Archive for the ‘Restaurant Management Group’ Category

Managing the Impact of Restaurant Commodity Price Swings

November 26, 2014

Produce prices are in constant fluctuation. This is no big deal for a restaurant if the shift is small, but can make a massive difference if the price jumps significantly—especially if the commodity is one of your most used items. You can’t control the changing costs of commodities. You can, however, employ some strategies to help manage the impact of those changes. Here are a few techniques to help ameliorate the impact of commodity price swings in the best way possible.

Have a Clear Picture of Which Commodity Items Are Driving Your Highest Costs

In most restaurants, it’s usually about 20% of the commodities that are driving 80% of the costs. When it comes to managing commodity prices, these items are the most critical to focus your cost saving efforts on. Don’t get side-tracked pinching pennies on items that have a negligible impact on your overall costs. Focus on the big guys, and then take the time to shop around, compare prices between produce suppliers and find opportunities to negotiate better deals.

Want to Know When the Next Restaurant Commodity is Going to Soar? Keep an Eye On the News

Commodities prices are affected by what is happening globally, and no one can predict when the next fluctuation will come. That said, keeping an eye on the news can at least provide some indication of the next big price increase and can help you be prepared to handle it. Whether it’s a drought in the Bread Belt, frost in Florida or civil war in Columbia, commodity prices are going to be affected. Knowing where your main commodities are coming from and monitoring the news from those areas will go a long way toward giving you a head start in dealing with the forthcoming price increase that occurs when disaster strikes.

Consider Restaurant Purchasing Contracts Instead of Managing Produce Orders In-House

Another way to manage commodity costs is by partnering with a purchasing company. There are a number of benefits to doing so—not the least of which is negotiated rates, as well as buying and consulting support. Restaurants who have purchasing contracts are protected from being at the whim of dramatic shifts in commodity costs throughout the course of the year. When deciding to enter into a purchasing contract, shop around and get a number of proposals as a tool to negotiate the best deal. Know your specifications to ensure that you’re getting comparable price quotes from suppliers and distributors. Look for fixed contracts to best manage commodity prices over time.

The downside of purchasing contracts is that you’re not free to shop around for a better deal until the contract is done. If you know that the price of a produce item is likely to go down, look for shorter-term contracts. When your contract is up, be sure to take a fresh review of available alternative options before signing the contract for another round.

No one can guess what will cause one item to spike while another stays static, but we all know how much those fluctuations can effect our bottom line—especially when they are unexpected. Taking the time to be aware of which commodity items could cause the most risk in your restaurant business if prices fluctuated, monitoring the news from areas where those commodities come and considering purchasing contracts to lock in better prices are all great strategies to help manage the impact of commodity cost fluctuations.

3 Tips to Reduce Restaurant Waste

November 19, 2014

According to the EPA, America produces around 250 million tons of solid waste per year. That figures out to about 4.5 pounds of trash created per person per day. Do you know how much waste your restaurant produces?

The odds are good that there are tons of waste (literally, over time) currently being produced by your restaurant that could potentially be recycled, composed or otherwise diverted from the landfills. Waste reduction is more than just the feel-good factor of attending to social and environmental responsibilities though—a good waste management plan also affords a number of cost saving opportunities. Here are three tips for reducing your restaurant’s waste production.

Measure & Manage the Cost of Restaurant Waste Disposal

The first step toward managing your waste-stream is to track the amount your business is currently spending on waste disposal. Set up a simple spreadsheet and log all of your waste expenditures. Doing so not only gives you an opportunity to identify trends over time, but also presents you with several waste management opportunities. For instance, you can determine if you are being accurately billed for the services you require, gain a clearer picture of your operation’s waste system and identify ways to adjust operational practices. This will help you take advantage of inventory and utilize recycling opportunities.

Give Your Restaurant a Thorough Waste-Stream Audit

Now that you know what your waste disposal is currently costing you, it’s time to get a handle on what you’re throwing away. Do a detailed analysis of the quantity and type of trash that is created and break it down into categories (paper, plastic, metal, glass, organic, etc.) Examine the overall life cycle of the items being discarded and get a pound for pound record of what’s going out the door. If you don’t want to do this yourself, hire a consultant or contract with your waste vendors. A good audit will uncover opportunities for waste reduction, diversion, recycling and re-using and can show you how to save money with a waste management plan.

