Great Restaurant Ideas and Checklist
The business brokers with Pacific Business Advisors have represented hundreds of buyers and sellers of businesses, including restaurants, over the last 35 plus years. We have also provided consulting services for many restaurant owners and have made many observations that we want to share.
The following restaurant ideas do not apply to every restaurant. Most apply to fine dining restaurants, others to casual dining restaurants, and others to fast food restaurants.
If you are intending on selling your restaurant, some of the ideas provided may help you increase your revenue and your selling price. If you are intending to acquire a restaurant, some of the ideas may help you turn an average restaurant into a more profitable restaurant.
The ideas below are in no particular order. If you would like to provide us with comments or additional ideas, we would be pleased to hear from you. You may contact us by phone or email:
- Install a call light on each table so each server can easily and quickly be alerted that they are needed. Place pitchers of water on each table so patrons never have to ask for water. Do the same when a customer pays for iced tea;
- Bread should be unlimited so no one leaves the restaurant hungry. Guests should not be required to ask for more bread;
- Remember, guests love it when a dish comes out of the kitchen and the server says, "The chef wanted you to try this";
- Always make your chef one of your investors;
- Always offer beer and wine. These are the two highest profit items;
- Coffee cups should be large with large handles;
- Arrange to have fresh flowers delivered for each table regularly;
- Napkins should be paper and large, No cheap napkins;
- Soft drinks should be refillable at no additional cost;
- A healthy children's menu should be available;
- Offer a private dining room to accommodate up to 8 people on a reservation basis;
- Chairs must be comfortable;
- Restrooms must be immaculate and should always include at least two stalls;
- Consider decorating with tropical fish aquariums that are professionally maintained;
- An outdoor dining area should be provided if possible. Some guests prefer the outdoors. It also protects the owner in the event of another pandemic;
- Take-out service should be provided. Some guests prefer to eat at home. It also protects the owner in the event of another pandemic;
- Greet returning guests by name if possible;
- Always thank every guest warmly when they are leaving;
- Offer an online menu with photos;
- Accept reservations;
- Food portions should be adequate so no one leaves hungry;
- Consider offering certain guests a 2 for 1 dessert coupon for use at their next dinner; and
- Stay open 7 days each week. Many restaurants are closed on Mondays. Spread your fixed costs such as rent over 7 days instead of six which helps the bottom line.