10 Must-Haves For Running A Restaurant

Written By Alla Levin
June 26, 2020

10 Must-Haves For Running A Restaurant

There’s a lot to handle when you’re running a restaurant and a lot of decisions to make. You need to get your menu covers right, manage staff and payroll, advertising, and do lots of other things. If you don’t where to start, see if your restaurant is ready with these must-haves.


If you’re going to run a successful restaurant, you need a strong concept.  As well as the right location, the right chef, and the right staff, try to find a concept that isn’t already being done and will work in your location. With this, the rest can fall into place. 

LocationWhere your restaurant is located is really important

Where your restaurant is located is really important. Try to find somewhere that will allow you some space to grow when you’re ready, has the potential to attract a good crowd, and is within your budget.

It can help to be somewhere with good footfall, so people can walk past and be tempted in. A location with plenty of nearby parking is always wise too. 

Menu engineering

You don’t get long to get the attention of a customer with your menu, so your menu needs to work. Your menu will dictate a few things, including how you run your business, the food you produce, the type of equipment and ingredients you need, and which qualifications your employees might need to have. Make sure to get all the necessary permits and food safety certifications that are needed for your business.

It might also dictate other services that you need to find, such as a safe way to dispose of large amounts of cooking oil, if you’ll be serving fried food. 

Point of Sale

Menu engineering

A point of sale seems like an obvious thing that you’ll need, but it’s important to get the right one. Is it easy to use and reliable? Choose a POS that can be used as a point of service, not just a point of sale. 

Staff management

Your staff is the face of your business, so you need good ones. You need to get the best, which means you need to know how to hire, how to train them, and how to keep them. You also need to learn to schedule your shifts in an optimal way for your staff and the restaurant, so you always have enough people working, and pair up people who work well together. 

There are pieces of software that you can use that will make your life so much easier here. All you have to do is search restaurant employee scheduling software to find what you’re looking for! This tackles one problem, so it’s about training and keeping them now.

Reservation systemReservation system

Make it as easy as possible for people to make a reservation. Take reservations over the phone, but also set up your website for taking reservations online. If people can book at any time of day or night, not just when someone is free to answer the phone, you can take more reservations and get more customers through the door. 

Entertainment value

To keep customers coming back, it can help to add some form of entertainment to your restaurant, especially on a Friday or Saturday night.  You could bring in a live band at the weekend or host events like wine tasting or themed nights with matched wines and food. This could bring more people in, and encourage plenty of advanced bookings. 

Inventory controls

f entertainment to your restaurant

Regular inventory is more than just counting stock. If you don’t have a process for taking inventory regularly, your restaurant will lose money.  Taking regular inventory is essential for running your restaurant successfully to keep track of stock needs and manage your spending better. 


Your doors are open, but does anyone know? You can create the best restaurant there is, but if you don’t spread the word, nobody will come, and you won’t succeed.  You can use a mixture of marketing methods, such as advertising in the local paper, distributing flyers, social media, or bringing in food bloggers to review. Before you launch, get a marketing plan for the launch and beyond. 

A way to measure your successA way to measure your success

It’s hard to track how you’re doing if you’re not keeping this information in one place. Most restaurant owners are very busy, and it can be hard to keep track of everything if all your different systems, such as point of sale, table management, online reviews, and guest lists, don’t talk to each other.

Choose systems that can be linked up so you can see your bookings, your income, and all your other measures of success all in one place to help you keep track. Running a restaurant doesn’t have to be the most stressful thing in your life. If you’re adequately prepared, then you can make management simpler and make sure your restaurant has the best chance of being successful. 

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