Recycling and Food Waste Reduction in the Restaurant

The environmental and cost-saving benefits of recycling are well known, and according to the National Restaurant Association, around 60% of restaurateurs are already recycling at least a portion of their waste in some form or fashion. If you haven’t already examined the recycling options in your area, there are a number of both free and consultation services available to help you.

It’s a rare restaurateur who likes to see good food go to waste, so when it comes to food waste reduction, most restaurant owners are all about it as well. Donating food can be a great way to garner both tax incentives and goodwill in your community. Work with your local food rescue agency (a food bank, mission or hunger relief agency) to determine what kinds of food they can receive. As a general rule of thumb, cooked foods can be donated, as long as they have not been served and have been cooled down and stored according to food safety guidelines. According to CNN news, just 5% of America’s leftovers could feed 4 million people for a day. Can you imagine the impact your restaurant’s leftovers could have on your local community?

Getting a clear picture of your restaurant’s waste-stream from entry to exit is smart, both financially and socially. Take the time to see where your restaurant business could stand to lose a few pounds!

3 Strategies to Keep Restaurant Opening Costs from Ballooning Out of Control

November 12, 2014

Restaurant buildouts are expensive, and opening costs can quickly get out of hand. Without careful planning and preparation, it’s easy to get in way over your head and quickly find yourself struggling for a life-preserver. Here are a few strategies to keep your up-front development costs low and help you gain some control over ongoing operational expenses.

Give Expert Evaluation to the Restaurant Location

Restaurant location is one of the most critical choices you have to make. Be sure to carefully evaluate whether or not the neighborhood can support your concept before investing. Furthermore, ensure that the structure itself can serve your needs. Can you efficiently produce your menu, serve your guests and monitor your dining room with the existing layout? Is the seating capacity the right size for the goals set in your business plan? It’s a good idea to bring in experts to help with the evaluation, especially those who are familiar with local building codes. They will see things you may not, such as the gas and electrical systems, proper venting of exhaust, the overall soundness of the structure and whether or not anything is going to need replacing.

Look for Lease Agreements with Concessions

All of this information will help you be a shrewd negotiator of the lease as well—another important aspect of controlling opening costs. Obviously, you want to be working with property owners who are flexible and fair; people you’d like to stay in business with a long time. Ask for a lease with a rent-free concession before the restaurant’s opening date to provide some cushion in case of last minute fixes or permit delays. If you’re sinking a lot of money into the building for renovations, approach the property owner about subsidies for the improvements you make to the building. If the opening of the establishment adds substantial value to the premises, some owners will even be willing to contribute some financial assistance to the venture.

Work Directly with Restaurant Architects and BuildersPlan for Maximum Efficiency

Sometimes a fresh coat of paint and new décor is all that is needed to open your restaurant’s doors. If renovations are in order, however, don’t miss the opportunity to plan the perfectly designed restaurant by working directly with your architects and builders. While it’s nice to find an architect with restaurant-specific expertise, the more important qualifier is how well he or she knows the local building codes and is able to bring your idea to life. Design for maximum efficiency in the layout of your kitchen and dining areas. Don’t make your servers and kitchen staff walk a mile to have what they need at hand. Review all plans with a fine-tooth comb. Now is the time to catch mistakes in design—changes made down the line can get costly.

Once you have your plans, it’s time to collect your builders. It’s smart to utilize a contractor for their carpenter contacts, project management and permit expertise. If you want to save a little on contractor costs, interview and get quotes from the plumbers, electricians and HVAC specialists yourself.

Opening a new restaurant can be an expensive and risky endeavor. With careful and strategic planning ahead of time, however, both cost and risk can be managed more successfully.

Success Strategies for a Restaurant Mobile App Launch

November 5, 2014

The use of mobile applications in the restaurant industry is on the rise, and for good reason. A good mobile app can serve as an ordering and payment platform, a loyalty program, a data collection service and customer communication forum all rolled into one. However, when it comes to choosing a mobile application to best serve your restaurant, you’ve got some choices to make. Here are a few success strategies to utilize and factors to consider.

