Psst, we heard you wanted to open a restaurant. We think that’s awesome and to help you out we sweet-talked restaurateur Wejdan Ismail into sharing a few tips of the trade that she learned the hard way, just so you can be ahead of the game.
- Experience is key. Start strong because first (or any) impressions will make or break your customer’s experience. People don’t always share if they had a good time, but they will definitely express the bad times.
- Find your hook. You might be one of several burger joints, but you will discover that people love your delivery, or your ambiance, or your fries. Whatever makes you different, however surprising it is; lean on it and make it your thing.
- Watch your stash! Plan your supply chain really well. Supplies running out, delayed shipping and unavailable niche ingredients can lead to the very toxic phrase, “I’m sorry, but we don’t have that menu item.” Then, see Tip #1.
- Control what you can. Rent is fixed, but maintenance, food costs and portions are variable. Check everything twice and make sure you’re getting what you pay for.
- And let go of what you can’t. You’re going to get negative feedback now and then. If there’s a valuable criticism in there, definitely learn from it. Otherwise, … I mean, .
- The. Customer. Is. Always. ALWAYS. Right. “But…” No. “They were rude!” Doesn’t matter. “They had the wrong expectations.” Tough luck, give them the right experience and strive to make them happy. Remember: tip #1.
Pass by Wejdan’s restaurant, Burrito Loco on Prince Faisal bin Fahd Rd in Khobar, next time you’re hungering for a burrito lunch.