Entrepreneurs will tell you a good business idea is scalable. It makes sense: duplicating a success will create more success, right? Well, that depends on the business, and if your business is a restaurant? Great success requires great risk.
So, before you start calling your restaurant designers and commercial contractors, make sure you’ve covered all your angles. Mull over some of the most important questions you need to ask before you decide to get into restaurant expansion and construction.
How do you know it’s time to expand your restaurant to a new location?
Ah, the big question – after all, everything following will depend on the right decision here. A successful restauranteur is rightfully proud of the accomplishment, and that can lead to overexcitement and rash decisions. Growing too fast could cause problems for the whole project because of lack of funding or the right people to make everything work.
Where’s the money coming from?
First things first: the funding for a new location should not come off the first restaurant’s back. Outside investors or personal savings, should be funding the fledgling project through restaurant construction, design, and opening until it gets off its feet, not the currently-successful venture.
Why? Because any failure in the new location could put the original at risk if all the money is tied into one bundle.
Think about it: if you start to cut costs in staffing, supplies, or restaurant renovations and upgrade, your successful restaurant to help fund an unsuccessful one, the service or quality at your first restaurant could start to suffer, costing it customers and its hard-earned reputation.
Instead, you need to make sure your business is running like a top, financially and operationally, and then let it do it’s thing without interfering with its profits. Fund the second venture separately throughout, right from the moment your restaurant contractor gets involved.
The right team on your side
And speaking of running like a top: your current location needs loyal, trusted staff and an effective general manager so it can run well without much attention from you. A new location is bound to take the lion’s share of your time and effort as you work out kinks, decide on restaurant builders and commercial designers, and market your buns off to get it started well.
Your commitment to making both places work is undeniable, but unless you’ve discovered how to clone yourself you also have limits. Your best asset will be a team that’s loyal and motivated to produce the quality and service your clientele has come to expect.
Your new location will require a well designed and constructed interior, an efficient commercial kitchen flow, and a stellar restaurant contractor and interior designer to help you realize your dream.
But above all, to success beyond the grand opening day and the first week of launch, you’ll need a crack team, too, including the right staff, a chef who’s willing to collaborate. This could be achieved by partnering and hiring the right individuals, or by working with an experienced and creative restaurant consultation firm, that can assist you and introduce you to the right contacts in the industry.
How do you know you can replicate your restaurant’s success?
So your business has gone gangbusters. Congratulations! Why do you suppose that’s so?
Have you got a top-flight menu? Do you offer a unique dining experience? It’s time to analyse exactly what your secret sauce has been. Figuring out who your customers are and what keeps them flocking back will be crucial to deciding how to do it again.
If you’re appealing to young, wealthy, investment professionals in the heart of GTA and Toronto, your same formula for success may not work out in the ‘burbs. A close look and an in-depth business plan for your new spot will establish your target audience and how to reach it through appropriate restaurant design ideas, menu items, and more.
Even if you’re going for a new vibe the next time around, keeping your best management practices will help bolster chances of success in the new effort.
Figuring out the restaurant success formula
Do you have a set of systems and processes in place for how your restaurant runs? Do you use specific inventory management methods or payment software, like CLOVER or TOUCHBISTRO? Do you do payroll a certain way each time? Check for and order supplies on specific days? Cleaning and maintenance probably have their own schedules and set methods, too.
These daily tasks may be done haphazardly now, but establishing a set of guidelines for how and when things are done will solidify and, in time, simplify daily operations exponentially. Then everybody knows and how and when things will happen, no need for questions or guesses.
Outlining systems and processes for your successful business will give you a template on how to go forward, too. Things may differ at your new spot for any number of reasons, and you can tailor your checklists accordingly.
How will this be different from opening my first restaurant?
Having a successful restaurant means you’re an expert – at that first restaurant. While you’re no beginner, don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll have all the answers going forward. Think of it as an entirely new venture, except now you have some experience.
Team up with knowledgeable chefs, restaurant consultants, restaurant & hospitality specialized designers and commercial contractors, and with experienced construction managers to decide what the new place should be.
By keeping a new location separate financially and mentally, you will be more prepared for what’s coming – a wild and exciting ride that ends in even more success for your business.
Location, location, location
When you’re deciding where to build your new successful restaurant, you’ve got an extra element to consider: where’s your old one?
Proximity between the two is a tricky balance: too far apart and you’ll spend tons of time trekking back and forth between the two. Too close and you could cause your new place to steal customers from your old one, especially if you’re targeting a similar clientele.
Your creative and experienced restaurant design team and build out commercial contractor can turn any old place into a gem, but research is key to determine that potential customers travel in the area you’re looking to inhabit.
Establishing the kind of success you have is really incredible in such a competitive sphere. It’s a great idea to capitalize on that success and expand – when you’re ready. When that time comes, make sure you contact our expert Restaurant construction team at GTA General Contractors if your project is in GTA and Ontario, or contact the restaurant design/build team at Canada Retail Group who can help in the design and construction of your new restaurant venture in major cities across Canada.