8 tips for making your restaurant business a success

Chef preparing a dish in high-end restaurant kitchen.

Running a food business is challenging. But creating a successful restaurant, café, or food truck is even harder. That’s why we’ve put together this list of eight tips to help you make the most of every minute and dollar going into your food business.

1. Make quality non-negotiable

Customers have a lot of choice when it comes to dining out. One poor experience could mean losing a diner for good. That’s why making quality a priority—both in your food and service—is essential.

Whether you’re running a high-end restaurant or a local takeaway shop, strive to serve quality food every day. It may be easy to meet high standards during slow periods, but what about peak dining hours? Ensure your staff understand what you expect from them and give them the tools they need to succeed, no matter how busy things get.

2. Look after your staff

Speaking of your staff… Looking after the people who run your eatery business is also important. You may manage the restaurant, but you can’t do everything by yourself. Delegating tasks helps things run smoothly and can make staff feel more invested in its success.

It’s also essential that staff feel supported and valued. Training can help them work with more confidence, particularly as you assign more tasks. Perks, like extra time off or bonuses, can help them feel appreciated in their job.

3. Manage your cash flow

Money management is the downfall of many small businesses. This can be even trickier for food businesses, where profit margins are traditionally just 10 per cent1. However, managing your cash flow well can set your eatery business up for success.

Managing cash flow is all about making every dollar count. Negotiating discounts with suppliers and eliminating waste can be effective ways to save money. You might also consider other ways to earn more beyond your everyday menu—think takeaway only dishes, event catering, or cooking classes.

4. Consider business insurance

Protecting your restaurant with business insurance goes hand in hand with managing cash flow. Unexpected bills caused by fire, equipment breakdown, or any number of events cut into those razor-thin profit margins. But that’s where insurance can help.

Instead of paying out of pocket when things go wrong, your policies can help cover the cheque. BizCover makes it easy to compare insurance for restaurants, cafes, and other food businesses. You can quickly protect your business and maybe even save money while doing it!

5. Review menu pricing

Is it time to adjust your menu pricing? Inflation and cost of living increases may be cutting into your profits. Regularly reviewing and adjusting your prices could help manage your restaurant’s cash flow.

Revisiting your prices can be tricky. Regular customers may be unhappy about increases, so if it’s necessary, you might want to up prices gradually. Other options are to replace unprofitable menu items or reduce your portion sizes.

6. Master your marketing

The hospitality industry can be competitive. Finding ways to reach new customers (and keep them coming back) is key. Marketing plays a big part in this.

Most food businesses use multiple marketing strategies to promote themselves. However, crafting a strong online presence is key for most businesses. A website, social media, and search engine listings are essential ways for customers to find and connect with your food business. You might also want to use an online booking service or join food delivery apps.

7. Welcome online reviews

Another important part of your online presence—reviews! Online reviews let customers play food critic, but they can also become a powerful tool for your restaurant. Positive reviews help recommend your food and service to others.

But what about bad reviews? These can be useful too! Responding to every review in a professional manner is part of your customer service. It gives you a chance to reengage unhappy customers and try to set things right. Bad reviews can also provide important insights into your menu, staff, and premises. They might point out critical issues you’ve overlooked!

8. Embrace technology

Tech has made running a small business much easier than it used to be. By using time-saving software and apps, you can free up valuable hours to strategise your restaurant or café’s growth.

Online booking systems and delivery apps are just the start. There’s also software to help you manage your restaurant’s scheduling, payroll, and inventory. You might also consider table tablets that make ordering and paying easier for your customers.

Making your food business a success

Cooking up success for your restaurant, café, or takeaway shop takes time and effort. But with hard work and luck, you may soon see it thrive!

Ready to protect your eatery business? Compare insurance for food businesses with BizCover and save. Buy online and get covered instantly—no paperwork, no dramas!

Add Public Liability, a Business Insurance Pack, and more to your cover menu today.

1. Sydney Morning Herald, ‘Groundbreakers can’t survive any more’: Is Australia’s restaurant industry on the brink?, February 2024
This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
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