You’ve probably heard that 90% of restaurants fail in their first year. Turns out, that’s a myth–when some economists actually crunched the numbers, they found that only 17% of full-service restaurants failed in their first year. But that doesn’t mean the life of a restaurateur is easy. The median restaurant still only lasts 4.5 years. If you’re hoping to beat those odds, you’re going to need some solutions to common problems restaurants face. Keep reading for advice on how to turn your problems around.
Money and security
Let’s start with the basics. Any business needs money to keep the doors open. Unfortunately, because of the perception that restaurants are riskier than other types of businesses, it can sometimes be tough to get bank loans. Here are some tips on how to solve your cash problems.
- Learn what all your financing options are: 12 ways to get financing to start a new restaurant
- Fix some common cash-flow problems: Top 10 signs you have a cash flow problem
- Find out where your missing inventory is going: Reducing shrinkage
- Learn how to prevent costly hacks: 4 ways you can improve your cyber security now
Employee turnover is a chronic problem in the restaurant industry. And turnover is expensive—not just because it’s expensive and time-consuming to hire and train new employees, but because ineffective or unmotivated employees can severely damage your brand. Here are some strategies for retaining your employees and improving morale.
- Improve employee engagement: 3 powerful ways to reduce restaurant employee turnover
- Make sure your employees have lots of opportunities to learn and grow: How to reduce restaurant employee turnover
- Improve communication among your employees: 6 tactics for unifying the front and back of house for restaurants
- Deal with conflict when it arises: Negotiating conflict with employees
Customer service is crucial to any restaurant’s success. But restaurants are also fast-paced, high-pressure environments. Every single ticket is another opportunity to wow somebody—or disappoint them with a late or subpar order, or a frustrating interaction with waitstaff. Here are some tips on improving your restaurant’s customer service.
- Focus on personality—and training: How to train your wait staff to maximize guest experience
- Come back from a bad online review: How to handle negative reviews
- Pull yourself out of a customer service crisis: Handling a serious customer complaint
When business is good, it’s easy to let marketing slide. Customers are finding you, so why worry? But doing that creates a feast-and-famine cycle where you’re always scrambling when things are slow. Better to have a clear branding and marketing strategy and stick to it in good times and bad. Here are some tips for strengthening your restaurant’s brand.
- Keep the crowds coming: 4 ideas for bringing in traffic on your slow days
- Make your menu more user-friendly: Why menus suck—and 5 ideas to improve them
- Change your marketing when you need to: How to breathe fresh air into a stale restaurant brand
- Please your best customers by offering takeout: Tips for successful takeout
Clover is sold by leading U.S. banks including Bank of America, BBVA, Citi, PNC, Sun Trust and Wells Fargo. You’ll also find Clover at our trusted partners including Ignite Payments, Restaurant Depot, and Sam’s Club. For more information, visit us at clover.com.