By Jackie Weber
This was originally posted on NextRestaurants.
There’s a difference between having a restaurant and building a restaurant brand.
If you’re a restaurant owner who’s seen steady success with your single-restaurant operation, you may be considering expanding your business and building a bigger restaurant brand.
You’re not alone—many restaurateurs experience the urge to grow once they’ve graduated from the startup phase and are operating a mature, profitable eatery with an established base of regular guests.
The good news is there are plenty of options when it comes to branching out and expanding your restaurant’s brand. The difficulty (as with many things in the business) comes down to figuring out that one critical component — timing.
Here are four signs you’re ready to take your restaurant to the next level.
1. You have a strong customer base.
If you have plenty of repeat customers as well as new ones coming in on a regular basis and you’re able to continue to meet their expectations indicates potential for growth. Plus, if out-of-town fans are clamoring for new locations, it might be time to heed their wishes.
2. You have a creative, reliable team.
If you have a solid team of hard-working and diverse employees, it will be easier for you to manage an expansion of your existing location or the addition of a second location nearby.
This is a great way to begin building a bigger restaurant brand, without committing to becoming a franchised organization.
3. Your business is stable.
Ideally, you should have consistent traffic to your restaurant, frequent positive feedback about what you’re serving, and stable or increasing profits before you decide to expand. It seems obvious, but your current restaurant must be successful and running smoothly before you branch out.
If you’re ever going to encourage or expect customers to visit location #2, let alone location #200, you’ve got to have stability with location #1.
4. You’re willing to take calculated risks.
No matter how successful your first restaurant location is, there’s no telling how well a new venture will perform. Timing, location, store management, there are so many factors that come into play.
To increase your chances of success, be prepared for the bumps in the road you are bound to encounter and be smart about handling failures. Expanding your restaurant business will require you to step outside your comfort zone as well as learn from any missteps.
SAG can help jumpstart the growth of your venture across a wide range of corporate categories, stewarding the process and guiding you toward success and profitability.
We’ve helped clients, big and small, successfully expand their restaurants. Get in touch with us today, and learn how our experts can help you with your restaurant’s or food service concept’s expansion and growth strategy.