Five Mistakes Restaurant Owners Should Never Make

There are so many different things that can go wrong in a restaurant business.

It could be the littlest thing that causes the downfall of an entire business. It happens to so many restaurants.

Perhaps you run out of a certain item one night, and the crowd’s clamoring for it and you receive a handful of negative reviews tarnishing your online reputation. That’s not good for business. Sometimes, though, the mistakes restaurant owners are making are so minor that they don’t see what’s happening right in front of them … until it’s major. Also known as the silent killers of restaurants.

 Pay close attention. It’s critical that you make sure your customers not only receive good food but a great experience.

Let’s go over the top five worst mistakes restaurant owners commonly make.

Mistake #1: Not Communicating the Long-Term Vision of Your Establishment

The restaurant business can be extremely hectic, but don’t let that get in the way of sticking to your vision, and, most importantly, making sure your staff is on board and working toward it at all times. The fact is, while you’re the restaurant owner/manager, you’re not the one serving customers, cooking the food, doing the dishes, cleaning the tables and greeting people.

It’s a team effort. That means everyone needs to be aware of your vision and what the long-term goals are. Not just the “what”, but the “why”. Running a successful restaurant business is all about long-term growth. And you have to pay attention to the data. What are people buying? What do people want? What do they like? What do they not like? Creating a loyal community is critical. Get feedback. Write it down. And communicate it to your people.


Mistake #2: Not Training Staff Adequately Enough

There's never enough time in the day to train your staff to perfection. The fact is, training is a process, not a seminar or a session. It’s not a 2-hour test on the computer to reinforce best practices. Most of the training that actually happens occurs while on the job. 

You can streamline your restaurant by recognizing which employees are accomplishing great things and re-training them regularly on some of the most nuanced items and current trends happening on a day-to-day basis in the industry. You’d be surprised how things change from time to time in restaurant management. And when you see your staff picking up on it, guess what; your restaurant will flourish.

Mistake #3: Doing Too Much

While you’re in charge, you also don’t have to hold everyone’s hands and try to be in 1,500 places all at once. You are just one person. Task delegation means letting your staff do their job with minimal supervision. Your staff will continue to grow professionally, autonomously and independently, capable of managing the restaurant without you.


Mistake #4: Bad Communication

Restaurant management is all about human interaction so make sure you and your staff are communicating strategically. Make sure you are communicating effectively with your customers. Get them to be open and talkative about their experience, and truly listen.


Mistake #5: Managers Not Being Present Enough on the Floor

It’s a common mistake; most of the time a manager would think he or she doesn’t need to be present out on the floor. That’s what the waitstaff is for. However, having a manager often on the floor is key to not only showing your guests that you personally care, but to make sure your staff has a role model and someone holding them accountable at all times…and when they see the manager leading by example, they will organically follow suit.

If managers are constantly in their offices every day, the waitstaff will also be just as disconnected while on the floor. If you participate in the job they do, they will dish out the same exceptional service tenfold.