You have spent years dreaming, building and running your restaurant. You have a steady base of regulars, as well as plenty of new customers coming through the door. Your restaurant plays an important role in your community, and you are considering adding a second location.
While you’re already ahead of where you were when you launched your first location, jumping into a second restaurant without putting as much thought into it as you did the first can create a number of cascading problems that hurt both your reputation and your bank account.
When you decide the time is right, take care to avoid these common mistakes:
Using Minimal Research To Make A Decision
Just because you found a great deal on what seems like prime real estate or because you can lease the perfect building does not mean it’s time to launch a new location. “Research must include researching whether the new location can attract enough of a clientele,” says Andrew Freeman who heads up his own restaurant and hospitality consulting business in San Francisco. Letting opportunity instead of careful evaluation choose where you open your second restaurant often leads to the new location cannibalizing the original, hurting your bottom line.
Not Considering A Strategy To Promote Your New Location
How will you promote your new location to the neighborhood? As noted in Entrepreneur, you’ll want to “confirm objectively what you believe you already know,” about the neighborhood rather than committing to a new location based on preconceived notions. Will you be near non-competitive shops that can drive foot traffic through your doors? Every community is different, so assuming a carbon copy approach to promoting your new location is a mistake. Try participating in community events where you can discover what’s worked for other business owners.
Hiring The Wrong Team
As a restaurant owner of multiple locations your staff will be twice as big. Part of your responsibility will be to hire a management team you can trust to handle the day-to-day at the new location. Promoting from within is optimal but take care not to spread your best employees too thin trying to cover both locations. The key is to avoid an understaffed restaurant while retaining your top talent.
Not Organizing Your Restaurant Operations
Developing routines for every employee role will not only increase the likelihood customers will come back, but also make your new location easier to manage.It’s been said that the two most important factors of any business are consistency and predictability. Without a system, it’s almost impossible for employees to create a consistent customer experience. Can any cook walk into your kitchen and cook up your restaurant’s signature burger? Efficient routines are the bread and butter of a successful multi-location restaurants.