What Causes Restaurants to Fail? More Than You Think

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Whether your establishment caters to late night crowds at bar tables or wealthy individuals who enjoy fine dining, you’ll face many of the same challenges as other eateries. If you’re already in the restaurant industry, you understand how difficult it can be to become successful. There are a few mistakes, though, that can make it harder than necessary. In fact, the following blunders cause restaurants to fail more often than not.

Stay-at-Home Restaurant Owners
Many people dream of starting a corporation that can one day run on autopilot. After all, it’s unlikely that the owner of McDonald’s is in the back, flipping burgers. For most eateries, however, being an absent owner simply won’t cut it. In the end, the restaurant won’t be able to support what’s essentially dead weight.

Many restaurateurs think they can get by with hiring front and back-of-house managers, but again, this creates an atmosphere where an owner is getting paid while contributing little else. If you want your eatery to be successful, you need to be out talking to customers at the bar tables, making sure food is leaving the line right, and shutting things down at the end of the night.

These duties don’t have to be permanent, but a bit of hard work is essential.

Great Chef, Terrible Businessman
One look at the Food Network reveals a multitude of culinary experts who hope their cooking skills will result in a successful restaurant. In some cases, this is exactly what happens, but it’s important to remember that creating culinary masterpieces isn’t enough to create success. At its core, a restaurant is still a business.

What does this mean? It means finding the best deals on bar tables. It means properly managing staff. It means knowing how to handle a crisis if one arises. It’s understandable that an excellent cook might not be an expert in these things, and if this is the case, it doesn’t hurt to bring on a consultant. In fact, it wouldn’t hurt to hire a full-time employee to handle these essential business functions.

Terrible Customer Service
Yelp and other review sites are littered with the remnants of closed-down restaurants that served amazing food. Why is this? Perhaps shoddy restaurant furniture resulted in a customer injury that ended up sending the eatery into bankruptcy. A more likely scenario, however, is that the customer service at the restaurant was subpar.

It doesn’t matter if you serve the most affordable food in town or the tastiest. If your staff isn’t upholding their end of the bargain, there’s no way your eatery is going to survive. Angry customers typically result in negative online reviews, and when someone is looking up a place to eat, rest assured that they’re reading these reviews. If you want your café chairs to be consistently occupied, you have to make sure to keep your patrons happy with their experience.

A good concept, great food and perfect customer service are necessary for success, but failing in even one of these areas can result in shuttered doors. If you can avoid the aforementioned mistakes, though, you’ll be a step ahead of many of your competitors. Keeping the bar tables full on any given day is a constant struggle, so don’t make the task any more difficult than it has to be.