Restaurants are among the most common businesses in Kenya. Food is a basic need and people cannot do without it.
Many prefer to cook from their homes however there’s a good percentage that count on restaurants for most of their meals. This could be due to busy schedules, the convenience that comes with buying ready food, among other reasons.
The restaurant business is very competitive. You need to draw customers into your restaurant, make sure they love your food and make them come back again. Let your restaurant stand out from the next restaurant and others neighboring you in the market.
If you cannot attract customers into your restaurant and retain them, you cannot keep your restaurant running.
A restaurant is a people based business and if you cannot engage your customers and your employees, your venture will ultimately close.
Whether you are starting a restaurant, trying to turn a new leaf for your struggling restaurant or eatery.
1.Hire great chefs
Your cooks/chefs drive your business. The food prepared in your restaurant will make your customers stay or leave.
As a restaurant owner, you need to hire people who can prepare good food for your customers. Your restaurant probably prepares special types of dishes that are not common and that means you need chefs who can prepare the special dishes.
Go the extra mile if your budget allows and hire professional chefs. People who can consistently prepare delicious meals for your customers.
You don’t need to have a big eatery to make great food for your customers. Some chefs assume that if they are not working in a big eatery they don’t have to make great dishes.
As long as you are running an eatery, people expect to eat good food. And the only way to ensure that is hiring people who can consistently make good food.
2.Design a unique Menu Card
When customers come to your restaurant the first thing they ask you about is your menu. You don’t want don’t want to give them a menu that has no order to it or it’s all torn out.
Go the extra mile and design a nice menu card clearly displaying all your dishes in categories and the prices. Design your menu with a mixture of clear images and clear text.
Your menu card speaks a lot about your restaurant. A shadily written list on a blackboard somewhere in the restaurant or a neatly and we’ll designed menu card.
You don’t have to part with a lot of money to get a nicely designed menu card. There are so many designing apps you could use and design a nicely designed menu card.
3.Always have cash reserves
You are bound to experience a financial crunch especially during off seasons when your customers disappear.
Business has it’s own ups and downs and you can never know when the downs up. For example, when Covid-19 hit, no one knew how long the pandemic was going to last. And clearly, most businesses that did not have cash reserves when the pandemic hit did not pull through.
So as a business owner, it’s important to always have some cash reserved when your restaurant experiences rainy days.
For instance, when your customer numbers reduce, your income will reduce, Sometimes your income goes too low but you still need o run your restaurant. You need to keep preparing the foods on your menu, still need to pay your staff and your utilities.
Having cash reserves makes your restaurant prepared for such times.
4.Take good care of your customers
Giving your customers the best experience in your restaurant is a sure bet to succeeding in your business. You might be having the best food in the block but if your customers feel undervalued, they will go to the next restaurant.
Focus more on creating returning customers. Don’t put too much effort in trying to get new customers to the extent of losing loyal customers.
Returning customers value consistency. Consistently give your customers great food, great services and a good, clean environment. If you give them consistency, they will keep coming back to your restaurant.
5.Take good care of your staff
The same way your customers are valuable to your business, your staff all the way from the cleaner to the chef.
Your restaurant cannot run without your staff. Therefore, show them they matter. When they feel valued, they will be dedicated to your business and your customers.
There are many ways to make your staff feel valued in line with your budget. Consider offering employee perks to your staff from time to time. The perks don’t have to be money. Look for ways to make them feel appreciated.
Also, involve them in making decisions that would affect them, their work and your customers.