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How to Operate a Successful Restaurant

Learn how to operate a successful restaurant from restaurateur Paul Bolles-Beaven in this Howcast video.


So how do you operate a successful restaurant? Well, the first thing you've got to do is define what a successful restaurant is for you. How much money do you need to make? What do you want it to feel like? What do you want it to mean for your guests and for your staff? And then once you've decided that, you're going to spend a lot of time having a lot of fun watching what happens and responding.

To run a successful restaurant you have to observe. You have to observe your staff. How are they working? Are they having a good time? Are they getting the job done? You have to observe your guests. Are they enjoying themselves? Are they enjoying their food and their beverage? Are they waiting for things? Are they uncomfortable? Are they not sure they like what they're eating? And when you observe those things you need to act. You need to respond either by supporting and encouraging what's going well and what's positive or by correcting what's not going so well and what may not be achieving your vision of a successful restaurant.

And then, of course, you've got to watch the numbers. It is a restaurant and a business and you need to make a restaurant that people want to go to and that people want to work at and want to have a good time at. But you also need to make a business that makes enough money to pay the bills and hopefully give your investors some return on their investment. So you're going to watch how many people come to your restaurant. Are you slower at lunch than you want to be? Are you busier at dinner? Are there certain days when your business is slow? You need to watch how much each person spends in your restaurant, what's called check average.

And you want to watch your profitability. Is your revenue sufficient? Do you need to build revenue? Are you spending too much on food or beverage or labor? Do you need to cut back in some area of expense so that you're making a profit?

You've got to watch all those things. Have a great time at it. Be persistent at it and enjoy the rewards of it.

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