A lot of people dream of owning and running a successful restaurant business in Dubai. After all, successful hospitality companies in the city are enjoying a steady flow of revenue every month, thanks to the continuous flow of diners and industry stability. While you might be dreaming of running your own successful restaurant in the near future, it is important to ask whether you have what it takes to actualise this dream. In fact, the statistics have not been so encouraging. However, with proper planning and management, you can easily be among the 20% of restaurants that never go out of business. Here are some steps that can help budding owners start a successful restaurant business in Dubai.
12 Steps to a Successful Restaurant Business
Opening a restaurant may be an easy task but operating a successful restaurant will cost you a lot more in terms of financial, knowledge and human resource. With these steps, you can be on your way to having a successful restaurant business.
1. Conduct a feasibility study
Having a successful hospitality business in Dubai is not simply a matter of getting resources and opening up shop in a prime location. A feasibility study is important since it will help confirm that your idea is valid. For example, you might want to have a gourmet restaurant and a feasibility study will help you ascertain whether your local area needs an additional gourmet restaurant. The study will also help you point out other possible ideas that you may have not thought of when drawing up your plan.
Companies offering hospitality consultancy in Dubai will help you with a feasibility study before you get too deep and realise that your idea was impractical. While this is likely to cost you, it may help you save a lot of cash in the future.
2. Concept development
A restaurant concept is simply a theme or the overall idea that defines the type of restaurant that you want to run. It is easy to think that all restaurant ideas have been explored in the hospitality sector but you will be shocked at the new ideas that you can get. A good concept plan should offer you a fresh yet effective idea that can be easily turned into reality. It is worth noting that a great concept should adhere to your quality expectations while also fitting your clients’ preferences with regards to location, customer service and even type of menu.
How do you create a perfect concept development plan? Well, it is important to study your target market, assess your clients and potential competitors, prepare a plan and finally draft the final report. This will ensure that the concept plan you draw is practical and can be easily implemented.
3. Write a business plan
A comprehensive business plan may not seem like a priority but it will come in handy later. It will help you to reach out to potential investors or even get restaurant loans when you badly need them. A good business plan also helps you to develop your business strategy while using the information you received from your feasibility study.
What are the main things you should include in your business plan? The primary components include an executive summary, company or restaurant overview, a market analysis report, unique business offerings, management structure, marketing and finally your future financial projections. Drawing up a business plan may not be easy if you do not have prior experience but you can easily outsource this from competent restaurant consulting firms.
4. Build a strong brand
The third step to having a successful restaurant is creating a strong brand. It is impossible to downplay the importance of having a strong brand in the contemporary business market. Your brand can be compared to your voice in the market. It will help your clients understand your story, what your business stands for and the objectives of your restaurant. Customers want to feel part of your business and developing a strong brand that they can relate to can be a great way to achieve this.
Other benefits of having a strong brand include having a competitive edge in the market, better customer recognition, enhanced customer loyalty and the ability to introduce new products. It is not necessary for you to be good at branding as you can easily get good branding services from reputable F&B consultants in Dubai. These services include designing your logo, graphic design for your signage, developing attractive menus and even business cards among others.
5. Get a suitable location
Location is one of the most important factors that contribute to the success of a business. While most people know the value of a great location, many restaurant owners underestimate what a great location can do for their business. It is extremely important that an entrepreneur chooses a great location before they can invest in a restaurant.
What are some of the crucial things that you need to consider when choosing a location? Parking is very important. A restaurant should have its own parking spot but if this is impossible, then they need to partner with a hotel or establishment that has one. Accessibility is also vital. The main reason why most restaurants are close to highway exits is to make them accessible. Places that are so accessible will not only have plenty of foot traffic but will also be visible to others.
Lastly, the base population is also important when choosing a suitable location. Are there enough people to support your niche restaurant? Does your main target market reside in the area you want to set up shop? Asking yourself these questions and answering them honestly can help you have a better chance of running a successful establishment.
6. Create a cool ambience with stunning interior décor
A common mistake that people make when starting their dream hospitality brand in Dubai is setting up their premises then realising the importance of interior design. Unlike other types of businesses, the type of design that you adopt in a restaurant such as the kitchen layout will affect how you carry out your business. For example, a great kitchen layout will improve the quality of food, customer service and even the performance of your employees.
A well-designed premise should create enough space for storage, cooking, dining experience and even accommodate other services on site. Furthermore, the design will also affect the workflow and should ensure that your restaurants comply with the local health and construction regulations.
Creating the perfect ambience and interior décor may seem like an overwhelming task but you do not have to do it alone. Getting the services of commercial kitchen consultants in Dubai is a great idea for those who wish to impress their clients with contemporary or special designs.
7. Adopt good human resource management practices
Staffing is both a crucial and complex job since one mistake in the recruitment of employees may spell doom for the entire business. While this may seem like an exaggeration of sorts, you are unlikely to know how important staffing is until you open that first outlet.
Like a trendy restaurant, you will always have to ensure that you are in tune with the shifting preferences and trend in the hospitality market in Dubai. However, one thing that should always remain constant is your good staffing practices if you wish to operate a successful restaurant. Just how important is staffing to your potential restaurant? Well, good HR practices will help you meet your employees’ needs, help you maximise profits and even reduce any unnecessary costs.
