Indians love good food, and everywhere you go in India, your sense of smell can pick up on the rich aromas and flavours of food wafting through the air.
It comes as no surprise that food is often seen to be a big business and one which many people readily get themselves involved in. But, in a country where there is so much competition, how do you set yourself ahead of everyone else, so that your fledgling restaurant business does well? It is no secret that many entrepreneurs go into food because they have little way else to turn to, and they soon turn into the street vendors we are used to seeing out there. But this should not be the way forward for you – if you compete with them, then you are simply competing on price, and as a consequence, increasing the risk of your restaurant failing miserably.
Instead, MarketFinance intereviewed a bunch of restaurant owners for advice on how to set up a good restaurant business – here are the tips we were given:
- Create a niche market – You can’t please everyone in this industry, so think about who you want to target – if it is the millennial generation, you will have to be conscious about service speed or ambiance, if it is generations before that, you may need to think about creating a family atmosphere.
- Select your food concept – restaurant patrons will want to know what they are going to get when they visit you, so don’t try and surprise them, just aim to delight them. You can pick a whole host of different food concepts, ranging from sandwich delis, all the way through to ethnic, pizzerias, seafood, cafes, oriental, Mexican etc.
- Pick your service style – there are so many methods of serving your target niche market that you will have to think very carefully about what style you wish to cater to. Sometimes it depends on the sort of atmosphere you want to provide – so if it is family friendly, you may have a buffet to cater to budget conscious families. Alternatively, if you are concentrating on fast turnover, then you may wish to offer a delivery service rather than having people sitting at your establishment.
- Be very picky about ingredients – when it comes to operating a restaurant its important to realise that quality is EVERYTHING! Picking fresh ingredients from reliable suppliers is very important in this industry, especially considering that the downside of having a lousy meal can be disasterous, as negative publicity is often very loudly stated on social media these days.
- Have a great chef, charismatic and reliable front of house and a super manager – a restaurant consists of a front facing side and a ‘back office’. Both are as equally important as each other. Without the kitchen, no good food would be made, and without the front of house, the diners would never have their orders sent to the kitchen, nor would they know what to order and what not to order. A general manager is also a huge requirement, to ensure that the admin side of the restaurant is looked after, ranging from finances, to general upkeep and maintenance.
- The layout of the restaurant should be an important factor to play out – You need to think about the importance of the seating area (if required) and allocate it the right amount of space – but at the same time, you also need to think about the amount of space your kitchen staff require, along with the equipment and the storage areas.
- Make sure that the menu is well thought out – It should not be so overly full that it makes the choice difficult for the restaurant goer – at the same time, there should be adequate choice in the non veg and veg arena, and enough information at the same time, so that the user can make adequate and informed decisions. Be very careful to also note down food which may lend themselves to allergies, such as dairy, nuts and seafood.
- Marketing – This is where your actual genius comes to play. Starting up in the restaurant business is very competitive, but seeing as you have a niche, you can create a little advantage for yourself by really working on the marketing. Post a timelapse video of your chef making the most ordered dish or have a food blogger write a review. In this age of technology, social media and content are your best buds for a successful campaign. Have a look at the article on Customer lifetime value, and see how you can really do a lot of marketing in order to gain future lasting value from your customers. Make sure that initially, you provide them with silver glove treatment, so that they make glowing referrals of you.In addition, it is very important that you take full advantage of social media, and On-Demand platforms which will help scale up your business rapidly. Swiggy and Zomato are prime examples of this, as they help promote your restaurant, as well as help provide you with an additional outlet for your business, providing home delivery to an audience who may not wish to visit your premises, as it is too far away, or they would prefer dining in.Ensure that you are prominently displaying your restaurant on social media such as Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. You want to get your friends to like and share, and then their friends to like and share. And of course, don’t be scared to attract them with midweek deals, which definitely help attract more people to your establishment.