Lay the Groundwork Before Launching Your Restaurant App

Before bothering to launch a mobile application for your restaurant, make sure that you’ve laid the proper groundwork to ensure its success. Clean up your image online (reviews, general customer sentiment), ensure your website is fully optimized for mobile (and thoroughly tested!), and that your membership program or “e-club” is in place. Most restaurants already have some form of user profile option that allows customers to save their information for faster ordering. Your mobile application is just a larger, potentially more useful extension of that. Take the time to run a social media monitoring campaign to learn what your customers would most like to see in your restaurant’s mobile app. Utilize the opportunity to gauge their interest in, and receptivity to, joining your mobile program and to discover valuable features and functionality that you may not have thought of.

Which Features Need to Be Present to Ensure Maximum Functionality in a Restaurant App?

Speaking of features, it’s smart to make a list of what you want. Consider what features should be present in the mobile application so that it serves the restaurant’s needs with maximum functionality. The most basic of mobile applications serves as an ordering and payment platform. It should also be both affordable and branded. Ideally, it additionally includes a loyalty program, the ability to shape the technology over time, run customer campaigns, provide interchange savings and supply an extensive collection of data, not to mention integrate with the POS.

Customized Restaurant Application or Third-Party Solution?

Now that you know what features you want, the next choice is whether to go with a customized mobile application developer or a third-party solution. Which you choose depends on the needs of the restaurant business. Those that just need a basic ordering and payment service will be fine with a third-party solution. Additional functionality in third-party providers is available, but varies widely, and it can be difficult to find one perfectly suited to your particular business.

Those who want to take their restaurant app to the next level will want to go with a customized application developer, if the means to do so are available. A custom app developer can build pretty much any feature you can imagine into your restaurant’s mobile app. If you decide to go with a custom developer, bring your wish list of mobile functionality and work closely with the developer to make it come to life in the most efficient and practical way.

Restaurant mobile applications represent an opportunity to track consumer behavior, collect data and connect with our customers at a level that was never possible until the digital age. Investing in the development of a mobile application for your restaurant can be a powerfully effective way to engage your customers and improve your bottom line.

Golden Rules of Restaurant Hospitality

October 29, 2014

Despite the fact that any restaurant’s success hinges on its ability to attract and retain customers, many restaurant businesses lose sight of the basic rules of hospitality in favor of simply trying to keep the business afloat. While it’s always important to keep an eye on the bottom line, keeping your customers coming in and leaving happy is equally critical. No matter what state your restaurant’s business is in, here are a few “golden rules” of hospitality that should never be absent.  

Take the Craft of Restaurant Hospitality Seriously, Not Yourself

The first important thing to realize about hospitality is that it is an experience that starts the moment your customer sets foot in the door. This experience is largely determined by the mood that you and your staff set. How is it possible for a guest to have a relaxing, enjoyable experience if the staff is emanating a frazzled, semi-cranky, “hurry up and tell me what you want” attitude? Customers want to see that restaurant employees are knowledgeable about the dishes that are being served and that they take the quality and experience of that service seriously, but they also want to receive this service in an environment where people are relaxed and enjoying what they do. Bottom line, recognize that good hospitality can have more to do with friendly, open attitudes and excellent, upbeat service than the actual quality of the food itself.

Treat Every Restaurant Guest as a Family Friend and Every Dish as a Competition

The definition of hospitality includes receiving and treating guests or strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way. This means giving them a warm welcome when they enter, engaging them in some form of personal conversation during their stay and ensuring that their experience is a positive one in every possible way. In other words, treat every customer as you would a dear family friend, taking measures to impress and delight them and to assure their happiness and comfort.

Furthermore, underscore your commitment to excellence by treating every dish that you create as if it were going to be entered into a competition. Ask how customers like their meals shortly after delivering them and be prepared to take any action necessary to make sure they are happy with their orders. Let every customer know that you have worked hard to make their experience with you special, and that every dish has been personally prepared with loving care. Customers who are made to feel special, welcomed and heard will return to your business again and again.

Cultivate Goodwill Between Your Restaurant Business and the Public at Large

Last but not least, cultivate an attitude of sharing and goodwill between your restaurant and the public at large. The can be as simple as freely sharing the recipe for that favorite dish, or as elaborate as letting the local community know that your business is interested in buying local produce and sponsoring local fundraisers, events and gatherings. Also, look for ways to tailor your offerings to better suit your core demographic. For example, if you have a lot of kids come into the restaurant, consider starting a “kids’ club” program, or take a survey of your most loyal patrons to see if there is any way you can make their experience with your restaurant even better.

