Reported by foodem.com, the online wholesale food marketplace-
There is nothing easy about running a business. It can be an extremely difficult task. Running a successful business, by contrast, can be nearly impossible to do, especially in an environment where failure is more of a guarantee than success. Before anything else can be said here we need a little disclaimer. There is no real one guarantee for success and anybody who tells you their one secret for success is a sure thing is trying to sell you something. That being said, it never hurts to listen to advice and observe, and my favorite places to learn from are the same places I love eating at.
Create a Unique Product
The food service industry has an interesting product, that of course being food. The demand for food being something that probably won’t go out of style anytime soon, their market is just ripe for the plucking. There is one problem though, and that is that there is no shortage of people selling food.
Think about what your city looks like. How many burger joints are there? How many Mexican or Italian restaurants? How many of them are so similar to one another that it really doesn’t matter which one you eat at?
To stand out among everyone in your field you need to offer something that is unique. When all your competitors are serving up burgers you should be the one that sells a cheeseburger with bacon. Essentially, you may be selling a product that is similar to everyone else’s, but think about what you can do to that product to make it something uniquely yours.
Accept Criticism and Use it
Are your customers happy with the way you do business? When was the last time you did a customer satisfaction poll? Restaurants are quite familiar with whether or not someone enjoyed their service, there’s an entire industry of critics whose sole purpose is to examine their service from beginning to end.
However you receive criticism, how you handle it is the most important part. When a food critic posts a scathing review a good restaurant reads it, addresses the problems, and works to correct it. They do not respond to a negative customer review posted online by referring to the review as “an idiot”. The only thing this does is make your business look like a jerk.
Prepare Ahead of Time
Before any restaurant heads into their big meal times, such as before their lunch or dinner shifts, everyone in the restaurant is getting ready. The chef and cooks are in the kitchen preparing everything they need to cook the meals for the night; they’re chopping onions, seasoning steaks, and portioning sauces. The serving staff are preparing the dining room, setting silverware and dinnerware on the tables, and learning the menu and specials for the night. Time is spent organizing, planning, and directing so that when the dinner service hits full force everyone is as ready as they can be.
It is scary how often the employees of a business can be unprepared for what happens. Train your workers and be ready for any contingency. Truthfully you can’t be prepared for everything, and something is going to happen at some point that no amount of training could prepare you to handle, but being prepared for something is better than being prepared for nothing. Such as when the coffee runs out, hopefully everybody knows what the emergency plan is in that tragic situation.
Foster Community Not Competition
How dirty does the competition get in your field? Is there a lot of negativity in that competition? How do your customers see that competition is it affecting the way they see your business and how you operate?
At one of my favorite hangouts there are pictures hung up near the front entrance. They display how the restaurant is involved in the local community; they sponsor a little league team, contribute to a local homeless shelter, and are constantly involved in activities that promote other businesses in their industry. This restaurant operates as part of the community that they live in and involves themselves regularly with other business in the service industry.
It might seem like an odd strategy, working with your competition, but the community sees all the business operating like this and enjoys the friendly nature that they are promoting.
There is no guarantee for success in any industry and no secret to achieving it either. Success in any field requires that you are aware of your competition, that you know what they are doing, that you observe how both you and your competitors are operating, and that you are willing to change to succeed.
Cassie Corbett is a writer, nutritionist, and culinary enthusiast with the cookware suppliers at World Kitchen.