The path to restaurant expansion is not always straightforward, and deciding when you should take the leap can be difficult. There are no hard and fast rules, but here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you make a decision:
1. Are You Already Profitable?
While it’s certainly possible to open new locations when you’re not yet profitable, it’s a much smarter play to open new locations from a position of strength. If your restaurant is already promising, you have a solid basis to plan for expansion.
2. Are You Already Established?
Going for the big time can be exciting, but if you’re only just starting, choosing to grow too quickly can be dangerous. Focus on perfecting your current business before expanding, or things could get out of control quickly.
3. Have You Gotten Your Current Restaurant up to Speed?
Opening and running a successful restaurant is a lot of work, and opening a new one can significantly increase your workload.
Before you open another restaurant, take the time to get your business up to speed first, including perfecting its current offerings, so that when you do open another, you won’t be missing out on any valuable time.
4. Have Your Finances Stabilized?
Opening a second restaurant is different from opening a first, and it can be an expensive enterprise. Before taking on the extra costs, make sure you have a solid financial footing to support yourself through the expansion.
Expanding a restaurant can be a costly endeavour, and making the wrong decision can be even more draining. Before moving on to a second location, you should make sure you have a clear idea of how much you need to raise and have a business plan that is well-thought-out.
If you answered yes to the questions above, you are now ready to step further into the business.
Here are some crucial business steps that you need to may consider doing to get started:
Step 1: Make a Customer Analysis
It is crucial to have a clear understanding of your current customers. With this information, your business can make the necessary decisions to expand. Take a look at what items are popular in your store. Observe your guests well, understand their preferences, and discover their wishlist to apply in your future restaurant branches.
For example, utilizing food delivery software for small businesses can improve your healthy food prep and delivery performance. Or, if you plan to offer other services like food catering, catering companies’ software in Canada can help you speed up the process.
Step 2: Make a Business SWOT Analysis
Before expanding, it would help to have SWOT Analysis.
- Strengths: List down all the positive factors that are in your favour. These can make your business successful.
- Weaknesses: List down all the negative factors that can impact your business.
- Opportunities: List down all the positive aspects of your business.
- Threats: List down all the negative aspects of your business.
Step 3: Create a Plan on How to Attract More Customers
More branches mean more customers are needed. After deciding to push through with your expansion, you need to have some plan on how to move forward and meet your daily target.
- Promote on Social Media: If your restaurant has a Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account, you can use them to gain more exposure and slowly build your fame.
- Have a Coupon: Running a promo is one of the best and most effective ways to attract your customers to the new branch. You can give out complimentary items and services. With the coupon, your regular customers can treat their family and friends.
- Have a Loyal Customer Reward Program: Giving out stamps to your customers is a good strategy. When they accumulate ten stamps, they can get a free item. You can have different categories with different rebates.
Expanding a restaurant business is a smart idea for a food entrepreneur. However, the ride isn’t always easy, so you need to keep up with the market. The last thing you want to do is spend your resources expanding, only to realize that the expansion would not have been profitable or plausible. Think of this process as a way to find a new opportunity and then analyze how likely it is to become profitable. Make sure not to miss any of the steps above.
Kitchen Fuel is the perfect meal prep software for small businesses. It is an all-in-one platform that can help you engage your customers and grow your business. Book a demo or subscribe to learn more about this software before proceeding with your chain expansion.