If you run a restaurant you may understand a few of the following. Markets rise and markets fall but it seems that, even in difficult times, our appetite for eating out stays strong. Here in Britain we love eating out but spare a thought for the people serving the food. Running a restaurant is as challenging as it gets. From difficult customers to dealing with the fluctuating nature of business, keeping everything on the straight and narrow is no mean feat.
People are odd
Customers can be delightful, difficult and infuriating. Some will be friendly, others will be rude and aggressive, but they all have their stories to tell. This is what makes it so interesting. Every shift is different in its own special way.
What do all those people bring? Stories? Most restauranteurs can tell you a few tales about the people they’ve met and the things that have happened. Whether it’s a case of desperately trying to find the ingredients for a dish, meeting some unusual requests or dealing with an emergency, life definitely keeps you on your toes.
There’s no such thing as a nine to five which can be a good thing. If you’re running a restaurant you may spend a lot of your time working through the evenings. This frees you up during the day which means you can stay in for a package or go to the gym when it’s a little less busy.
Weird payment methods
The fear of customers doing a runner keeps many restauranteurs on their toes. Indeed, many waiters find their wages being docked if they have a customer leave without paying. However, many people who find themselves unable to pay have come up with some surprising alternatives such as offering bottles of wine, DVDs or even to help with the washing up.
You’re a tour guide too
You’ll often find yourself being asked to act as a tour guide for the local area as a second job, first is to run a restaurant. If you’ve got people eating with you who want to know where to go out, it helps if you can give them a few suggestions. For example, if there’s a great attraction they might not have heard about in the tour guides, this is a chance to show off your local knowledge. It will make them happy and happier customers tend to tip generously.
It also works the other way around. This is a people orientated business and you’ll hear lots of chatter about the great things to do around the place. They can tell you about other places they’ve dined, attractions they’ve seen, what’s good and what’s not. You benefit from a lot of first-hand reviews which can come in handy when you get a little time to yourself.
It’s the little things which count
Last but not least, it’s the little things which tend to count the most. It might be an interesting person, a memorable story or an unusually large tip. Either way, these are the things which can make a shift memorable (or not).
Most of all there’s the question of finance if you run a restaurant. Business can be booming one week and slackening off the next. Cash flow might be critical, so you always need to feel sure that you have things covered. One option is to use a merchant cash advance. This is a capital advance which is then paid off through a proportion of your future earnings. It’s a great way to get over a quiet period, a temporary cashflow crisis or to invest in something which can take your business to the next level.