The take home point here is that a restaurant can’t afford to neglect the basic rules of hospitality if it hopes to survive. Those basics are easily met by treating every customer as an honored guest, cultivating an attitude of openness and warmth and making a commitment to going above and beyond to ensure that your customers leave happy, satisfied and eager to return.

3 Restaurant Cash Flow Tips for Smoothing Out the Financial Ups and Downs

October 15, 2014

Having adequate cash flow is the bottom line for every restaurant business. Without enough cash on hand to pay suppliers, employees, rent and bills, a restaurant can’t keep its doors open, let alone attain profitability. Fortunately, there are a few strategies that you can employ to help smooth out the ups and downs of the sometimes uncertain income that can go hand in hand with being in the restaurant profession.

Restaurant Cash Flow Tip #1: Don’t Spend What You Don’t Have

Deep down, everyone knows that it’s risky business (and probably not a good idea) to spend more money than you have, yet many restaurant owners end up doing exactly that in a desperate effort to make ends meet and keep things running smoothly. No matter how tempting it might be to do so, pay your bills only on revenue that you actually have in the bank, NOT on the sales you hope you might make. Paying out money that you don’t actually have is a great way to put your business on the fast-track to failure.

Restaurant Cash Flow Tip #2: Prioritize and Spread Out Your Bills

While it is smart to sit down at the beginning of every month and make a plan for meeting your bills, it’s not necessarily wise to pay all of them at once. Many restaurant owners do this, hoping that they have either set aside enough money or that sales will float their payments, only to run into serious cash flow problems a few weeks down the road. While it’s fine to write out all of your checks in one setting, stagger when you send them off according to due date and priority to ensure that your restaurant’s cash flow is stable. Consider changing to a bi-weekly payroll, with pay days alternating with business bill days. Furthermore, consider investing in a payroll service, and leave the headache of saving for, or making incremental payroll tax payments, to the pros.

Also, prioritize your bills. If a missed payment could hurt your business’s ability to operate, such as rent and taxes, make sure these are paid first. Bills such as utilities or insurance often have a reasonable grace period, or more manageable late fee, and may be better choices to put off, if such a choice has to be made.

Restaurant Cash Flow Tip #3: Maintain Open Lines of Communication with Vendors and Financial Partners

Maintaining open lines of communication between your vendors and financial partners is a critical factor in stabilizing cash flow. Many vendors offer flexible payment options and financing and are happy to work with you as long as the payments are regularly scheduled. Establishing solid relationships with your bank and credit providers is important as well. While your bank might not give you a loan, they most certainly can clear NSF fees from bounced checks, and will be more likely to do so if you communicate with them and let them know what is going on with your business. Most cash flow blues come in a sudden storm, so setting up relationships with a reputable credit provider is important as well. If you’re working with a good company that provides working capital, stay with them and focus on building a strong relationship. People are more likely to help you if they know you before you come asking.

Managing cash flow is never going to be a simple or easy process, but being smart about your financial planning, and building solid relationships with the financial investors who can help, will go a long way toward stabilizing the ups and downs in cash flow that are part of what it means to be in the restaurant industry.

3 Franchise Success Markers to Consider Before Buying that Restaurant

October 8, 2014

There are a number of benefits to buying a restaurant franchise rather than trying to start your own single-store location. You get to set up shop under an established brand name with a proven system of operations. Depending on which franchise you choose, you may also get handed trained staff, marketing plans, in-place supplier relationships and an existing customer base. That said, not all franchises are created equally, and finding the brand that is the right fit for your personal style and needs takes some research. Here are the three biggest success markers to consider before determining which franchise brand is best for you.

Restaurant Brand Perception: Don’t Pick a Bad Egg

The first marker of restaurant franchise success is the local populace’s overall perception of the brand. The last thing you need when starting a new business is to try to fight a bad reputation for poor service or inedible food before you’ve even gotten started. That’s like hobbling your horse before you push him onto the race track. It’s a waste of time and effort. Make sure that you’ve done your research on consumer perception of the brand before you buy.

Is It Better to Pick a New or an Already-Established Franchise?

Assuming you have narrowed your list of potential franchise options down to only those with a neutral or positive consumer perception, the next question to ask yourself is whether or not you want to go with an already-established, well-known brand or a new restaurant franchise startup. There are pros and cons to both choices.

