6 great tips for running a commercial kitchen
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Running a business in the catering industry has always been the goal of many entrepreneurial food connoisseurs. Although you’ll undoubtedly have a firm love for great tasting food, working in this industry is no picnic. It is a tough, demanding and often unforgiving industry that, if done right, can be extremely profitable. Yet with hard work, determination and the right advice you can certainly pull through and give your dishes the acclaim they no doubt deserve. This is exactly why the business finance experts at Rangewell have once again come together to offer you our top tips to success. Let’s fry!
As a restaurant owner, you can appreciate just how complex running even the smallest of establishments can be. On one hand, you’re having to operate like a factory, pumping out tantalising dishes. Yet, on the other, you’re also having to tend to retail elements at the same time. Balancing the two can be extremely difficult, putting you under severe strain even during calmer periods. But the key to success is making your establishment’s routines and processes as streamlined as possible. Keep everything simple and rid yourself of anything unnecessary. If you don’t, it can easily lead to defective products, rushed services and disastrous managerial oversights.
Running any sort of establishment in the catering industry will be challenging if you’re not paying attention. You’re having to perform so many roles all at the same time, you can easily get pulled away from what really matters – running a commercial kitchen. The whole purpose of why you opened your establishment was to serve high-quality dishes. However, you’re also having to deliver flawless customer service…with a smile. Sure, you can create a to-do list, but you’ll soon find that going straight up into your extractor fans. The solution is focus and, no doubt, extra staff. After all, even the smallest two-person run establishment can find itself over encumbered. But if you can please your customers and appeal to their discerning tastes they’ll start spreading the word, giving your catering establishment the best free PR available.
It’s better to do one thing really well than ten things poorly
In the catering industry, it is simply impossible to cater for every taste. Attempting to do so has often lead to failing establishments that eventually fall into insolvency. You need to establish early on what your identity is and what you’re about. Attempting to be a jack of all trades only leads to being a master of none. Get the various aspects of your business in line. Your concept to needs to be concise and clear so that you attract the right audience and give the right impression. It’s like trying to be both a Korean grill and an Italian pizzeria all at once, it’s not going to work.
Remaining consistent is crucial. However, there are so many variables it can leave even the most robust of establishments stretched thin. But ultimately, running anything from a restaurant or bistro to a cafe or upmarket coffee shop, you need to put the customer at the very heart of your business. You need to do everything possible to ensure that they leave satisfied and content every time. This entails a number of things: fitting your kitchen with the best and most fuel efficient catering equipment available; keeping your dining areas up to date and fully furnished; and, of course, great customer service. After all, you don’t want customers walking in and storming straight out again in disappointment?
Pay Attention to the details
As well as ensuring excellent quality dishes, offering every customer a warm welcome, and creating menus and wine lists, you also have to pay attention to the smaller details. If you don’t they can and will damage your business’ long-term sustainability. Running a commercial kitchen is expensive but the costs can be reduced by up to 40% if you know how. You’re having to contend with the cost of electricity, gas, water, staff wages and so on. That is exactly why you need to fit the highest quality fuel efficient catering equipment on the market and organise your kitchen layout in the most effective manner. If you’re in need of catering equipment, companies such as BF Engineering Services Ltd (BFES) can help you to acquire fully-customised catering equipment that meets your exact needs!
Apply for Finance
Running a successful catering establishment can be expensive, there’s so much to constantly consider and adjust. This is precisely why more and more business owners in the catering sector are seeking alternative business finance. Plus, with the aid of access to finance providers such as Rangewell, you can source the perfect finance solution to suit your needs. With our services, you can gain access to anything, including Business Loans, Merchant Cash Advance, Leases, Hire Purchase and so much more!
Business loans are typically either secured or unsecured and are an excellent way of funding a wide array of business projects. Applying for an unsecured loan lets you can borrow anything from £5,000 to £250,000 without the need to set aside assets. Meanwhile, secured loans help you acquire larger sums ranging from £5,000 to as much as £1,000,000. In exchange, the lender will require you to set down assets as security. Yet, with either option, you must comply with a fixed monthly repayment plan, plus interest.
Merchant Cash Advance
This form of business finance is often considered as a fast and effective way of securing funds at short notice, with funds usually transferred within 48 hours of applying. To qualify, your business must be able to accept credit and debit card payments, either through Chip & Pin or online. You’ll also need to have been trading for at least 12 months and show, on demand, sales reports for 3 or more consecutive months. This can vary depending on the lender. Once you’ve garnered their confidence, they may offer you a lump sum starting from £5,000 to £100,000.
The repayment method consists of the lender taking a fixed percentage of your card sales. For example, if a lender offered a rate of 18%, that translates into 18p from every £1 your card customers spend until the product has been fully repaid. As such, this repayment method makes it one of the most flexible on the market. If you experience high sales, the repayments go up. But if you experience a slump it goes down. Simple.
Leasing agreements are the means in which your business can borrow equipment for a monthly rental, plus interest. Such agreements can last from 1-3 year, or longer. When discussing leases it’s important that you understand the two types that are available: Operating and Finance.
- Operating: With this agreement, you only borrow the asset for a portion of its total projected working life span. You do not take on any other responsibilities such as maintenance, repairs, registration and so on. At end of the leasing term, you can either extend your lease or hand back the asset. It is unlikely that the lessor will extend an offer to buy the asset in question.
- Finance: Here, you’ll be required to commit to a monthly rental scheme. The term that could be offered may cover most of, or even the entire, projected working life span of the concerned asset. You will also be required to accept certain responsibilities such as maintenance, repairs, registration, administration, insurance and so on. At the end of the agreement, you are free to return, extend or purchase the asset from the lessor.
If you require large, heavy and often very expensive pieces of equipment, a hire purchase solution can be of tremendous help. This finance solution is designed to help you acquire an asset and eventually becomes its owner. It works by having an alternative lender purchase the asset on your behalf.
Before you can install and make use of the asset you will be required to provide an initial deposit to the lender in the region of 10% of the asset’s total worth. Once this has been paid, you can make full use of the asset whilst making fixed monthly repayments to the lender, plus interest. Once the repayment scheme has been paid ownership of the asset is transferred over to you.
Our values are simple – We’re on your side. Our services are clear and transparent. We support a wide range of SME businesses of every shape and size, for finding every type of finance. So whether you're looking to set up a new restaurant or are looking for finance for pop-up restaurants or similar, we can help. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for business tips and tricks, and feel free to call us on 0203 637 2340 if you’d like to chat about what we can do for you.