It’s been said that restaurant years are more like dog years, to where 27 years in business like Neil Perry’s Rockpool, or 11 years like Jamie Oliver’s international chain of Italian restaurants, could be seen as incredible feats of gastronomical proportions; as rare as the beef in an episode of Gordon Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares – before the makeover. Yet, both prolific chef/entrepreneurs, Perry and Oliver, have seen their businesses close down in the last couple of years as the market gets more and tougher for culinary businesses to stay hot amongst the competition.
As Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain going into administration this May shows, (all but 3 of the group’s 25 locations closed this year and 12 of them closed last year – 5 of them in Australia), rising food prices, increased rents, and competition has likely been part of the downfall for many industry players.
No Perfect Recipe
The restaurant business is relentless at worst and ever-changing at best. And just like Business Insider’s Simon Thomsen puts it, “restaurants are a complex ecosystem that’s like pop music for your mouth.” No one person has the magic recipe for a global hit, and in an era of people camping outside of an Apple store for the new iPhone, consumers move on quickly to the next new eatery. This means that even for the most successful businesses, it’s staying successful long after the novelty factor runs out, that proves difficult.
Best Defence is a Good Offence
Although there are far too many confounding factors to why so few establishments can stand the test of time, one adage will always ring true: the best defence is a good offence. This means that covering as many bases as you can as a business owner to ensure at the very least, your food and service is consistently good, can give you an edge when things out of your control can throw your business a curveball.
Here are 5 other ways you could get that advantage:
1. Independently review your menu costings.
2. Lock in supplier prices where possible.
3. Keep your finger on the pulse and reinvent your menu to keep up with dining trends.
4. Invest in exceptional staff and positive work culture from the get-go.
5. Choose food suppliers who are responsive to your needs and can offer tailored solutions.
Here at M&J Chickens, we’ve heard the industry struggles and have responded accordingly, ensuring that speedy service always coincides with quality and taste. And in an industry widely referred to by chefs as the “business of nostalgia”, we stay true to the classics.