The benefits of going with an established brand include an established track record, customer base and system of operation. The cons can include higher franchise fees and less management flexibility. Before you go this route, ask the seller for detailed financial information for a minimum of the past three years. This information will give you a much clearer picture of the highs, lows and warning signs it is critical to know about before striking any deal.

The benefits of going with a new startup restaurant franchise are that you’re able to start from scratch, often forging your own relationships and being totally in charge of creating the brand perception for the franchise in your area. New franchises are often cheaper to get into as well, since you won’t have to pay a higher fee for goodwill or purchase past cash flow. The cons include greater risk and more elbow grease to get going.

Total Franchise Cost and Management Flexibility

The last considerations to take into account when choosing a successful restaurant franchise are the total cost of getting going and the amount of management flexibility the franchise allows. Franchises are often prone to a number of additional fees and royalties, including the upfront franchise fee, as well as possible fees for renovations, marketing campaigns, training materials, extra suppliers and annual “membership” to the franchise. Brands vary widely on the fees that are included in the agreement, so be sure you have read the fine print before you sign!

While most franchises have a set of guidelines about how the business should be operated and marketed, management flexibility varies widely from franchise to franchise as well. Some will dictate all promotions and policies (leaving you free to run the shop); others will give you much greater freedom (giving you more choice and control over how you run your business). Which you choose has a lot to do with how much control you want over your restaurant.

Buying a franchise isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but can be quite a successful venture if the franchise is properly selected. The bottom line: don’t pick your franchise because it makes your favorite dish. Do your homework and pick your franchise based on the one that has the best chances of success.

5 Savvy Ways to Drive More Restaurant Sales

September 19, 2014

Driving restaurant sales is an art-form that takes practice and creativity to perfect. Nonetheless, there are a number of things that you can do to greatly improve your chances of success. Here are five time-proven ways to build more sales in your restaurant business.

#1. Make Selling More Fun for Staff

Your staff are the hands that make the sales happen. Getting them enthused about boosting sales is key to the success of your plan. Set goals for shift sales and share them with your staff. Try instituting fun and fair shift sales contests for servers and kitchen teams alike.

#2. Utilize Suggestive Selling Techniques

Recognize and reinforce suggestive selling efforts often during a shift and let servers know how they did goal-wise before you release them. Instruct your servers in the psychological aspects of sales, such as how someone will often choose one of two options you present (ex: this high end beer, or that) or how they will often take your suggestion of making their order larger or adding something extra if you simply smile and nod slowly while you ask them if they want it. There is a ton of information on how to be more effective at sales through simple changes in body language, or the words you use, and it’s worthwhile to the restaurateur to train their employees in the art thoroughly.

#3. Encourage Slow Day Restaurant Traffic

Look for ways to bring people in on slower days to help boost sales. For example, if you have a frequent diner program, you could offer double points for orders placed on a slow day or a free piece of pie for orders over $40. Get creative about how to entice people into your establishment.

#4. Build Your Restaurant’s Social Capital

One of the best ways to drive restaurant sales is to be better at local store marketing than the competition. Make a point of visiting every single school, business, charity and organization within a three mile radius of your restaurant at least once a month. Focus on building positive relationships with the people in your trading area and look for ways to either bring them into your restaurant or cater to them directly. Have your managers adopt specific local businesses and come up with marketing plans to drive more sales to each one. A hyper-local community focus is an incredibly effective sales and traffic building technique. Factor in these visits as part of your weekly marketing plans and efforts.

#5. Offer a Consistently High Quality Experience Every Time

All of the previous efforts will go to waste if you’re not ensuring that your restaurant is able to provide a consistent, high-quality experience to your guests every time they visit. Cleanliness, food, quality of service and even how your employees do their suggestive selling needs to be consistent, and of high-quality, in order to ensure that sales continue to grow. Managers should seek out strangers and do table visits every shift, touching every table with hospitality and ensuring that guests are enjoying their experiences.

In sum, utilize sales data to set goals, project upcoming sales and beat sales targets at every shift. Look for creative ways to network with, and tap into, your local community, and brush up on your suggestive selling techniques to make those sales soar.

3 Best Practices for Restaurant Menu Expansion

September 15, 2014

When it comes to expanding a restaurant’s menu, there are several important considerations to be taken into account. You need to know when to follow trends and when to ignore them, which new items will make the most bang for your buck and which will allow your restaurant to blossom into an ever more successful venture. Poorly thought out choices can have long-term business consequences. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind when expanding your restaurant’s menu.

