One of the most complicated tasks as a restaurant owner is how to scale your restaurant.
Successfully scaling a business takes the proper alignment and execution of a lot of moving parts, and this transitioning can often be the crux of a business’s growth strategy.
Below, we look at some of the fundamental aspects of scaling a business and address critical questions that need to be assessed when scaling your restaurant. The next marketing strategy to add to your action plan.
What’s Your Endgame?
Tim Ferris, in a one-on-one interview, with Entrepreneur magazine stressed “the importance of understanding the ultimate goal for your business…It’s only when you’re clear on your destination that you can plan a scale strategy to get there. For example, building a company to sell requires a different approach to growing a business that supports a lifestyle.”
Be clear on your end goal and what you’re trying to create to construct a focused and effective scaling strategy. So, before you take action in scaling your business, the first question that needs to be answered is “to what end?”
Is Your Business Ready?
Once you’ve established an endgame for your business, it’s time to figure out whether or not you are ready to scale.
Here are some critical questions to help you clarify if you are indeed ready to scale your restaurant.
- Demand (does the restaurant have long wait lists on the busiest nights?)
- Have you built a large number of loyal customers?
- Do you have positive cash-flow?
- Do you have access to the core components you need to grow quickly?
- Does the restaurant show signs of sustainability? Is it a fad or will it still be popular in 5-10 years?
- Do you have the right expertise within the company to help you expand?
- Are you emotionally equipped to deal with the stress and challenge involved in developing a restaurant brand?
- Will you still be able to maintain the quality of food and service as you grow?
Your success is going to rely on your ability to objectively answer these questions. If, and when, you feel confident that you are ready to scale, it’ll be time to start strategizing your action plan.
One of the first actions you can take to greatly help you make the first step is collecting feedback from customers.
“Erik Metzdorf, Owner of Metzy’s Taqueria in Newburyport, MA, did just that. He told us, “We rarely do boosted or promoted posts on Facebook, but we did when we asked people what they thought of us opening up in the space we’re in now. And this was long before we signed the lease. It was our single biggest Facebook hit to date, with thousands of responses. Asking questions and doing what you can to listen to your customers and community and incorporating their feedback into your plan is so important.”
Collecting feedback from your community will help you solidify exactly what your customers want.
Growing Your Business
Once you feel that your restaurant ready to scale, you simply need to get it done. This step is going to require two things: money and experience.
“…figure out whether you need to bootstrap, hire advisors or build relationships with outside parties to get to the next stage of growth.”
Whenever you are trying to level up your success in any area of your life, one of the simplest ways to figuring it out for yourself is spending time with people that have successfully achieved the results you’re looking for – meet with them to gain value from their insights. This will save you tremendous amounts of time, and the importance of mentors and advisors in this regard cannot be understated.
Solving the Cash Problem
No matter what route you end up taking to grow your business, it’s going to take capital. And in most cases, it’s going to be capital you don’t have. Solving this cash problem is difficult, but also the most fundamental to your success.
Here you can find a number of solutions to your cash problems.
However you decide to fund your project, be sure you’ve explored all possible avenues before settling on what’s best for you and your restaurant.