restaurant rules

Restaurant Rules - Guidelines for a Smooth Dining Visit

10 Nov 2023

Hey there, fellow restaurateurs! We all know running a restaurant isn't just about creating scrumptious meals and offering a memorable dining experience. There's so much more that goes into the business of gastronomy. So, grab a cup of coffee, sit back, and let's delve into the restaurant rules that will set the stage for your eatery's triumph in the food service industry.

Rule #1 - Understand your target audience 🎯

Alright, let's dive a little deeper into understanding your target market, shall we? It's like hosting a dinner party - you wouldn't serve the same food to your spicy-loving friends as you would to your health-conscious relatives, would you?

Now, imagine your restaurant as that ongoing dinner party. The more you know your guests (in this case, your target customers), the better you can cater to their tastes. Start by asking yourself: who are my ideal patrons? Are they university students looking for a quick bite? Couples seeking a romantic dining experience? Or maybe families wanting a kid-friendly menu?

Once you've figured that out, everything from your menu selections, décor, even your hours of operation, should all be designed with this 'guest list' in mind. However - remember to regularly research into your target audience - it may change over time or their tastes may alter too. It’s essential that you notice these as early as possible, so you can adapt your restaurant.

And that, my friends, is the art of understanding your target market. Keep your guests happy, and they'll keep coming back for more!

Check our blog to learn further about how to define your restaurant target audience.

Rule #2 - Stay updated with the regulations and trends in the restaurant industry📈⚖️

If there's one thing we all know about the restaurant business, it's that it's forever evolving. Staying on top of industry trends and regulations isn't just a "nice to do" - it's a "must-do" to keep your restaurant thriving. So, buckle up, and let's get into this!

Restaurant trends

Firstly, the food world is a melting pot of trends. One minute it's avocado toast, the next it's plant-based burgers. Staying abreast of these restaurant trends and adjusting your menu accordingly can set you apart from the crowd. Read industry magazines, follow food blogs, and watch what successful restaurateurs are doing. But remember, not all trends will suit your clientele or concept - so choose wisely.

What's hot right now: let's not forget about sustainability and social responsibility. More and more, consumers want to support businesses that care about the environment and community. Does your restaurant minimize waste? Source locally? Participate in community events? Make sure you put these measures in place, and then talk about it on your website and social media!

Restaurant regulations

Restaurant owners have to comply with numerous regulations. These can range from occupational safety and health standards, which protect employees from workplace hazards, to labor laws like the Fair Labor Standards Act, which covers minimum wage, overtime pay, and youth employment.

Liquor licensing laws must also be adhered to if you're serving alcohol. Tax laws are crucial too; restaurants must properly report earnings, payroll, and tips.

Additionally, ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance is essential to ensure your establishment is accessible to all patrons. Depending on your location, there may also be local laws and state-specific regulations you need to follow. Navigating these laws can be complex, but it's an essential part of running a successful, legal, and safe restaurant.

So, stay informed and vigilant. Subscribe to industry newsletters, become a part of restaurant associations, and seek professional advice when necessary. It's all part of creating an environment that is not just successful and compliant, but also safe and respectful for your employees. After all, a well-trained and knowledgeable team is the backbone of any thriving restaurant.

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Rule #3 - Food safety in your small business 🕮

Food safety is like the secret recipe in your kitchen, ensuring that every plate you serve is not only delicious but safe too. It's the magic behind those rave reviews and repeat customers.

So, where do we start? Well, every culinary journey into food safety begins with understanding health codes. Health codes are your golden rules - guiding you on everything from food storage temperatures and sanitation practices to pest control and employee hygiene. Sure, they may seem daunting at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's as natural as prepping your signature dish!

Now, we can't talk about health administration without mentioning proper training. After all, a rule is only as good as its implementation, right?

This is where a food safety course comes in. Encouraging your restaurant staff to complete one is like giving them their very own recipe for success. They learn the importance of each health code, how to comply with them, and even how to identify and resolve potential issues. It's not just about avoiding food borne illnesses (although that's a big part!), but also about building a culture of safety and accountability in your restaurant.

Remember that time you had to toss out a whole batch of ingredients because they weren't stored properly? Or that day when you had to deal with a customer's complaint about food poisoning? Those are situations we all want to avoid, right? Proper safe food handling practices ensure those moments become a thing of the past.

Keeping up with food safety standards isn't just about meeting legal requirements. It's about showing your customers you care about their health, and it's about ensuring your restaurant is a place people trust and come back to. So, don't let food safety be an afterthought - make it the main ingredient in your restaurant's recipe for success!.

Rule #4 - Providing exceptional customer service in restaurants🙋🏻

Let's chat a bit about the heart and soul of any successful restaurant – exceptional customer service. It's more than just a friendly smile or a polite "thank you". It's about making each customer feel valued, special, and, most importantly, eager to come back for more.

