When you’re ready to break into the Pittsburgh restaurant industry, there are a couple of red flags that immediately stand out during a consultation with them. One of the biggest concerns is when a potential new business owner says something along the lines of, “I am buying this restaurant (or bar) as an investment,” or, “I intend to be an absentee owner and keep my full-time job until the business starts making money.”
The problem with this way of thinking is that in order to succeed, every restaurant needs a present and engaged leader– Without this key aspect, your business will slowly but surely fall apart.
This concept can also be applied to the seasoned restaurant owner, who perhaps was gung-ho in the beginning, but has since taken new paths or found new interests in life and no longer has the time, energy, or motivation to spend in his or her restaurant. When this becomes the case, it’s time to seriously think about selling your business, and here’s why.
Protect Your Investment
Experienced business owners understand the importance of protecting their investment. While it’s not realistic to think that you could possibly run your business 24/7 without ever taking a break, it’s also unrealistic to hire someone else to do it for you while you lounge on a sunny beach somewhere and collect your money.
As you’re probably already aware, the PA Liquor Control Board requires that a license manager must be there no less than full time 3540 hours per week, But protecting your investment is much more than simply having someone babysit your employees and food and alcohol inventory beer and liquor. After all, who will be accountable when lost customers translate to budget deficits and, ultimately, a failing business? It’s your investment, so you need to be able to dedicate your time to that commitment.
Get Your Hands Dirty
To take the first point a step further, not only do you have to physically be in your restaurant, but you should be working there as well. Take the time to greet customers as they arrive, check in on each table throughout the course of their meal, and understand and oversee the duties that you ask each employee to perform.
Having this type of hands-on engagement with your customers and staff not only fosters customer and staff loyalty, but it also helps you to get a better understanding of the ins and outs of your restaurant. Perhaps you notice certain trends in customers’ orders that fluctuate with the seasons and therefore adjust your inventory and menu items accordingly so as to maximize profit and reduce waste.
Lead By Example
Finally, if you expect your employees to show up on time, even if that means rolling out of bed at 5 am to be ready in time for the breakfast rush, you need to lead by example and make it your business to be there, no matter what.
The restaurant owner who believes that he just can’t “afford” to show up at his restaurant day after day is setting up his business and employees for failure. You’re the captain of the ship, and your presence is entirely different from the presence of a manager hired to show up in your place. You owe it to yourself, your staff, and your customers to be there. Otherwise, it might be time to sell.
Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs or picking you up and pointing you in a completely new direction. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with accepting and even embracing life’s changes that come your way. However, if you’re in the midst of running a business when this happens, you do have to make a decision one way or the other.
If you decide that you’re unable or simply no longer want to dedicate the time and money involved in operating a successful restaurant, you’ve got to be honest with yourself and recognize when it’s time to sell.
When you do decide that you’d like to sell your restaurant, know that you can trust and rely on the team of experienced licensed brokers and agents at Specialty Group in Pittsburgh to help you confidentially navigate through the selling process. Please feel free to contact us online or give us a call at (412) 369-1555 to take the first step toward selling your restaurant.