Be Discerning About the Menu Trends You Follow

Menu trends come and go on a regular basis, and not all are going to be a good fit for your brand. Choosing which are and which are not is a matter of assessing how well the trend fits with your overall brand image and appeals to your target demographic. If it fits with your overall brand strategy and is feasible to implement, go for it. Just remember that there’s no shame in letting a few of those trends pass on by, or in even trying to set a few trends yourself. Authenticity and individuality wins big in any business, but especially so in the restaurant industry. If you do decide to follow the trend, design what you offer around a quality experience for your guests, not the cost of implementation. There’s no sense in trying to do something specific if it’s not done right.

Allow Your Restaurant Menu to Evolve

While you don’t need to change your menu every time a new trend comes around, it is important to have flexibility and diversity built into what you offer. For example, there needs to be enough diversity in your menu that you’re not relying on just a few items to get you by in case of food shortages and price spikes.

Furthermore, your menu needs to be allowed to evolve. It could be that certain items or practices that worked ten years ago are no longer serving your restaurant business well today. Look for ways to be visionary with your brand image and discard those elements that no longer serve that purpose. If changes are made, strong leadership and communication skills are needed to ensure that team members, guests and franchisees are brought up to date and are on board with the new plan.

Listen to Your People. Look at Your Menu Data

It would be remiss to make menu changes without talking to your people and looking at your numbers. Your employees are your most reliable resource when it comes to decisions about menu expansion. They are on the ground with the guests daily, observing and serving their needs. The numbers will tell you what is most profitable to your business; your employees will tell you how your guests feel about what you offer, what impresses them the most and what they’d like to see more of. Some restaurants even go so far as to involve the guests’ decisions about new menu items directly. However you do it, utilize the people and information you have at hand to make the best determination for menu expansions.

Expanding your restaurant’s menu can be an exciting and profitable venture. If done well, the opportunity is there to attract new customers, increase sales and drive your brand’s overall expansion into the profitable restaurant business it is meant to be.

Industry Standard Best Practices in Restaurant Financing

September 3, 2014

When it comes to moving your restaurant brand forward, the ability to get financing is typically the make or break factor. Getting lenders and investors to fund your business can be somewhat of an art. It requires being able to have a clear concept of your plan, the ability to illustrate its potential profitability to others, the awareness of potential challenges that may arise as your restaurant expands, and the ability to respond to them. Here is an overview of each of these industry standard best practices in restaurant financing in greater detail.

Have a Clear Concept of Your Overall Strategic Plan

Having a clearly defined strategic plan is a key piece of your overall financing packet. Detail how capital is used, the positions and duties of the team that is required to make it work and the profits and losses that result from the effort.

Make a point of documenting both your short and long term objectives, along with any supporting materials needed to demonstrate that you know what steps are needed to make those objectives a reality. Gather all of your financial statements, your strategic plan and supporting materials together so that everything lenders need to know to make a decision is available to them in an organized, user-friendly fashion.

Illustrate that Single Unit Economics Are Intact

Being able to demonstrate how funding will work at the unit level is an important part of your overall financial plan as well. It’s a good idea to include a case study of single unit economics in your financial documents as supporting evidence. You need to be able to show that your economics are solid and your concept’s likelihood of success is high. Banks want to know what the money they lend you is going toward and what they will be able to expect in return. The more replicable you can demonstrate that your single unit results are, the more attractive your brand will be to lenders and franchisers alike.

Be Aware of Challenges to Your Niche and Long-Term Viability Issues

A final best practice we’ll cover here is the ability to articulate your awareness of potential challenges and long-term viability issues that exist. Challenges to your business could include competition, traffic trends, your ability to promote and price your products successfully, and anything that might go haywire along the way. Challenges to your ability to fulfill your lending agreement will include the potential for interest rate changes, property lease increases or expiration, store remodeling and upgrading requirements, ability to meet loan maturity dates, etc. Lenders need to know that you’re aware of these potential challenges and have a plan in place to deal with them. Think these things through and be able to talk freely about them with your lenders.

In sum, getting financing to expand your restaurant’s brand has a lot to do with coming to them with a clear plan of where you’d like to go, how you’re going to get there and why it will be profitable for them. Ensuring that you have these industry best practices in restaurant financing in place, before you approach lenders, will go a long way toward ensuring the ultimate success of your restaurant’s brand expansion.