Expansion of the restaurant business: how to scale success competently and without risks?
So, your first restaurant is a success. The logical next step is to open a second establishment. But as the experience of successful restaurant brands shows, simply copying a successful model does not guarantee the success of a new restaurant. Moreover, it carries significant risks for an existing successful establishment.
You are ready to open a second restaurant if all of the points listed below match reality:
1. High demand : the restaurant is completely full at lunchtime and in the evening.
2. Large base of regular customers
3. Stable positive cash flow
4. New Expansion Opportunity - Double Access to Essential Ingredients.
5. A viable concept that will be relevant in five or ten years (or the ability to quickly adapt to trends).
6. Having the appropriate knowledge and a clear vision of how to expand the restaurant business with minimal risks
7. Mental readiness for a doubled load and new brand development challenges
8. Confidence that you will be able to maintain the level of service at the proper level in multiple locations
The pitfalls of opening a second establishment
Before thinking about scaling your business, it is worth considering what factors ensured the success of your first one and what are its weak points. Can you handle the double workload? Will you be able to control personnel in two places at the same time? Will you keep service standards at the same high level in both establishments?
In order to facilitate the decision-making process, I suggest you answer yourself the following questions.
1. What technologies do you need?
Do not rush to answer "The same ones that I use now." You're managing one place successfully — great. Scaling your restaurant business will add a lot of responsibilities to you. You cannot be in two places at the same time. The right accounting system can do wonders allowing you to keep multiple establishments under control.
To do this, you will need a modern cloud POS system that allows you to keep records of several points and display reports both in the context of establishments and to consolidate data. Cloud software makes it possible to transfer menus, employee data, and more from one institution to another.
If your long-term goal is to build a network of establishments, cloud technology will be an invaluable asset for seamlessly scaling your management control system.
2. What menu will the new establishment have?
Here, as with the first question, you may decide that the question has already been resolved. But think again. In a new location, you may need to update the menu depending on the audience and the presence of competitors nearby.
Opening a new establishment in a new area or even a city is a good reason to deeply revise the menu. Customers appreciate restaurants that reflect their tastes. Make some changes to the menu of the new establishment, taking into account the preferences of the target audience.
Sales analytics will also assist you at this stage. Some time after opening, you may find, for example, that customers of a new restaurant prefer an earlier breakfast, while customers of the first one prefer a later one; in the new location, completely different positions are more in demand than in the old one, etc.
3. How will you maintain a high level of service?
Over 70% of restaurant owners agree that staffing is one of the key challenges to success. Staff turnover and high competition between establishments for qualified employees is a huge challenge for any restaurateur.
You will need to find and hire people who would provide the same high level of service in the second restaurant that you established in your first establishment. The advance recruitment and training of personnel for a new restaurant in an existing one, as well as a well-thought-out personnel management system, will help to solve this problem.
"Scale" is not equal to "Copy"
Often in the restaurant business, a successful chain is not a chain at all, but a “family” of establishments. Created by one team, versatile, with different flavors and often concepts adapted depending on the location. The only thing that unites such establishments is a consistently high level of service and quality of food.