A common problem that many restaurants face is also a high staff turnover rate but this can be reduced if you can ensure that you choose the best employees and motivate them regularly. Other important factors to consider include the wages you offer, working environment, staff morale, and even your operational needs. Your employees will be happy to work for your brand and be satisfied if you show them that you care about their welfare.
8. Do not forget the accounting
Your passion for making sumptuous meals may be enough to start a restaurant but you will need to adopt proper bookkeeping practices. This sounds quite difficult but it’s actually easy once you know what you need to record and how to do it. Accounting for restaurants is not much different from standard accounting practices such as the use of P&L statements, cash flow reports and similar costing methods like other industries. But what do you need to know? It is first crucial for you to establish the accounting method that you will use. A restaurant can choose to either adopt the cash or the accrual method.
It is also important to know and track every expense that you incur. You can lump your expenses into two primary categories, which include the prime cost and fixed costs. Prime costs will be the main expenses that your restaurant incurs such as purchasing food ingredients, paying staff, buying beverages, taxes filed and other benefits offered. Fixed costs are those that rarely change or those that you have little control over. A successful restaurant should always strive to monitor their prime costs and cut costs to increase its profitability.
9. Streamline your operations
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a novice restaurant owner is failing to put systems in place for all your operations. The successful restaurant brands in Dubai develop efficient systems that help them to create demand for their services, hold on to their employees and make money at the same time. The first few steps that you need to take is hiring a great chef, building an awesome concept and finding a great location. After setting up your restaurant, you need to ensure that all the operations work well.
Although many people believe that having an organisation in your restaurant will kill creativity in your establishment, successful brands have shown the contrary. In fact, putting outstanding systems in your restaurant allows you the freedom to be unique and creative.
10. Adopt central purchasing
Getting supplies and inventory is not always a walk in the park. This is especially true if you have a chain of restaurants and need to maintain the same quality standards in each of the outlets. It is vital that you get a reliable supplier that will promptly deliver any equipment or ingredient that you need. They not only need to ensure that they offer high-quality products but do so at a reasonable price. The prices also need to be stable to ensure that you can maintain the success of your restaurant. A good option is to get a wholesale restaurant supplier who can get you what you need in one place. Be sure to select a supplier with a good customer service who can help you in case any challenges arise.
11. Advertise your new restaurant even before opening
It is important that you advertise your new restaurant even before you open doors to your first customers. Why? First, any prospective customer should be able to access any information that they have about you even if it is basic. Secondly, you should create a marketing campaign that makes them enthusiastic or excited about trying your fresh new eatery. How can you create this?
- Use social media – Create an Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account to get the word out about your new restaurant. You can also use photos and other descriptions to communicate your brand identity but be sure to use high-quality photos.
- Design a stylish website- A website is a good way to showcase your brand and offer basic information. The website should allow easy navigation while also representing your brand. Remember to include your location, contact details, working hours and even your menu.
- Put up various ads- There are a lot of avenues to create ads in the contemporary world. You can use this chance to give more information about your business to your clients. An alternative is to get a featured story in your local dailies.
12. Choose to host a soft opening or a grand opening
A grand opening is a great way to create some buzz around your restaurant. How do you achieve this? Simply host other events as you open your restaurant to your first diners. This can be a wine tasting event, live music band, or even themed menus. A grand opening can be limited to a small number of people and will help others to discover your brand. Writing a press release about your grand opening is also a great way to advertise your business and declare it open to the masses.
Alternatively, you can go with a soft opening which is a test run strategy where you host a soft opening for a limited number of customers. This will allow you to take note of various aspects of the restaurants and become more efficient. Here are some strategies for your soft opening;
- Open your doors for neighbouring homes and even enterprises.
- Host a ‘soft’ happy hour for selected drinks and signature foods.
- Offer a friend’s and family dinner to help train your staff.
Why You Need Hospitality Consultancy in Dubai?
As highlighted above, there are many steps that you will have to take if you wish to establish a successful restaurant business in the UAE. Many of these steps will be done before opening your restaurant though there is also a need for post-opening services. For example, you will need to select a great chef, the perfect location and a great concept. All this is necessary before you start to ensure that your idea is even viable. On the other hand, you will have to ensure that you hire the right staff, properly account your expenses and streamline your operations after you open your doors. Staffing is also extremely important in the restaurant business and you need a hospitality consultancy service to help you get the best employees.
Setting up your restaurant is not only expensive but it is also time-consuming. Furthermore, it will distract you from the main objective of your restaurant, which is to create some awesome food. With a reputable restaurant or F&B consultant in the UAE such as Glee Hospitality, you will no longer need to run around looking to ensure that everything is perfect. We offer a wide range of services, which enables you to focus on making the best food while we help you set up your restaurant. These simple steps can help you to start a successful restaurant business in Dubai even if you do not have all the experiences and expertise required.
Do you need help in starting a successful restaurant business in Dubai? Glee hospitality will help you to start and run your new diner. With extensive knowledge of the Gulf region and years of experience working as a restaurant consultant, you can rest assured that your restaurant will be in good hands. Contact us today to enquire about our services.