4 Tips on how to Start a Successful Restaurant from Friends American Grill
Many start up small businesses often fail within the first year and even more so when considering the food service and restaurant industry segment, while others thrive and go on to achieve enviable success. There are some general theories that have been put forward to try and explain this phenomenon and why some businesses achieve great success while others flounder. The management team from Friends Bar and Grill provided a closer look at a successful small business could give us useful insights as to what a franchise needs to be successful.
Think Big, But Start Small
Friends American Grill has 6 locations. According to co-owners, Ray Stanjevich and Suzanne Cartwright, it took them about three and a half years to open the second restaurant, once they had the formula down, they have been able to open a new restaurant almost every year.
The co-owner’s advice small business owners to work on the first location before opening the second one, don’t replicate a mistake. The first Friends American Grill needed a lot of attention, within the first two years, before it became a success. Starting small and focusing on details with one location first, helps the business owner to channel all the resources into the business. It is also a learning process especially for business owners who are venturing into the business for the first time. “We had to get our system right, and it took time to figure out what worked and what didn’t work, but now, we can just take all that information and copy it to a new location” said Ray Stanjevich co-owner Friends American Grill.
Work on Your Finances
The owners of these successful chains of restaurants also advise people starting a new business to practice good financial management not only in operating the day to day business, but also in managing new restaurant startups. According to Stanjevich, this will ensure that you keep a financial track record that will impress lenders. This also underscores the importance of working on the first location before opening new locations elsewhere. Ensuring that the first branch has a good financial track record opens up new opportunities for financial assistance. This could prove useful when it’s time to open the second one.
You will need to have the right skill-sets if you are going to run a successful business. It is advisable to have a good understanding of the different aspects of your business such as financing and recruitment of staff. The training you get from the Franchise may not cover some of these subjects. You may need to take classes on certain subjects that may be critical to the running of your business. There are short courses, and some may be conveniently taken online, on business management, accounting, business taxation, amongst other subjects.
Determine Potential Locations Before Opening the Business
Stanjevich believes that a business owner should work on the first location before opening the second one. However, he says one should identify the second location before opening the first one. It can help position the entire brand more effectively. For example, they owners decided to situate Friends American Grill in smaller neighborhoods. This allowed them to take advantage of a niche while avoiding direct competition with bigger established brands. Identifying the location of your business should not only be done first, but it should also be part of your overall strategy from the start. The location of your business should particularly address how you intend to reach out to your target market.
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