How to take over a restaurant and make it a success

19 April 2019

There are some restaurateurs who are faced with having to take over a restaurant, either because it is having problems and needs a new supervisor or because it has closed and needs a new leader to spearhead its re-opening. In any of the two cases, it can be a complicated task for this person, who will assume the challenge of making the business successful

Have you ever had an experience like this? Do you know someone who has had a similar experience? At TheFork, we understand how hard it can be to turn around a business that's in trouble or struggling. Here are some basic steps for success:

TheFork How to take over a restaurant and make it a success Identify the restaurant's main mistake.

First, it's a good idea to look at the restaurant's current and previous business models and look for any loose ends to understand what the main mistakes were. There are many reasons why restaurants fail:

  • Failure to identify potential clientele and focus on it.
  • Giving poor customer service because of organisational problems.
  • Hiring the wrong people.
  • Poorly distributing tasks among team members.
  • Poor investment in resources.

Ultimately, to be able to correct a process, it is crucial to identify the break-even point. In this sense, it's ideal for the manager who's taking over the restaurant to be able to access all of its business data and, if it's still operating, to speak with the people working there on a daily basis in order to find answers.

TheFork How to take over a restaurant and make it a success Identify the restaurant's current potential

It is also important to identify the resources and opportunities that the restaurant currently has. Imagine that the restaurant is still operating; logicially, there will be some things that are going well, and it's a good idea to maintain them. Or, if it has closed, it will have certain things that can be developed. For example,

  • It's in an excellent location.
  • The building is in perfect shape.
  • The chef is talented.
  • It has an extensive customer database.
  • The staff work well together and know the business well.

Based on this analysis, the new manager can create a plan to reshape the business,make financial decisions and know which parts of the restaurants require investments and which parts are not profitable.

TheFork How to take over a restaurant and make it a success Implementing an action plan

The next step is to make plans for the restaurant's important areas that will show which actions need to be taken, the timelines, goals and the people responsible. Some of the actions could include the following:

TheFork How to take over a restaurant and make it a success Marketing. Use the customer database to conduct a digital survey by e-mail, social networks or whichever channel works best about what people miss about the restaurant, or the dish they'd like to enjoy again, or any other need that may have gone unnoticed, and offer it to them in the new phase. Identifying potential customers is crucial to a successful restaurant.

TheFork How to take over a restaurant and make it a success Human resources. Set up a daily team briefing to learn about the staff and restaurant's needs as quickly as possible. This way, you can implement solutions and new strategies.

TheFork How to take over a restaurant and make it a success Food selection. Assess the menu, the recipes, their productions costs, profit margins and supplier quality so you can identify which food items make the most sense in light of the restaurant's and customers' current needs.

TheFork How to take over a restaurant and make it a success Process management. Implement protocols so processes flow better, so you save time and effort, and so things are easier and more efficient. Consider using tools that make work easier. TheFork have experience helping restaurant managers improve all of their processes.

TheFork How to take over a restaurant and make it a success One of the most ideal tools in this regard is TheFork Manager, software that allows you to manage reservations, place them in a digital floor plan, develop a customer database, follow the movement of services in real time and many other features. That's why we created it and offer it, especially in cases like these, where the challenge to make the restaurant a success can be a real uphill battle. If you still do not have this tool... Click here.

In the end, knowing which mistakes were made, what the business's potential is, creating an action plan, and implementing solutions in different areas are the steps that we deem the most essential when taking over a restaurant business. What do you think?

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