Restaurant Owners and Their Worst Fears
Profile of the Typical Restaurant Owner
Regardless of the size of the restaurant or the achievement, every restaurant owner started with a dream. Whether it was simply making a family favorite cuisine available to the public or demonstrating their mastery of Japanese culinary arts, the idea was to make their skills known in an environment where they could share that talent with their corner of the world. While some seek to become rich from their efforts, most are people who just love what they do.
What are the common fears as perceived by the public and the business analysts are usually not the fears of the restaurant owner. Perhaps the biggest fear is their cuisine will be seen as a tasteless or worse, awful tasting dish that drives people to severely criticize their food on Internet review sites. The owner only has a certain amount of control over the staff, so issues such as poor service or an unpleasant dining ambience can be corrected.
But if the food is bad, the people will not come, and the dream of success will shortly vanish. In this case, they would fall into the considerable 60 percent of all restaurant business that fail within the first two years.
However, this “common” fear does not apply to restaurant owners who are simply serving a generic faire and whose interest is primarily to make a living. True, serving bad food will bring disaster, but really, how hard is it to cook a hamburger?
Two words will strike fear into virtually any restaurant owner – health inspector. There always is a periodic inspection, but when they come into the restaurant for an inspection based on a complaint, that has the potential to spell doom on a number of levels. First on the list is a fine or court ordered closing to address health issues. The second is a loss of customer business because of getting a bad reputation.
But the third may be the worst – facing a lawsuit because the food caused people to get ill. It is the kind of action that is guaranteed to set back the restaurant business several months, if not for a lifetime.
While it may seem like having a consistent stream of customers who only rate the restaurant is average is something for the owner to fear, what is far worse is having very few or no customers at all. But the reason for this is not a matter of money, but that people are not even giving the restaurant a chance. Think of it as having a great resume that no one will even look at. There are several possible reasons the restaurant is being ignored, such as location, but the problem needs to be identified and fixed as soon as possible.
A House of 1000 Worries
There are any number of things that can go wrong during the normal operation of a restaurant. Running out of food, late deliveries, dissatisfied customers, the competition, and not having enough money to keep the business going are some more common fears. But most of these problems can be fixed in one way or another.
Those that made the top of the list require more than a week or two to repair, if they can be repaired at all. A restaurant is a business primarily based on customer reputation.
It has been said that if you do not have to wait in line, the restaurant is probably no good. There is a reason people are willing to wait 30 minutes or more to get a table. And that statement sums up why those three fears made the top of the list. All of them will have the owner waiting for a line that will either disappear or never appear.