11 Helpful tips for running a restaurant from successful restaurants’ experts

June 10, 2019


Running a restaurant might be very risky and comes with many challenges. Accordingly, we collect for you 11 helpful tips for running a restaurant from successful restaurants’ experts, to help you manage your restaurant’s operations effectively.

1- Carefully, write your menu:

Menu selections should reflect your establishment’s theme consistently (i.e., no herbed couscous at a pizza parlor), and you should create signature menu items that set you apart from the competition.

Expert: Randy Smith, president of Bottomline Hospitality Group


2- Pricing menu is an art:

Pricing menu items is an art unto itself. Your prices should reflect everything from food costs to labor (both prep staff and servers) and overhead (i.e., utilities).

Expert: Randy Smith, president of Bottomline Hospitality Group


3- Manage your profit margin:

You should build in a profit margin of at least 10 percent to 15 percent to make sure the business is on a firm footing for future growth.

Expert: Randy Smith, president of Bottomline Hospitality Group


4- Customers Satisfaction:

“It’s better to make sure everyone who comes in leaves happy–that’s your best advertising.”

Expert: Randy Smith, president of Bottomline Hospitality Group


5- Be passionate:

“This business is a highly competitive grind. So if you’re not passionate about it down to your core, you won’t make it. You also have to make others buy into your vision and make them want to be part of something great. Those things, coupled with integrity and a really strong work ethic, are the keys to success.”

Expert: Randy Smith, president of Bottomline Hospitality Group


6- Compete on the quality:

“Don’t give up. Be persistent. You have to compete on the quality, because [big businesses] can’t mass-produce [that]. That’s what sets us apart.”

Expert: Sheila McCann, founder of House of Bread


7- Always have a plan:

“You can usually overcome a couple of nuances or a couple of wrinkles, but you can’t overcome a lot of them. So having a plan where there are fewer unforeseen challenges is the way to go.”

Expert: Adam Willner, founder of Zao Noodle Bar


8- Inspire your employees:

“You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management. That’s the contract.”

Expert: Howard Schultz of Starbucks


9- Understand your customers:

“We began training our staff to be keenly observant and sensitive to guests’ words and behavior—especially to body language.”

Consider personalizing the customer experience at your restaurant.

Expert: Patrick O’Connell of The Inn at Little Washington


10- Invest in an existing restaurant space:

“Moving into an existing restaurant space that failed for reasons other than location can cost far less than building from scratch. Closed restaurant spaces already have water and plumbing lines in place; built-out kitchen, dining, and restroom areas; and oftentimes already contain equipment like walk-ins and vents. Going this route, much of the heavy lifting is already done for you on the previous owner’s nickel. You just need to apply your concept to the space.”

Expert: Glenn D. Cordua Cruz, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston & Co-Founder of the Cordua Family Restaurants


11- Little things can make a big difference:

“The little things matter and they can make a big difference. Shrink your portion sizes and serve food on smaller plates, so the size of your meals don’t look like they’ve changed. As well, train your staff to upsell more effectively. Ask them to switch their wording from, ‘Would you like dessert?’ to ‘Our chef just made some fresh apple crisp, which is so good with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel sauce. Would you like to try a slice?’”

Expert: Damon, 15 Years of Restaurant Experience