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Having served the restaurant industry for decades, we’ve seen our share of concepts come and go. So how do the great ones succeed? Here are a few common threads our successful clients have possessed throughout the years.

1. LOCATION. LOCATION. LOCATION.

We know it sounds terribly cliche (insert eye roll), but location is half the battle. Very few “destination” restaurants succeed. So unless you have a powerhouse of a marketing agency behind you to create a cult following, you’ll want to choose to open in a local that makes sense for your concept and is easily accessible by a demographic willing to spend the money you need them to spend.

2. NAIL DOWN YOUR ZAG.

How are you zigging when everyone else is zagging? In other words what makes you different. And please don’t say quality food! Who’s not going to claim that? You’ll want to identify and understand what clearly makes you different from all of the other restaurants in your segment, and then you’ll want to communicate that difference––like it’s nobody’s business––in everything you do. In your environmental design, on your menu, in your social media efforts, everywhere.

3. IT IS ALWAYS ABOUT THE GUEST.

Everything that touches your guests is important, from the people who greet and serve them to the cleanliness of your bathrooms. (Do not skimp on the loo!) Above all, you’ll want to build in a daily amount “comp” monies and empower your employees to use these funds to take care of guests when things don’t go as planned. Restaurants are run by human beings and humans beings make mistakes. They’re going to happen, but how you deal with these mistakes is the difference between a one-time and lifetime customer.

4. PUT SYSTEMS INTO PLACE.

Doing so doesn’t make you a sell-out or corporate. It makes you smart. Protocols, from how your staff should approach a table to cleaning schedules and time-off requests, reduce behind-the-scenes havoc. The culture of your restaurant begins and ends with the actions of your employees. If you take the guesswork out of things for them, they’ll enjoy their work environment much more, which lends itself to a more positive culture. And culture, believe it or not, is palpable to your guests.

5. INVEST IN TECHNOLOGY.

Sure it’s easy to think that we’re being biased here (it’s what we do, after all), but all successful restaurants take advantage of the efficiency that technology offers. A functional POS system is the backbone of your operations. It tracks your sales, your labor, your comps, simplifies communications between the kitchen and the front of the house, helps with inventory, payroll, sales tax, profit and loss, and much, much more. These are all time-consuming tasks if you were to tackle them yourself. By investing in a system that handles them for you, you can spend your time doing what you do best––running your business, flexing your creative muscle, you name it.

For more information about NexTouch and the restaurant technology we offer, please contact Jim Maddasion at jim@nextouch.io