5 Things they don’t tell you about becoming a restaurateur

It would be fair to say that the term “foodie” has been redefined over the last few years.

With the likes of Instagram, blogs and other online mediums making it easier than ever for food-lovers to get their recipes out there, it’s perhaps meant that more people than ever before have started to appreciate their hidden talents.

5 Things they don't tell you about becoming a restaurateur

This appears to have resulted in an influx of new restaurants hitting the high streets as well. This graph shows how the number of new restaurants has soared from 2008-to 2019. While the pandemic may have quashed these figures somewhat more recently, the restaurant trade is typically a booming sector.

However, becoming a restaurateur is more than what meets the eye. Today, we’ll now look at five points that they simply don’t tell you when it comes to this type of business.

It’s hard work – and you’ll be on your feet all day

This one is pretty much a given. Restaurants are high-energy environments, and the hours are long. If you’re not prepared to be on your feet all day long and take on a lot of physical labour, this may not be the right business for you.

You might love cooking for the family once a week – but running a restaurant is more than that. You’re coordinating others to do the same on a much bigger scale, not even mentioning the paperwork you’ll also need to take care of.

You’ll need to be good with money

This one is probably pretty self-explanatory. Restaurants are expensive to run, and you’ll need to be sure that you’re keeping a tight reign on your finances if you want to be successful. This isn’t just the classic costs of ingredients either; so-called ‘small issues’ like insurance can also raise your outgoings.

This means that you’ll need to be good at bookkeeping, budgeting and forecasting. You’ll also need to be sure that you’re charging the right prices for your dishes and not overspending on unnecessary items.

You’ll need to be creative with your menu

The restaurant industry is competitive, and you’ll need to be sure that your menu stands out from the rest. You can always include a few classics on there, but you’ll also need to be creative with your specials and ensure that you’re always offering something new and exciting.

It’s also important to remember that trends come and go, so you’ll need to keep on top of what’s popular and make sure that your menu reflects that.

You’ll need to be a good marketer

As we’ve already mentioned, the restaurant industry is highly competitive, and you’ll need to do everything in your power to attract customers. This means that you’ll need to be a good marketer and know how to reach your target audience.

You’ll need to have a strong social media presence, and you’ll also need to be sure that you’re doing everything you can to get people through the door. This could include offers, discounts, and even good old-fashioned word-of-mouth.

The offer-factor is quite significant here. Particularly during quieter periods of the week, many restaurants turn to offers to boost numbers. As the new kid on the block, you will probably have to do the same.

You’ll need to be a good negotiator

Running a restaurant involves a lot of negotiations. You’ll need to be able to negotiate with suppliers, with staff, and with other businesses. This is particularly important when it comes to pricing – you’ll need to be sure that you’re getting the best deals possible for the products and services you’re buying.

Let’s not forget that we’re in a period where food costs are rising at an alarming rate. For the restaurant owner, this is a trying time. Not only do you need to negotiate with suppliers, but you indirectly have to do the same with customers. Can you legislate for price increases if you’re backed into a corner?