Tips For Successful Independent Restaurants

Open With Enough Working Capital

Most independent restaurants do not make it past the first year and the reason is invariably the lack of working capital. This capital is the cash which you will use to operate your restaurant until the profits are strong enough to take over. With this money, you will pay your rent, employees, and all other operating expenses. This could take from one to two years to happen, so it is important to have enough cash to last until then. Without enough working capital, stress could begin to creep into your life and your sales and profits will deteriorate.

Learn How To Treat And Train Your Employees

It seems as though the most difficult aspect of operating an independent restaurant is the people who work there. It has been determined however, that we are not talking about the employees; instead we are talking about the management of the restaurant. Not only must management understand how to train employees properly, but management must also understand how to treat employees with respect and how to motivate the employees. A restaurant with constant employee problems does not have employee problems; instead, this restaurant has management problems. Proper restaurant management involves getting the most possible out of each employee without being disrespectful of each employee. It takes a very special management team to understand the fine line here.

Understand Customers Needs

Many moving parts go into the experience a customer may have at an independent restaurant. Attracting a new customer to your restaurant not only has to do with your advertising, but it also has much to do with the signals which everyone in your building is sending out. If your message is a negative one, it can be felt on the streets. Once that problem is solved, here is a list of important factors which will determine if your customers experience is a positive one or not. The atmosphere is critical to your customers experience, are you and your employees happy to be at work today? The proper music can also go a long way toward breaking the ice and creating a cheerful atmosphere. Great food and great service is a given. Competition is around every corner and if your food and service are not above average, you will not find yourself on any customers list. Your prices must be in line with what you have to offer a customer. Lousy service or food will not command a high price.

Understanding Profits

Management must understand how profits work at an independent restaurant. The simple definition is as follows: Profits are simply learning how to keep as many sales dollars as possible for you. More profits are lost through waste than any other source. If, for instance, too much (refrigerated food) is ordered it could spoil and need to be thrown away. If employees drop food on the floor, that is waste. A leaky water faucet is waste. The scheduling of too many employees is waste. Waste is rampant throughout every restaurant. Successful restaurant managers understand where losses occur and learn to control them.

One last nugget. Here is an example of motivating your employees to help you to find success in the independent restaurant business. During your next employee meeting let your employees know that without happy customers, who will return day after day, there will never be enough money to give employees a raise. Then tell them that you really want to give everyone a raise, but for that to happen, each of them must excel. You will not have to wait long for the results.

Dine Out Without Feeling Guilty

Tip 1 – Know thy enemy! Check the restaurant’s menu before you leave. You can usually see a leaflet menu or a website. Look for the healthiest options and decide what you will order well in advance. Otherwise you run the risk of being pressured by the waiter (who doesn’t like waiting) to make a snap-decision when you’re sat at your table.

Tip 2 -Don’t eat before dining out: In the past you’ve likely been advised to eat a meal before going out so that you will be full when you get there, and therefore eat less. However, if you spend all day filling yourself up you will probably go into the restaurant and eat your entire main course anyway. You will likely feel pressured to finish your meal out of courtesy, and besides, I don’t believe we should waste food in a world where so many people are starving. Most people dine out for a special occasion, so you should enjoy your night. Just don’t make it too much of a regular habit!

Tip 3 – Wear your tightest-fitting jeans: As soon as you eat a little more than you should have, you’ll know about it. Use these jeans as a guideline so you know when to bring the eating to a halt.

Tip 4 – Think about your starter, and don’t touch the bread basket: Most starters, along with the bread basket, can tally up to 700 calories before you’ve even had your main meal. However, the right starter can actually help you. Order either a portion of vegetables, salad or soup, as the fibre contained in these foods will start to fill your belly with a lot less calories. This means that you won’t devour your main meal in such a rush!

Tip 5 – Ask for your food to be cooked without oil or butter: Although natural fats such as olive oil are good for you, chefs have a bad habit of cooking the oils to extreme temperatures which damages the goodness of the fat. This creates unhealthy fat and free radicals – chemicals that are linked with the risk of cancer.

