Owning and running a restaurant can be personally satisfying and lucrative too, but it is definitely not an easy proposition.
Shifting demographics and ever-evolving lifestyles are providing the impetus to the restaurant industry. Though the future looks bright, many restaurants will fail in their first year.
A great example of recent success is Fabrika in Philadelphia. Their team has carved a niche for itself on the Philadelphia culinary scene by serving consistently delicious and high quality nutritious dishes which loyal patrons have grown to love.
Without a proper business plan, it is impossible to sustain a restaurant in the restaurant business. Besides great food and a good ambience, there are many other essential factors that a restaurateur should be knowledgeable about. Let’s discuss below the 10 characteristics that the best restaurants in Philadelphia possess.
1. Study of Restaurant Business
Many successful restaurateurs believe that working in someone else’s restaurants was the best preparation for owning and running their own establishment.
Learning the ropes of the trade by working in another restaurant can give significant insight into how a restaurant is run.
Besides practical experience, a simple but effective business plan should be in place which defines and describes the restaurant’s concept, its targeted market and location, menu and pricing, future earnings and expenditure forecasts, and staff recruitment, training, and retention policies.
It is important to invest wisely to save costs without compromising on quality. It is also essential to invest in high-quality equipment for long-term and heavy-duty use.
2. Good Quality Food
Dining out is one of the favorite pastimes of the American public and enjoying good food is considered a major indulgence in the country. Having the best equipment and decor won’t matter if your restaurant is unable to prepare and serve good food.
A good restaurant knows how to purchase, prepare, and preserve food to make sure its customers are being served the best quality dishes.
Fabrika does not use refined sugar in any of its dishes. Meals at Fabrika are healthy and at surprisingly cost-effective prices. The portions are bigger compared to other high end restaurants.
Restaurants offer a rich array of beverage choices, alcoholic and non-alcoholic to their customers.
Beverages play an important role in our daily lives. Besides quenching our thirst and hydrating our bodies, beverages have become the drink for special occasions and social functions.
Beverages have become more interesting, inventive, creative, and healthier. Gone are the days when sodas, coffee, tea, and milk were the only beverages available in restaurants.
Restaurants are now offering custom-made sodas, exotic iced and hot teas, and craft cocktails.
The location of a restaurant will have as much impact on its success as the quality of the food it serves.
The target market determines the location of a restaurant. For example, if a restaurant intends to cater to families, it wouldn’t want a downtown location.
Customers prefer to visit a restaurant that is easily accessible and has an adequate well-lit parking area. Additionally, high traffic areas are usually the best spots for restaurants. The restaurant should be visible to people walking or driving by.
Location also plays a huge role in attracting and retaining employees. Employees are reluctant to travel to areas for work which are hard to reach or have a high crime rate.
5. Positive Guest Experience
The best restaurants provide a great dining experience to guests that exceeds their expectations. A positive guest experience ensures that a restaurant is not just surviving, but thriving. Successful restaurants place great emphasis on giving guests an enjoyable, happy, and delightful experience which will turn them into repeat visitors.
A polite and friendly staff, minimal time spent in taking and serving orders, and a relaxed restaurant atmosphere are sure to leave a lasting impression on the minds of guests.
A happy and satisfied staff that is high on morale is also more likely to have positive interactions with customers.
Premier restaurants have evolved with time and become tech-savvy. The younger generations prefer to order food online and digitally book reservations.
6. Menu Design
Menus should provide variety but should not be too lengthy. Busy patrons don’t want to read an excessively long menu before dinner when they are hungry. A successful menu is simple, fresh, and has delicious options.
Kids should be kept in mind while planning a menu. Families are an integral part of most restaurants’ target market. A few healthy preparations in smaller portions should be on the menu that youngsters will enjoy.
7. Prioritize Hygiene
Customers prefer to dine at a clean restaurant that serves fresh food.
Clean premises are also pleasant places to work at. Prioritizing hygiene in restaurants is essential to ensure the health and safety of customers and employees.
Employees should be well-groomed and in clean uniforms. All equipment and each table should be cleaned and sanitized after use. Unhygienic restaurants tend to flush away their repeat business.
In the aftermath of deadly coronavirus, hygiene has become of utmost importance. Restaurants are required to maintain high hygiene standards to acquire and hold the license needed to run a restaurant. Many restaurants are shut down regularly for breach of safety and hygiene standards.
8. Skilled Management
A successful restaurant is run by an efficient and skilled management.
Excellent communication skills are required to be a good manager. Each day, the management of a restaurant has to deal with customers and employees from different backgrounds, ages, genders, and nationalities. A good management team will communicate the restaurant’s mission, vision, and expectations to all the employees and make each and every employee understand their role.
The best management is one that listens more than it talks. The management has to tend to the day-to-day activities of the establishment, too, from ensuring the bar and kitchen is well-stacked to ensuring rules and protocols are diligently followed.
With the introduction of various search engines, social media platforms, and online restaurant reviews, people usually choose to search for restaurants online.
Most restaurants have a strong social media presence. Restaurants run well-thought out campaigns and post fresh content on their social media platforms regularly.
Many restaurants use attractive discounts to lure new customers and run loyalty programs to give regular patrons an incentive to keep coming back.
Other restaurants still prefer to use traditional marketing strategies such as billboard ads, newspaper advertising, radio and television ads, and ads, articles, and features in magazines. Word of mouth referrals, however, continue to remain one of the most effective marketing tools for restaurants.
10. Unique Selling Skill
A restaurant’s Unique Selling Skill or Unique Selling Proposition (USP) is what differentiates it from the rest. Types of USPs include amazing location, delicious food, sound reputation, and an unmatched experience.
It takes time to develop an USP. A USP helps the restaurant to focus on its strengths and future goals. A USP also sends a strong message to customers as to why they should choose the restaurant over others in the industry.