Female restaurant owners may face a different set of challenges that their male counterparts may not face. Nevertheless, with careful planning and smart execution, they can run a successful restaurant business.
In an industry with a high failure rate, here are some golden tips female restaurant owners can follow to keep their business thriving and run a successful restaurant.
1. Find your USP and have a clear vision:
Customers need a robust reason to visit your restaurant, repeat their visits, or even tell their friends about your restaurant. You need to find a strong USP- Unique selling proposition- that draws customers to your restaurant. A solid USP might be hiring a star chef, offering appealing prices, having a signature dish, being eco-friendly, or establishing an outstanding theme through the menu, interiors & staff uniform.
In addition, you need to have a clear vision that boosts your dream and passion for running your own restaurant. A clear vision can help you handle challenges and tolerate obstacles like bad customers, flaky employees, or greedy food suppliers. You shall always remember what you dreamed of and what you wanted to achieve. This comprises budget goals and core values.
2. Make Sure that You are Ready to Run your own Restaurant:
Owning a restaurant requires a lot of work. It needs you to be as flexible and nimble as you could be. You need to lead your team since running a restaurant requires doing several jobs from chef, to bookkeeper, to HR director, to a marketing manager, to accountant. You shall always be at the top of the business. Moreover, you need to rise up to the expectations of your employees and solve the many problems that may come up each day.
3. Improve Your Business Skills and Build a Clear Business Plan:
There are many online courses or education community classes that can help improve your business skills in many aspects such as cash flow, profit, and loss statements and other financial tools to help you make sound business decisions.
Additionally, it is very important to build a clear business plan before opening your restaurant to guide you to success. This plan involves startup costs, annual budget, and projected sales. A solid plan helps in identifying targeted customers.
You can find out more about the demographics of an area at local chambers of commerce and small business bureaus. This detailed information you can find out enables you to build a better restaurant concept.
Creating a business plan also helps you identify possible risks that you can be proactive about and pinpoint your restaurant’s position in the market. Finding out this information in the planning stages allows you time to adjust your concept if necessary, without spending any money.
4. Know When it is The Right Time to Delegate Some Tasks:
As you are excellent at multitasking, you need to be good at delegating. When business gets busy you cannot expect to do everything yourself. Although outsourcing some tasks may cost you extra money, it will save you a lot more money in the end.
You can outsource areas such as payroll processing, social media marketing, laundry services, website maintenance, and cleaning.
You shall also set clear expectations for your staff about what needs to be done during every shift in both the front and back of the house. After all, delegating some tasks will free up more time for you to focus on the bigger tasks of running a new restaurant.
5. Integrate your Restaurant with Technology:
You have to use systems. Management systems can save you a lot of money and time through helping you manage your day-to-day operations such as inventory, invoicing, staff scheduling, cash flow, and payroll. Systems also can reduce human errors and paperwork. Consider using the Lean Restaurant Management system. We, at Lean Restaurant, offer solutions designed to make your restaurant work smart by digitizing all of your Restaurant operations.
Success Stories for Kuwaiti Female Restaurant Owners:
Alqabas met successful Kuwaiti entrepreneurs, in the catering and food sector. They talked about the start of their projects, the obstacles they faced and how they overcame them, and the foundations they see needed to ensure the success of the project. They also offered their advice to those wishing to go through the experience and enter the world of “business”.
Here, we choose to talk particularly about women’s stories.
1. Khadija Salah:
Khadija Salah is the owner of Savory cuisine that is located in the Shuwaikh Market complex. Her idea initially relied on a self-learning, and thus her experience started by working for 5 years from home, drawing on her personal experience. She searched a lot for agencies that offer specialized training courses in Kuwait, and unfortunately, she did not find any. And the cost of the courses, provided by those who are recruited from abroad, is exaggerated. However, at the same time, there was appreciated the support from the state and the private sector in providing specialized project management courses.
Khadija Salah said that there are several basic points that the young Kuwaiti entrepreneur must adopt when establishing the project. She explained that choosing the appropriate location for the project is one of the most important aspects, which increases the chances of success of any small project. According to her, it also depends on the cash flow situation of the owner of the project, or the presence of a partner who helps in choosing a suitable location. She also said that an entrepreneur has to dedicate his/her full-time to the project.
When asked about the Kuwaiti society’s acceptance of the idea of working as a girl in the kitchen for her project, she replied that at the beginning of the work she thought a lot about placing a buffer between the kitchen and the place where the customers sit so that no one would see her during work. Over time, she changed her mind because many customers encouraged her work, and she got great praise from them.
2. Rawan Al-Mutawa:
Rawan Al-Mutawa is a young Kuwaiti woman who opened her own restaurant in Mubarakiya Market, joining the convoy of Kuwaiti youth who own small projects. She opened her own restaurant, serving different dishes from all parts of the world, and she started providing Italian and European food in general, alongside Shami dishes that are very popular with Kuwaitis in general.
When asked about the most important advice she directed to the young initiators who are establishing their own projects, Al-Mutawa said that the most important point is to avoid loans. She advised the project’s owners to finance their projects personally or through family support. This is because the success of the project is not guaranteed. Therefore, the project owner may fall into a real problem with his inability to repay the loan.
Women restaurant owners need to find a balance between what is best for their business and their natural sympathy for others. They also need to know that being a leader is not always a natural gift, but a skill that could be cultivated and grown over time.