Opening a new restaurant is a huge undertaking. But if you’ve been in the business for a while, then you know that this is a process that involves a lot of moving parts.
Most restaurant owners want to start strong and build off of the momentum from a superb opening. The only problem is, in the beginning, you may find that you have quite a few issues that you need to work on.
Common issues can range from poor staffing choices to being ill-prepared in the kitchen. For example, many restaurant owners fail to anticipate a run on dessert dishes, so having an adequate supply of dessert items, such as cream chargers for whipped toppings, is essential for making a good first impression.
All in all, the last thing you want to do is to have a poor opening day. And in this post, we’ll outline a few tips that will help you to succeed.
Hiring For Front Of The House
Your front-of-house (FOH) staff is going to be the “face” of your establishment when you’re not around. And because of this, you’re going to need to ensure that you hire qualified and experienced servers, hostesses, bussers, and bartenders.
If a guest has a bad experience, their server or bartender is usually going to be the one to blame. And in many cases, there’s no getting around this. Because in the restaurant business, keeping the guest happy and content is always the first priority.
Upon initially hiring, ensure that your waitstaff and bartenders have at least a couple of years of experience. And ensure that you check references to see how long they’ve worked at a particular establishment.
Restaurant workers are known to move around often, but this can also be a bad sign if you’re looking for long-term, quality help.
Double Check Your Inventory
One area where a restaurant usually falls short during the first week is the amount of inventory on hand. Often, restaurant owners short themselves on products just to keep costs at a minimum. After all, you don’t want time-sensitive items to go bad.
But by doing so, you may run out of items if you run too close to the bare minimum on food items. And the last thing you’ll want to do is to tell a guest that you’re out of a menu item during your first week of business.
Anticipate a large crowd. And stock your inventory accordingly in order to mitigate any poor guest experiences.
Further, ensure that you have plenty of flatware and dinnerware. Again, you’ll want to avoid having to tell a guest that you’ve run out of silverware upon their first visit to your establishment.
Make Sure the Bartenders are Prepared
During any opening, the wine will flow, and the service-well will most likely be sending out drinks non-stop. And you’ll need to ensure that your bartenders have everything they need to keep the cocktails and other beverages coming.
Items such as juices, mixers, beverage napkins, stirrers, and fresh fruit are often poorly stocked during an opening event. And this can make for a great deal of frustration behind the bar for bartenders of any experience level.
Additionally, make sure you have adequate bodies to work your bar. Because the bar usually gets crowded during opening week and having an extra person on hand can always help with a packed bar.
The last thing you’ll want is a bar full of irritated guests who’ve been waiting for 15 minutes just to get served. So make sure you have experienced, quick-handed bartenders in place during your opening event.
Opening a restaurant may be an overwhelming experience for some. But with a little proactive planning, you’ll be ready for the arrival of guests. And hopefully, they’ll keep coming just to experience your amazing guest service and your menu items.
Remember, the first impression is going to make a huge impact on your business. So tighten everything up before you even open the doors on the first day of business.