Anyone that has ever tried to get a table at a busy restaurant on a weekend night could imagine how hard it would be to work at a restaurant establishment – let alone own one. Indeed, owning and managing your own restaurant can be a serious challenge. First of all, you have to get people in the door, which can be hard to do night after night. In order to get people in the door, you need to offer incredible food – food that people dream about when they go home. Also, you have to make the restaurant experience fun – for the customers and your wait staff. In the end, it is a serious challenge, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Here are some restaurant ownership and management pros and cons.
One of the biggest pros of owning and managing your own restaurant is that you get to live out your dreams. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit and you love food, owning a restaurant may be the most satisfying career path. Plus, you get to live out your dreams in an environment that allows you to flex your business acumen. There aren’t a lot of livelihood opportunities that offer the melding of two passions.
Another big pro is that you get to be social. Being a restaurateur means that night after night you will be shaking hands, visiting tables, checking to make sure that patrons are satisfied and you may even fraternize with the wait staff and kitchen staff. If you are an inherently social person, owning your own restaurant will be a non-stop stream of social opportunities. Socializing is important in the restaurant and hospitality industry, because it allows you build loyalty with customers. If you want to build a solid base of regulars, you will have to do a lot of handshaking.
A big con, however, of the restaurant industry is that it can be extremely challenging. Most restaurants don’t last past the first year. There are many reasons for this, but one of the biggest reasons is that people lose interest. In any given city, there are hundreds of different restaurants that people can visit, so it really is a matter of survival and who has the best food and ambiance. Also, one bad review online can snowball into a never ending flurry of bad reviews, so you have to find ways to build your online reputation and make sure it stays positive.
Lastly, another con of the restaurant industry is that it is competitive. This competitive nature is the reason why a lot of owners and managers feel isolated. However, one of the best solutions for restaurateurs is to gain allies – either with My National Grocers or the Restaurant Association – two great organizations that support independent food service and restaurant businesses. If you want to make it in the restaurant world, you not only need business acumen, but you also need to collaborate with organizations that can help boost your business and garner a strong customer base. In the end, restaurants often vanish without much notice, but if you are passionate and believe in your success, you have more than a fighting chance.