Many restaurant owners feel the urge to expand their business once they see it is going well. If you have grown from a start-up to a profitable business this might be your case as well and you may want to build a bigger restaurant brand.
This is great news! Not all businesses succeed from the very beginning so you might be really happy with your results. You just need to make sure that expanding your business is really what you want and what you are looking for right now.
Take into consideration that this not only means a new restaurant, this means greater advertising and marketing efforts, hiring more people and of course, creating loyalty among clients.
There is no magic formula that tells you when is the perfect time to expand your restaurant, but there are many indicators that can give you a hint. For example, when your sales grow which translates in a greater income as well.
Although expanding your business can be really a dream of yours, it is necessary to analyze several factors that will indicate that your business is ready to grow.
The demand has increased
If you have heard your clients saying that you should have more restaurants or have asked you to open more stores it is a hint that you should expand your business.
This is because people may feel that they have to go a long way to get to your restaurant, maybe you have to open another restaurant in a strategic location.
Maybe your clients say this because the space at your restaurant right now is really small or maybe they just love it so much that is such a kind comment to make.
You already reached your initial goals
You should consider expanding your business if you already achieved all your set objectives in the amount of time you planned to.
For example, if at the beginning you wanted to reach a certain amount of people, if you had sale goals or any other metric to measure your success and you indeed succeed, then consider the other factors mentioned in this list to make the best decision.
Your business is stable
We already talked about accomplished objectives but you have to make sure that those results are stable before thinking about branching out.
Ideally, you should have consistent people going to your restaurant, also hear people constantly giving great feedback and of course the cash flow to be constant as well.
Remember that if you can’t get stability in location one, then it is not time yet to have a second location. When you already dominate everything at location one then you may think about expanding.
You have a solid and reliable team
It will be easier for you to manage an expansion of your restaurant if you have a solid and reliable team of hard-working people.
Keep in mind that the best thing you could do if you are planning this expansion is to work hand-in-hand with your most reliable employees and rotate between restaurants.
Also, they can give you valuable feedback about what the customers say and how they feel about the service and restaurant in general.
You know who are your clients like the back of your hand
Knowing your customers is a determining factor for the success of any expansion. Before making the decision to expand, you should do a market study to help you know if you have enough audience to justify the investment of expanding.
If you have enough capacity to meet new demand without compromising the quality of what you offer and also if the expansion would imply a price increase.
These are key factors to keep in mind, not just about your customers and potential customers, but also about the whole expanding strategy.
Your business works without you being present
At this point, your business must have sufficient operational processes to guarantee its optimal functioning.
A successful company does not need the constant presence of its owner or the person in charge for it to work perfectly fine. Its employees must know what their tasks are, and above all how to act in any eventuality.
Also, it is a great idea to automate your restaurant so your workers will know exactly all the procedures as it requires less effort to remember things.
For example, you, as a restaurant owner, can automize the cooking procedures, the way in which the waiters communicate with the clients, the digital and content marketing affairs, among other things.
So if your business works without your presence 24/7, you may be able to expand your business.
You no longer feel challenged
If you feel like you don’t have any challenge in your business and you really need to expand your creativity, then you might have to expand your business as well.
Just remember to have a strategic plan and let your imagination go, it is understandable if you don’t want to work on autopilot anymore so challenge yourself!
You have enough money to invest
Remember that if you are going to expand your business you need capital for paying the lease for the new place, the equipment, furniture, decoration, lighting and other supplies. Also, you will need a cushion to pay your new employees so the best thing to do, if you don’t have all the money, is to seek outside funding.
Also, this is a determining factor if you want to expand your business. The ideal would be for you to gain enough from the first restaurant so you will be able to pay for the second one.
A big mistake that entrepreneurs make is to take decisions on a rush, take your time to think about it and if it will be profitable and viable to open another branch. Remember that if you are going to expand your business you need a business plan you will rely on with achievable objectives.