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Passion on its own need not make a thriving restaurant

Local F&B space is seeing a lot of new entrants that could do with better planning

Gulf News

Launching a restaurant is often seen as a very fashionable enterprise, and many have always dreamed of opening their very own.

Some enter the food and beverages (F&B) market with a solid background and wish to branch out with their own enterprise as a simple path of evolution of their own relevant experience.

However, there also many who enter the business with a certain naïveté and devoid of the necessary skills and experience to succeed in the game. There is a very clear distinction from perception and the actual market reality that makes owning and running a restaurant a trying ordeal for individuals who lack the relevant experience in the industry.

The primary overlying issue is that successfully running a restaurant depends on so many staggering factors that it becomes almost impossible for one person to cover all the bases. Most people still enter without the required experience or consultants on board and lacking in proper advice. This is because the majority of investors still believe it to be an easy business to set up and run, since they see a lot of restaurants busy on weekends and assume it will automatically be lucrative to enter.

Another factor that cannot be ignored is the current F&B market climate, where there is cut-throat competition, to say the least. Having a “good” restaurant concept doesn’t cut it anymore and those entering the game need to ensure they have the tools for survival to run a full-blown operation. This includes everything from day-to-day operations to social media and public relations.

Due to these overwhelming challenges, more potential investors are now turning to F&B consultants as a viable means to ensure their restaurant is backed with the necessary tools to thrive and safeguard their investment. Restaurant management specialists bring a host of benefits to the table, which include access and utilisation of an experienced organisational structure that in most cases utilise teams of trained and educated staff in the hospitality sector.

Another major benefit is that they are able to reap the benefits of economies of scale. They can tap into their own organisation to provide powerful tools and resources such as centralised accounting and HR services, cost control services and management, and detailed financial reporting when necessary. In regard to day-to-day operations, these firms are also able to coordinate with government services, negotiate with suppliers on behalf of all brands, work with landlords to secure the best rents, and manage hiring and staff reviews.

By comparison, it is almost impossible for any one individual or even teams to have access to all these key services. Many simply don’t have the network to implement a successful operation in every aspect of the business.

Another important factor to consider is that operating with the F&B sector is extremely time-consuming, and many who attempt to launch a restaurant as an additional side project to their already existing schedules simply cannot manage the time to juggle both schedules.

In conclusion, like in many other industries, it is competition and the customers’ demand that drive the F&B sector. Restaurants are continuously pitted against one another in a saturated market where every tool needs to be utilised to rise above the competition.

— Abdul Kader Saadi is Managing Director of Glee Hospitality.

 

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