Something else you’ll need to consider…
For this blog post I want to move away from expanding on the 12 steps I mentioned here and talk about a very important aspect of running a successful restaurant – keeping it clean, hygienic and beautifully presented. Your kitchen and front of house staff can be expected to do some cleaning but you’ll need to outsource and hire professional cleaners too. You need to make sure you factor that into your costs at the beginning as from experience, many new restaurateurs don’t factor this into pricing in the early days and struggle to find money for the services when they’re needed.
Some outsourcing you will need to consider hiring include carpet cleaners, window cleaners and lawn mowers just to name a few. In my restaurants I hire general cleaners for ongoing works and have a list of other local businesses like the above three I mentioned, that I hire on an as needed basis.
Not something you would think about when setting up a restaurant but if you have carpeted areas you will need to clean and maintain the carpet by regularly hiring a professional carpet cleaner. Stained, dirty and unsightly carpets don’t bode well for the overall appearance and ambiance of your restaurant. Food and drinks get spilt and customers can walk in with dirty shoes but the frequency of needing professional carpet cleaning will depending on the state of your carpet. As a general rule I have carpets cleaned at a minimum every 6 months in all of my restaurants. Some restaurants get their carpets cleaned more frequently, it all depends on how dirty the carpet gets.
Now, depending on the size of your restaurant this could be something you get your staff to do one morning before the restaurant opens, or once the café closes in the afternoon… But if you’ve got more than one level, high windows or just no desire to do it yourself, then hiring a professional window cleaning team every few months will take the stress out of getting the job done. I get windows cleaned every three months in all of my restaurants.
Obviously not required if you don’t have an outdoor area but some restaurants and cafes have beer gardens and outdoor areas that need lawn and garden maintenance from time to time. If you’ve got your own lawn mower, sure you can do it yourself but I like to get it done professionally because A) my time is money and it’s more cost effective for me to pay someone to do the job and B) I want my outdoor areas to look well maintained and landscaped so I get the lawn mowing company to weed and do gardening as well.
You’ll need to keep an electrician and plumber on hand for any emergencies. Over the years I’ve built a list of trusted tradies and cleaners in cities all over Australia. Calling a plumber at 3am isn’t something I’ve had to do often but for the times I have done it, having an existing relationship with the plumber (ie, having used them many times before) makes for a great incentive to them to get out of bed. You’ll also need to consider maintenance of appliances like HVAC and air conditioning units which need annual servicing.
This list could go on depending on how you fit-out your restaurant and how big it is but for the most part, the above services are the ones I outsource to the most. Finding the right company isn’t always easy and I’ve certainly gone through my fair share of tradies but once I find a good company I let them know I’ll stick with them and I keep my word. Having loyal customers is big in business no matter if you’re a restaurant owner or carpet cleaner.
I hope this blog has been helpful and opened your eyes up to additional costs that you may not have initially factored into your restaurant. First impressions count and cleanliness is next to godliness, or at least that’s what they say. For me first impressions and presentation is everything so outsourcing and paying for these jobs to be done is important to me and my businesses.