Think about it. You might serve the most exquisite caviar or the finest steak, but if your service is subpar, it leaves a sour taste. So, make sure your restaurant efficiency is enhanced through innovative tools such as a kitchen display system to speed up waiting times.

In addition, a welcoming atmosphere, attentive service, and a team that goes the extra mile can turn even a simple meal into an unforgettable restaurant dining experience.

Invest in your restaurant employees, provide them with the proper training, and foster an environment that values exceptional service. Teach them to listen and empathize with the customers, because their feedback is gold. Whether it's a complaint about a cold soup or a compliment on your new dessert, every interaction is a chance to learn and improve.

And remember, in this digital age, excellent service also extends online. Respond to online reviews, engage with customers on social media, and ensure your online booking process is as smooth as your espresso!

In short, make exceptional restaurant customer service the secret sauce that sets your food service apart. It's an investment that always pays off!

Rule #5 - Restaurant location strategy📍

Okay - so this rule is so important for those just starting their restaurant business, or looking to expand. Because the perfect location could be the difference between your restaurant being the talk of the town or just another spot on the map.

You see, picking the right spot isn't just about getting the most foot traffic. It's about finding the place where your target customers are most likely to frequent. That chic bistro restaurant concept might be a big hit in a bustling city center but in a sleepy suburb? Maybe not as much.

Consider the logistics, too. Is there ample parking? How about public transportation? And let's not forget about the competition – are there similar restaurants nearby? Being near them could mean a shared customer base, but it could also mean fiercer competition.

Don't forget, the right location extends beyond just the physical. In today's digital age, a strong online presence can bring in as many customers as a prime street location. So, whether it's choosing the perfect street corner or the perfect social media strategy, remember that with the right location, the world is your oyster (or your lobster, or your tiramisu… you get the point!).

For a complete guide, read more on how to create the perfect location strategy for your restaurant to explore each factor in more depth.

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Rule #6 - Perfect your restaurant pricing 💲

Figuring out the perfect price for your dishes is like seasoning a gourmet meal—it needs a delicate balance.

Now, you might be thinking, "Why not just set a price that covers my costs and gives me a profit?" Well, that's a start, but there's more to the story. You see, your prices tell your customers a lot about your restaurant. Are you a budget-friendly family diner or a high-end gourmet destination? Your prices set the tone.

Moreover, restaurant pricing isn't just about covering costs and making profits. It's also about understanding your customer's perceived value. It's all well and good to have a $50 steak on your menu, but if your customers don't see the value in it, they're unlikely to order it.

And of course, it's crucial to consider your target market and competition. What are customers willing to pay for a meal in your area? What are similar restaurants charging? These factors play a massive role in determining your prices.

Also, remember, your pricing strategy might need to change over time. Factors like changes in food costs, shifts in customer demographics, and economic fluctuations can all influence your pricing. So, it's essential to keep a close eye on your prices and adjust as necessary.

In short, perfecting your restaurant pricing is an art. But when done right, it's a delicious blend of cost-covering, profit-making, value-adding, and market-awareness that will keep your customers coming back for more, and your bottom line happy. Just remember to taste and adjust, just like you would with your favorite recipes.

Rule #7 - Embrace innovative restaurant technology in your small business 🤖

Let's take a moment to chat about a rule that's becoming more and more crucial in the restaurant industry: embracing technology. Now, we know what you might be thinking, "I'm in the business of food, not tech." But trust us, in today's digital age, technology is the secret ingredient to running a successful restaurant.

Take your POS (Point of Sale) system, for instance. A good restaurant POS system does more than just process payments. It can help manage inventory, track sales trends, and even simplify employee scheduling. It's like having a virtual manager who never sleeps!

Then there's the world of online ordering and delivery apps. With more and more customers opting for the convenience of eating restaurant-quality food in their own homes, these platforms can bring your culinary creations to a much wider audience. And let's not forget about social media - platforms like Instagram and Facebook aren't just for posting mouthwatering food photos. They can be powerful tools for engaging with your customers, promoting special deals, and even handling reservations.

But technology isn't just for the front of the house. Innovations like smart kitchen appliances can help streamline your kitchen operations, ensuring your food is consistently high-quality and reducing food waste.

Remember, embracing technology isn't about having the latest gadgets for the sake of it. It's about choosing the right tools that enhance your operations, improve customer experiences, and give you an edge in a competitive market. So don't be afraid to get a little 'techie' in your restaurant. It's the way of the future, and it's a future full of potential for your restaurant.

Top tip: We encourage you to explore our range of integrations such as Epos Order & Pay or read more about the most commonly used restaurant apps in the food service industry to stay updated!

Final thoughts on the rules your restaurant should stay compliant

There you have it! These top restaurant rules are your ingredients for running a successful restaurant. However, remember that like in any recipe, it's how you mix these ingredients that will create a delightful result. Good luck on your restaurant journey, and may your tables always be full!


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