The Restaurant Owner’s Survival Guide

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The restaurant business can be demanding. You might put in grueling hours, train various staff members, and work with many vendors to get your establishment up and running. It usually does get a little easier as you streamline your systems and retain employees you can trust.

But if you’re like most restaurant owners, you’ll probably never get to a place where you’ll be completely out of the picture. However, you can make sure things are done right from the beginning so that you’re not floundering to make changes.

Hone your hiring process

Hiring the right people to work for you is never easy. And unfortunately, there is no method that can ensure you quality employees who will never leave. You can, however, take measures to hone your hiring process to give you a better chance at a good outcome.

For one thing, do your best to fit a candidate’s personality with the job. And pay attention to their preferences: one employee might be more comfortable away from the crowds, cooking in the back, while another could be in his or her element as a host or hostess.

Also, take your time with each interview. Many hiring managers are too focused on the pressing issues of the business and don’t take the time to really listen and pay attention to what the candidate is saying.

In the restaurant industry, turnover rates tend to be higher. And depending on where you are located, you may not have your pick of quality candidates. But do your best to make your hiring decisions well in the beginning; this may keep you from having to rehire an entirely new crew or firing incompetent people right from the start.


Where a lot of businesses fail is in trying to be everything to everyone. But in the restaurant industry, especially, this is a risky move. If Italian food is what you do best, stick with that type of fare on your menu. And if your atmosphere is quiet and intimate, don’t feel tempted to turn it into a sports bar on Friday nights.

Stick with what you know. Make sure everyone is on the same page. And understand that there will always be a few people who won’t like what you have to offer. Instead, focus on developing relationships with regular customers who will become loyal patrons who spread the word about your restaurant because they love it.

Work with the right vendors

Since your menu is probably unique to your restaurant, you might be dealing with vendors that no one else around you deals with. The key is to make sure they’re dependable and can give you the prices you need in order to make a profit.

And the best way to find out about their business practices is to do a little online research. You can usually find reviews on the Better Business Bureau website or social media. But you can also ask around if they’ve ever worked with anyone locally.

Food vendors aren’t the only ones you’ll be working with. You’ll also have to find a quality vendor for other restaurant goods as well. And it’s a good idea to find one that offers a variety of the products you need. For example, VEGA Direct offers everything from silverware to restaurant furniture; a company like this can lead you in the right direction when it comes to physically setting up your business.

Be a good boss

There are many ways to be a good boss. And if you want to attract the best employees and keep them, you’re probably going to have to learn how. First of all, hone your communication skills. Make sure your expectations are clear, give good feedback, and listen when they talk.

Also, acknowledge good performance, treat employees with respect, and train them well. Always remember that if your employees are happy, they’ll treat the customers better. And this means more business for your restaurant.