Young Upstarts

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5 Secrets Of The Restaurant Business That Will Keep You Ahead Of The Game

Waitress serving customers

There is one big secret about the restaurant business that would give most diners a shock. If a person buys a restaurant, they can employ anybody that they like as a head chef. Technically, you do not require any special qualifications. The good news is that the vast majority of restaurants don’t work like this, they look for industry recognised qualifications and recruit talented chefs with a real hunger for food. These are the eateries that flourish and thrive.

So, it is important to remember that, while anybody can open a restaurant, it takes a huge amount of skill to make it a success. This is a valuable lesson for startups and one that can be used to steer your new venture in the right direction. This is an industry that is dominated by the consumer. You can have the fanciest, most lavish ingredients in the country, but if they’re not popular, it simply won’t matter.

This guide to setting up a restaurant business will explain why, in the food world, the customer must always come first.

1. The Right Tools Are Everything.

For a professional chef, the right tools can be a game changer. Whether it’s high quality filleting knives, a meat grinder, an extended burner, or an efficient vacuum chamber; if it works well, it will save you time. It must also be remembered that, for a restaurant, time is money. It is always best to spend a little more on the best equipment, because it will last longer and produce better ingredients.

2. The Customer Is Always Right.

This next piece of advice can be a tough learning curve, particularly for excitable young chefs. However, it is vital. The menu is the beating heart of a restaurant, but the customer is the blood needed to keep it alive. You must listen to what diners are saying about the food. It can be hard to hear that technically fancy and visually impressive dishes aren’t as popular as pub grub choices or home comforts, but you don’t get to be in charge of what is popular.

3. Simplicity Is Not Your Enemy.

Speaking of fussy dishes; if there is one thing that can sink a kitchen fast it is an overly complex menu. It is always better to create fewer flawless meals than it is eight pages of disappointing ones. So, focus on a small selection of crowd pleasers and don’t try to run before you can walk. Once your simple dishes are satisfying and nothing is being sent back, you can think about adding extra elements.

4. Keep It Fresh and Seasonal.

For inexperienced restaurant owners, it can feel crazy not to stuff menus full of all the things that people like – hot dogs, chilli, nachos, pizza, etc. In reality, this is not just confusing, it makes things tough for the kitchen. Few diners, if any, ever go out to eat and complain because what they fancy isn’t on the menu; they pick from what is offered. So, build your menu around fresh, regional ingredients and trust customers to appreciate them.

5. It Is Going To Take Patience.

Opening up a restaurant is easy, but keeping it open is a tough journey. Even celebrity chefs fail at this and, oftentimes, bankrupt restaurants were producing great food before being forced to close. It just goes to show that there are lots of different elements needed for success. The pricing has to be strategic and appropriate, the kitchen team must work seamlessly together, and the menu has to be right for the market. Restaurant startups are unlikely to make a lot of profit in their first year, because it takes time to build up a buzz and there are all kinds of expenses to settle first.

Why Passion is the Secret Ingredient to Restaurant Success.

Opening a restaurant is only recommended for those who are completely head over heels in love with food. It shouldn’t be perceived as an easy way to make your fortune. Whether you’re the head chef, the manager, or both, the hours will be long and the rewards slow to appear. It is a tough industry, but if you have the drive and the ambition, it has the potential to change your life for the better.


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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