If your restaurant business is booming, bookings and sales are increasing, your staff seems to enjoy their job, and your customers are happy with the service, opening up a new location sounds like a logical next step. However, expanding a business comes with unique challenges and setbacks, which is why it always pays to be prepared. To that end, here are some of the best methods for expanding a restaurant business that will ensure your new location is a success as well:
Select the right location
Choosing the right location for your second restaurant will be key to success, so make sure to do enough research before the expansion. Consider the competition in each area, how existing restaurants are doing, whether the concept will be unique there, and whether the area fits your target audience. Once you select the right location, ensure the potential building you choose is visible, accessible, and able to get enough foot traffic. These aspects can truly make or break the success of your restaurant expansion.
Write a new business plan
As you likely already have a successful business plan for your existing restaurant, writing a new one won’t be an issue. While some aspects like accounting and human resources might remain the same, other factors will need to be changed in order to fit the new market, such as the target audience, market overview, competitive analysis, and financial plan. During this process, you could also focus on the smaller aspects of the business like the branding, designs, and menus, as they might need to be adjusted according to different demographics and tastes as well.
Invest in new equipment
Guests will expect consistency and the same quality in each location, which is why it’s recommended to invest in high-quality equipment needed for delivering the best customer experiences. For instance, you could opt for an efficient wok burner that will provide you with enough versatility to meet all of your kitchen needs, while delivering the same food quality your customers are used to. Restaurant technology such as recipe viewers and kitchen display systems are advised as well, for ensuring the same standards of service in each location.
Hire the right staff
You can’t be present in all restaurants at once. That is why it’s essential to hire great management and staff you could fully trust with everyday operations. Good staff is surely one of the reasons why your first restaurant was successful, so evaluate their strengths and qualities, and attempt to look for the same from your new employees. You could also ask some of your old staff to come to the new location in order to train the new workers, helping to streamline the onboarding process and ensure consistency across all locations.
Market your business
Once all business processes are set in place, marketing your new restaurant will be the last step. Keep in mind that you will need a new marketing strategy for the second location, as concepts and target markets could be different as well. Updating your website with new pictures and texts, spreading the word on social media through teaser posts, and investing in an email marketing campaign can all be efficient yet affordable tactics for advertising the new restaurant. Don’t overlook the impact of traditional strategies such as media outreach and soft opening events either, as they are still quite important for restaurant marketing success.
Expanding a restaurant business is a challenging endeavor that might feel like starting from scratch all over again. But with enough research, preparation, and some efficient tactics in place, you are bound to reach success.