Tip 6 – Ask for your meat or fish to be grilled: This follows on from the last tip. Frying is the worst form of cooking for turning healthy fats bad. Grilling however is the best way to cook such foods and preserve their goodness.

Tip 7 – Share a meal: Most restaurants in Cyprus provide meals of a generous size. Nevertheless, there’s no law that says a couple cannot order one meal and ask for an extra plate! Cut down the amount you eat and save some cash for a shared desert.

Tip 8 – Drink only water: When dining out a large percentage of the unhealthy calories come from beverages. Most adults drink a few units of alcohol and children always want coke. It’s best to stick with a mineral water which has no calories and a number of benefits such as hydrating your skin and making you feel more alert.

Tip 9 – Whenever possible order these foods: Oysters, crab, lobster, raw salads, and steamed vegetables. These are the healthiest options you are likely to find in a restaurant as they are served closest to their most natural, unprocessed forms.

Tip 10 – If you MUST have a dessert… Order something like fresh fruit with ice cream. Also ask for two or more spoons and immediately offer to share the dessert with your friends. You’ll become very popular and will find that after only a couple of mouthfuls each you will be just as satisfied than if you had eaten the whole dessert to yourself.

Dining out should be reserved for special occasions where you can relax and enjoy the experience. Use the tips above to make the right choices so that you can enjoy your meal and still keep losing weight and staying healthy!

Ways to Increase Your Restaurant Tips

The mission is for everyone to win, you, the restaurant, and the guest.

“Bringing back old time manners.”

1. SMILE as you greet the guests. It sounds so simple, but it is THE most important part of the experience. I’m not a big time smiler right up front, it seems that most women are. If you can’t give them at least a decent grin, you probably should look for another line of work. Make sure you get to a table within two minutes of seating. Let them get settled in and make sure you smile as you approach. Just do it. “Good evening, welcome to The Top.”

2. Ask for COCKTAILS or a beverage right away. We’re selling here, let’s get going. “Would you care for a cocktail? Something from the bar?”

3. Defer to the HOST, give him the opportunity to order for everyone in smaller parties, and definitely for his date. Figure out who he is right away, in most instances it’s the first person to speak, and make sure you make his guests happy! When taking the order always ask for an appetizer. Don’t rush things. When they are ready to order the entree, take the order, and make a chart of the table. Clockwise, 1 through whatever. Number 1 is the person closest to the door. Circle the ladies. Now you’ve got a record and a reference guide all in one.

4. SERVE all food from the left and all beverages from the right. REMOVE everything from the right. The only exception are for tables against a wall, and booths. Serve the ladies first, then the gentlemen. Serve the host last, male or female. Say something positive when everything is in place, such as, “Enjoy your entree.” Understated and elegant.

5. READ the table and ANTICIPATE needs. Sometimes the busser or another waiter will forget to anticipate the next course. Make sure all necessary items are in place before serving anything. The same goes for removing unnecessary items, like an extra fork or spoon. Make sure that when you serve something you come back within 3 minutes to make sure that everything is all right. That is your chance to correct any problems. After this it’s too late. “Is everything to your liking?” Just wait for a nod and let them eat.

6. BE INVISIBLE but there when you are needed. Make your hands invisible in relation to the food and beverages. Handle all glassware as close to the bottom as possible. PLEASE do not remove any course plates until EVERYONE is finished. The only exception is if you are specifically asked to remove a plate. Pet Peeve: I hate it when an overzealous busman takes away a gentleman’s plate only to have the lady feel uncomfortable that she is not done. Don’t do it.

7. Always ask for a DESSERT and after dinner drinks or present a dessert menu. “The chef has prepared an excellent creme brulee this evening.” “A cordial perhaps?” You will be surprised at the response.

8. Never bring the CHECK until requested. If you need the table, the polite phrase after, “Can I get you anything else?” is, “Then, may I prepare the bill?”

9. Always THANK the guests upon presentation of the bill. When preparing a cash transaction, always deliver the change, unless told otherwise. Don’t chance it, period.

10. HAVE A GOOD TIME. If you have a good time, they will too. Why do you think they call it a party?

Whether you are a waiter in a diner, or a captain in a five star restaurant, these skills will generate higher tips. Guaranteed.