5 Proven Methods for Successfully Starting Your Own Restaurant Business
Perhaps one of the most challenging and rewarding experiences is successfully starting one’s own restaurant business. Abraham Diles, entrepreneur and owner of Stakeout Dining Room and Lounge reflects on what it takes to succeed in the food and service industry.
Be Different, But in a Good Way
Aspiring entrepreneurs can’t start a restaurant without first fully understanding the restaurant and service industry. At the same time, many world-class chefs have tried and failed to start their own restaurant business, often due to some underlying flaw such as poor management.
Non-chefs that built great restaurants found ways to serve great food while giving customers a great experience, and they did it in a way that was unique. Simultaneously, chefs that built great restaurants found a way to express their culinary art in such a way as to connect with regular people. The key is originality and persisting in that originality even when things get difficult.
Take Funding Seriously
Funding — whether from loans, investors, or an inheritance from a family member — will always be a restaurant business owner’s biggest hurdle. The good news is that according to Abraham Diles this problem is true for all restaurant startups everywhere.
Therefore, he states, aspiring restaurant business owners should always be looking for ways to improve their credit, network with investors, and save their own money when they can. Often, learning how to build a good business plan with well-researched sales projections is the best way to secure funds from a lender or an investor.
Assume Ownership Without Micromanaging
Too many business owners spend almost all their time in the business rather than on the business. They don’t really trust anyone to get it right, so they do it themselves. As a result, Abraham Diles shares that owners are often tired and frustrated, and the business stagnates as “little” things fall through the cracks and opportunities to improve on the business pass by.
The best restaurant entrepreneurs know how to hire a staff, trust their managers, and take responsibility for the administrative tasks. This includes the “boring” stuff like licenses, taxes, inspections, and financials.
Collaborate with Customers
A restaurant owner’s best friend is always the customer — without the customer, the business dies. As such, it is a tragedy whenever an entrepreneur begins to feel antagonism toward his/her customers.
According to Abraham Diles the truth is, the customer (even the angry one) always has something valuable for the owner to hear. While it can be frustrating that customers often don’t know how to properly express what they need, they will do their best to give clues or highlight central issues that make them less likely to do business.
No restaurant owner ever started their business without grumpy and unreasonable customers. But the successful restaurant owners are curious (not angry) every time a customer has a complaint. After a while, the savvy business owner begins to understand the needs of his/her customers, and when this happens, competitors will have a difficult time keeping up.
Success is a great accomplishment in the food service industry. When the hard work finally pays off, it is a wonderful thing to enjoy the financial reward and look to expanding the business. However, much joy is lost in chasing “more.”
The happiest, successful restaurant business owners look for ways to give back to their community. They also look for ways to mentor those that are struggling to launch their own startup. The most important part of any business skill is long-term sustainability. Those that fail to give back can only think in terms of what is sustainable for bigger profits now.
Abraham Diles founded Stakeout Dining Room and Lounge in 2003. Today, the restaurant is home to some of the finest dining in all of Ontario, Canada. Diles seeks to invest in his community and empower entrepreneurs everywhere to fulfill their dream of business ownership.