Do you want to start and run a restaurant business successfully? If YES, here are 10 greatest challenges you should expect when running a restaurant kitchen.

If your are thinking of owning a restaurant, there are quite a number of challenges and obstacle that you have to overcome before you can be a successful restaurateur. People who are already into the business know that it requires a lot of hard work and commitment to get a restaurant up and running smoothly.

So as a novice venturing into the food industry, you have to be aware of the challenges to expect and also how to avoid them or counter them. So without wasting your time, below are ten challenges of running a successful restaurant business.

Running a Restaurant Business Successfully – 10 Challenges to Expect

a. Hiring good employees

One of the challenges of managing a restaurant business successfully is hiring capable and dedicated staff. As a restaurant owner or manager, you are expected to employ skilled and experienced staffs, especially in the area of cooks and servers.

When employing a server, you have to go for individuals that are not highly temperamental, an individual who is always smiling. The appearance of a server matters lot because they send a massage to the customers. Now how do you know a person with good character? The answer is simple: put them to test.

b. Retaining Skilled staff

The next challenge most businesses face is retaining skilled and experience staff. When a staff works in your company for at least three years, that individual must have grown in skill and job experience.

Now when that individual leaves, he or she does not leave behind the experience gained over the years; thereby leaving a huge vacuum in your firm. Well, it is not their fault. Big companies are always in the habit of poaching experience staff from smaller companies.

So as a restaurant owner, you are expected to offer certain benefits to your staffs to keep them loyal to your organization. Benefits such as: vacation pay, sick time, health insurance etc.

c. Cost control

When it comes to running a restaurant business, you need to maintain an eagle eye on your cost and finances because your expenses can skyrocket without warning; as price of food stuffs change constantly. To be not just a good restaurateur but a good business person, you must learn to control costs. This implies you have to be wise when spending both money and time.

To achieve effective cost control, you make sure you examine every business related expenses and look for how you can save. Avoid waste in the kitchen, avoid serving spoiled food or poor preparation of food, etc because these things bring about unnecessary cost and reduced earnings.

d. Lack of experienced employees

Employees in the quick service restaurant business are often young and mostly inexperienced. When you hire a new employee, not only does the employee need to learn all about the restaurant skills, but also needs to adapt to a restaurant work environment in general. Therefore, it is your duty to give sufficient time, energy and orientation to the employee and this cost money, time, effort and resources..

e. Maintaining good customer service

A need for food brings customers into your restaurant but good food and excellent customer service keeps them coming back at all times. How you handle customers complaints and how you appreciate your customers matters a lot. If you want to build a good clientele in you restaurant, then you must ensure you create a very good customer service and be prepared to handle bad or rude customers effectively.

f. Competition

The food industry is strictly regulated and saturated. In this industry, i have witnessed a lot of restaurants fold up because they couldn’t keep up with competition. There are chances that other restaurants exist in the same location where your own restaurant is located. So it is always important that you maintain strong, distinguishing characteristics that will separate your restaurant from every other restaurant within your vicinity.

g. Maintaining a strong management team

Management is a very significant ingredient in a restaurant’s success. Frequent change in management can lead to change in vision and leadership method and this can lead to disorientation of employees. The presence of a committed, experienced and passionate manager will go a long way to bring success to you restaurant.

h. Risk management

Running a restaurant has to do with dealing with all sort of potential hazards; starting from minor employee training issues to major liabilities. Even little problems can be of disastrous financial repercussions. Managing risks in the restaurant can be achieved by incorporating safety procedures into all operational tasks and processes, as well as by securing your establishment with insurance against injuries, damages and accidents.

i. Constant menu change

If you want to run a restaurant, you have to always be on board with constant menu change. As a restaurateur, you have to take a periodical review of which items are selling very well and which aren’t; and always update your menu with new dishes. This can pose quite a challenge especially when your business is still young and you lack adequate manpower.

j. Marketing

The last but not the least challenge is marketing your restaurant business. Marketing will always be a challenge to every business, not just the restaurant business alone. The type of marketing strategy you employ in running your restaurant will greatly determine the number of customers you will get and how popular you restaurant will be.

The most advisable and easier way of marketing is the internet marketing. You can get a good web designer to design a web site for your restaurant and you can market your business online.

But i want you to know that the best form of marketing for a restaurant business is word-of-mouth marketing. It is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing but you need to be creative, innovative and customer service oriented to be able to generate it.

In conclusion, i want to clearly state that owning and managing a restaurant is not for everyone. The reason is say this is because there is a lot of work involved. But i believe that with adequate industry knowledge, a good business plan and the information provided above, you are off to a good start to becoming a successful restaurateur.

Ajaero Tony Martins