Some tips to consider when starting a restaurant in Accra
Everyone loves good food and Ghanaians are no exception. For many people, opening a restaurant in Accra is a dream, but this dream can easily turn into a nightmare if you don’t consider the following key tips.
Having a Concept
It is pertinent that your restaurant offers a unique or once in a lifetime (if possible) experience. It could, by having a “create your own plate” concept, a barbecue theme, a rotating room, or a suspending table which certain restaurants in high rise buildings have. The essential thing is you create an ambiance that will leave a lasting memory in the guest’s mind. Similarly, the decor should not be disconnected from the concept your restaurant is trying to create. For example, it would be inappropriate to use sophisticated tableware in a chicken wings restaurant likewise disposable plates in an upscale sushi restaurant. The menu, service level, music and décor elements must synchronise efficiently to give your guests a harmonious vibe which almost goes unnoticed due to how natural and authentic it is.
Accessibility is everything. The more easily accessible you can make your restaurant the greater the chances of success. Just because a location is available for rent or looks nice doesn’t necessarily make it ideal for a business like a restaurant. It should be easy to locate and within an environment that is clean and people friendly. Most successful restaurants are the most accessible in respect to brand, location and even price point. Casual and fast restaurants do incredibly well due to how accessible they are on all fronts. Some people say location is irrelevant because they intend to create a destination restaurant. But some of the most successful restaurant owners will tell you that it is hard to become a destination if you don’t take into consideration a great location at the start.
A great chef and team
No restaurant succeeds without a great chef and team of workers. If your chef, waiters etc., don’t understand or fit into your restaurant concept you’ll frequently deal with the most popular problem in the restaurant business - unnecessary drama. It is not enough to employ skilled personnel or people with restaurant experience. It is key that they understand and are passionate about the mission and your vision for the restaurant. Ensure they go through different forms of training on customer care, service and hospitality. Also there have been interesting cases where a waiter has saved the life of a guest who was choking. Hence, little skills in basic emergency techniques would be useful.
Your guests deserve the best
When it comes to your guests never be cheap. If you are purchasing desserts, equipment, and the likes, it is relevant to know that whatever your guests use, or touch is important. Allocate a significant portion of your revenue to enhance their experience. This helps to increase positive feedback. The guests must feel they are the most important person in the world when they come to your restaurant. Inquiring from them about their needs, creating surprises like special songs for birthdays, anniversaries etc. are all part of improving their time in your restaurant. You can be sure that going the extra mile to make a person feel special will have them coming back and recommending others for a similar experience.
Don’t hesitate to overestimate your capital needs
If you are just starting or planning to start a restaurant, it is highly important that you set aside a significant amount of money as working capital from the start. This could be for six months to a year. Usually, with a lot of restaurant businesses people don’t start making significant profit until after the above-mentioned period. Hence, it would be beneficial to make room for any unforeseen challenges or expenditures which are common place in the restaurant business. So even if sales start off on a good note, ensure you don’t get ahead of yourself. It is usually the honeymoon phase that people get carried away. However, you don’t want your business to collapse as a result of a failure to reserve cash from the start.
Another mistake people make is to rush to open a new branch when things start picking up. This can be tricky especially if you are renting the spaces for your restaurants. It is therefore smart to stick to one place for a substantial amount of time to ensure relevant growth, clientele, and profit. It is even more shrewd to ensure that if you are renting a space upon gaining a boost in your business, you purchase your own property before trying to open other branches. With this you are more likely to protect yourself from issues like inflation which easily affect the cost of renting a property in a prime area.
Embrace change, be ready to evolve
A lot of businesses start with one idea and end up becoming something totally different. This is because the goal is to cater to people’s wants and needs. This can change due to several reasons, so do not be afraid to go with the flow. Restaurants that have failed easily are the ones who have not taken into consideration the key fact that a business, whether personally or jointly owned, should be people centered. As a result, it runs on two major things, people and communication. Pay attention to what the new trends are and what people say. You can incorporate it into your vision without losing your authenticity. If you are a chef, be open to learning and willing to teach your other chefs. If your workers love coming to work, then you know you’re already on your way to success. Get involved in creating the menu, new dishes and using information from your guests to inspire change, be it with music, staff, taste, lighting, etc.
What is most important in running any successful business is the understanding that you are solving a problem and catering to the need or want of people. For this reason, your restaurant business should be a place your guests can create memories and leave looking forward to come back. You’ll be amazed how your business can inspire not only your guests but even yourself knowing that you’re a part of the rare breed creating happiness in the world.