Thousands of new restaurants open each year in the United States. Running a business can be exciting and fulfilling in many ways. But before you go opening your own, you need to understand some of the responsibilities and risks that come with food service. There are many upsides, but you also need to look at the negative aspects, which we will discuss further in this article.
The Pros of Running a Restaurant
For many, owning a business is their dream, and for a good reason. A successful restaurant will bring prosperity to your family and can be passed down through generations.
Restaurants Will Always be in Demand
Regardless of what’s going on in the world, one thing’s for sure: people like to eat! People also need to get out of the house sometimes. Plus, not everyone wants to cook, nor do they always know how. After a long day of work, many opt to eat out instead of making dinner at home, which is great for your pockets.
You’re the Boss
One of the most rewarding parts of running your own business is that you’re in charge of everything. It may sound a bit daunting and overwhelming at first, but it’s well worth the hard work at the end of the day. You have complete, creative control over your restaurant, and you get to run things your way. Your working hours are your choice, as well as the menu, the staff you hire, and even the amount you charge for food.
Every Day is Different
Running a restaurant is an exciting prospect if a standard job bores you to tears. One day you might be behind the scenes cooking meals for customers. Next, you might be doing your best to provide exceptional customer service front and center. And you may spend others in the office tackling administrative tasks. Each day presents a unique challenge when it comes to customers, specials, and shift changes.
You Can Give Back to Your Community
An overlooked benefit of running a restaurant is the chance to give back to your community. Owning your own business makes it much easier to give back since you have the means to do so. Also, the community values companies that give back or at least try to. For example, consider a fundraiser for the middle school softball team, donating to the local shelter, and organizing charitable events throughout the year. Showing your community that you care will encourage them to visit your restaurant more frequently.
The Cons of Running a Restaurant
While there are many pros to owning a restaurant, negative aspects can pressure a new entrepreneur. If you start a business blindly, a lot of stress can arise and negatively impact your life. Here are some of the cons of running a restaurant that you may not have considered initially.
The First Year of Business is Often Rough
“Nine out of ten businesses fail within the first year of operation!”
We have all heard of this statement before, and sadly there’s some truth to it. Running a restaurant is not for the weak-hearted, and during the first year in business, you’re going to run into many challenges. You shouldn’t expect high profitability right away. It takes time to build your restaurant to its fullest potential. So, it’s going to be rough for a bit, and you need to be willing to have to ride it out to be successful.
It can be Difficult to Find Good Staff
As a business owner, you want to give everyone a chance. Still, it can be hard to find staff dedicated to providing exceptional customer service in a restaurant. Some people just aren’t cut out to be waitresses, cooks, or bartenders. They must be willing to be friendly to demanding customers, even when they’re not in the mood to do so.
There will be times when the person you hire is not cut out for this line of work, and you’ll have to let them go. Firing someone can be challenging, but it’s part of the job. But when you find the perfect employees for your restaurant, make sure to treat them well, so they stay.
The Competition is High
You might think your only competition is the other restaurant across the street when you first start. Keep in mind that local restaurants are not your only competition. Some will also come from large and established chains, like Waffle House and Steak n’ Shake.
On top of that, you’ll have to compete with restaurants that use Uber eats or DoorDash. The ones that use third-party delivery systems gain more customers and increase their sales this way. There is a massive market for people who would rather stay home but don’t feel like cooking, especially right now. And while these systems charge a hefty commission fee, offering delivery is wise if you decide to open a restaurant.
You’ll Have to Deal with Unexpected Problems
The Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 forced many restaurant owners to close their establishments. It’s been hard, and the delivery option was one thing that saved many businesses from shutting their doors for good. So while none of us could have prepared for the devastation that the coronavirus brought down on the world, we’re better prepared if it happens again in the future.
Of course, there are so many other potential issues that could arise when running a restaurant. What if an employee suddenly quits or there aren’t enough supplies for the special of the day? What if there’s a fire or flood? Do you have restaurant insurance to cover these unforeseen damages? It’s essential to have protections set in place to ensure you can get your business back on its feet in the event of a tragedy.
So, Do you Still Want to Run a Restaurant?
Take some of these pros and cons into consideration before you jump into the world of starting a business. A restaurant is well worth the investment, but you must be prepared for all it entails. If you’re confident in your skills as an entrepreneur, you’re already one step ahead. And as scary as it may be, taking that leap out of your comfort zone is the only way to achieve your dreams.