It can not be denied, people these days love to venture into food business, be it big or small. Big business are from those entrepreneurs who can have dedicate full time for their business. But others with other pre-occupations can do small time business as well. Regardless if the business is big or small, one thing that is always overlooked, and sometimes missing is the consulting business plan.
If you try to ask these small time restaurant whether they have made a business plan before venturing into restaurant business, chances are they would answer NO. But were they successful or not, well that depends. A business plan is not a guarantee for the success of ones business. So what is a consulting business plan? And how does it help in operating a restaurant business? Who needs one?
What is a consulting business plan?
You can always run your business, whatever business it is, without even having to consult first from the experts. Business is simple, sell something, and then you earn a profit. That is basic business. However, there is more to business that just getting a profit. There is something more. You want your business to run smooth. You want your business to be legal. You want your business to be ethical. You want your business to click. You want your business to be awesome, to be great.
What makes a great restaurant?
If you rely solely on just having a profit, then that is fine. Even if you have the worst restaurant in the world, there will still be customers who will line up to your restaurant and buy that fugly cooked food. Yes. That is true. But did not you ever wished that more people would come to you restaurant? Instead of only hundreds, you would have tens of thousands per month, or even more. Why limit? Why limit to your own ideas and concepts?
Role of the consultants
There are many kinds of consultants. There are spiritual consultants, such as the priests, pastors, healers. These consultant can assist you on your spiritual journey. There are strategy consultants, in which they try to find ways on how something can be efficient. There is this human resource consultant. This is when you need help on selecting your employee, when creating a team. There are countless out there which may not need mentioning. The restaurant consultant is one of a kind.
What does a restaurant consultant do?
A restaurant consultant basically provides organizational system required to run a business. As we have mentioned earlier, a business can run without a system. You will be fine. But it also means one thing, you have no plans to improve your business. You have no plans to aim higher. It means you are contented. But there is something else out there. There is more. And only consultants can provide you with that. Consultants have studied their field of expertise. They may have no money or capital to run their own business, but they have the tools. They are like carpenters, they have the tools, they have the skills to build a house. But they have no money to erect one. That is what consultants do. But unlike carpenters, consultants will not run or operate for your business. They only give advice. So when you hire for a consultant, you pay for their advice.
What do you get when hiring a consultant
System. The term system is very German. To stretch the word it means, doing things as written on the book, and doing things to be recorded in the book. Actually. It is not really German. But one could always think of German when ever he thinks of the word system. Why is that so? The German always think of system in almost everything as if life is meaningless without a system. Not that it is good or bad, it is just their signature. And many do not appreciate that.
Organization. Very related to system. When something is organized, there is no need for someone to think about something. Everything is done out of system. Everything becomes a routine. Not bad, not good either. But if efficiency is what you are after, because that is how it is done in every business, then this is what you need, organization. An example of how organization work is something as follows:
Sense of direction, target. People can just do their job. But it is something else if people have some sense of urgency, some sense of motion, a sense of direction than just do what they are supposed and expected to do. That sense of direction is achieved through documentation, through writing.
Business Plan. Without a business plan, it would be too hard to have all the things mentioned above to work out. If you noticed, it is all about the documentation, not the execution. Everybody loves to do the execution, that is our typical understanding of work. But the writing down of the plans, the documentation, we always overlooked. So write. Put everything in paper. Let others see, not just have something in the head. That is what documentation is all about.
What a restaurant needs
Here are some things required when running and operating a restaurant:
Now you have a checklist, are we done already? Hmm, maybe yes, maybe no. But that is why you need a consultant. The consultant will figure out these pointers, and will make things work out for you. Of course you have the resources, you have the money, all he does is make things work by providing you some strategies.
But the thing that he can do best is to let you put everything into documentation. To do that, he may ask you if your restaurant is registered and legal to operate. This is a headache for some, but if you can hire a secretary, or a bookkeeper, or an accountant, or anyone who has experience in revenues, then that may work as well.
The other concern is the concern on receipts or invoice. If you get the right person for the said job above, he or she may be able to do the job for a cashier. But is it invoice or receipt? Depending on what country you are in, it can either of the two. In a restaurant,, the use of invoice is not uncommon. Invoices are used for services, and in a restaurant, you are buying the services of the people who prepared the food, so it would be more of the services, and less of a product which is usually what receipts are used for. But the important thing, either of the two, you should have the numbering when using a document slip for paying.
Now you have the registration for the restaurant, and then you have the receipts/invoice, the next thing is a documentation for tracking orders, and earnings. How much have you earned for today? How much have you earned for the last two weeks. Now, we are talking of spreadsheets here.
The last one may not be very critical, but it is important – restaurant guidelines. Restaurant guidelines are not just for the crews, but for everyone involved in operating the restaurant. Usually it is in a booklet form.
The Necessity of Consultation
Is it really necessary to have a consultant if one starts a restaurant? The answer is no, not necessary. In fact a lot of restaurants we know that are still operating did not have to undergo security consultation. And they are just fine. But mostly, these are just small restaurants. If you really want to make it big, then you really need a help from the experts.
Advantages of Hiring a Consultant
It is a good thing to hire a consultant. You can learn a lot from a consultant. He can give you different perspectives. How things can be done in a different way. He can give you options. He can give you a good advice. But the last consultant is actually yourself. The last thing you listen to is yourself. You are the last stand. So you listen to your consultant, but at the end of the day, you are the one running your business.