Asking this one question will tell you everything you need to know. “Would you hire so and so again?” If they say yes, you probably have a good one. If they hesitate or even say no, I would keep looking through your resume pile.

Taking time to ask the right questions and call references are the best ways to make an informed choice and hire a good, loyal and hardworking employee.

Tip #4: Take a vacation

This may sound strange because when you are starting your business, the last thing on your mind may involve taking time off of work. However, you will want to avoid burning out too quickly, and this can happen when you’re working diligently during your first year especially.

One thing you can do to ensure you take time off is to schedule a break on your calendar. Keep in mind you do not have to spend a mint or be gone for weeks either. Rather, you can easily plan a weekend at the beach, night at a local campground or even a stay at a local hotel with a pool slide. Whatever it is you do to relax is just the perfect thing. Schedule time away on your calendar and then stick to your plan.

You can have success in the restaurant business!

You can have success in the restaurant business and getting through your first year may just be your biggest challenge. Remember to be prepared for anything, keep the menu new and interesting, hire the best people you can afford and give yourself the time away you need to keep your juices flowing. Armed with these tips should help you thrive in the restaurant business and enjoy the success you deserve!