According to most experts, when deciding whether to "get involved" in the opening of your restaurant, you cannot rely on the traditional marketing scheme "market analysis - finding an unoccupied niche - entering a niche and working in it." There are several reasons for this.
Part one: from concept to discovery (market situation)
First, because, according to the unanimous opinion of all interviewed experts and practitioners, today, as the director of one of the most visited restaurants in Kiev has clearly formulated, “any good restaurant in any niche will bring success.”
Secondly, because, again, according to the unanimous opinion of all respondents, there is still no established restaurant market in our country. Even in the capital, where today there are over 500 restaurants (in Moscow there are, for example, 3000), according to the estimates of the restaurateurs themselves, about 20-25 establishments are very popular. What can we say about the regions even then?
In fact, this means that an entrepreneur who decides to open his own restaurant and does not spare not only money, but also efforts and time, and also listens to the opinion of professionals, who cannot be done without them, has every chance of becoming successful. the owner of the restaurant, and even the restaurateur (the occupation, as they say, is extremely exciting and interesting).
How much does it cost to open a restaurant
Professionals answer this question unequivocally: "It all depends on the tasks that you set for yourself." But the approximate figure is still reported: the construction and equipment of a turnkey restaurant costs the customer from $ 850 to $ 1,500 per square meter of area, including all retail, utility and other premises. Adding to this figure the cost of purchasing the premises itself (and in the center of the capital, its price, for example, may be $ 1000 per square meter), we can say that the sum of all expenses for a medium-sized (about two hundred square meters) restaurant is about $ 400 thousand.
If we talk about how the costs of building and equipping a restaurant are split into separate items, then, for example, when a restaurant is opened in a detached building that requires serious reconstruction in one of the million-plus cities, they look something like this (see “Cost differentiation …”). A restaurant usually has a payback period of one to five years.
The salary of a Kiev chef of Ukrainian origin is, depending on the place of work, from $ 200 to $ 500. The salary of a Kiev bartender is, depending on the place of work, from $ 180 to $ 400. The salary of a Kiev waiter is, depending on the place of work, from $ 100 to $ 200 plus a tip.
Where to start
First of all - with finding out where you can find and get a suitable premises, building or land plot for it. Practice shows that it is the location of the restaurant that is often the stove from which you have to dance, creating its concept.
For example, the farther the new restaurant is from the districts where wealthy citizens live, the more it should differ - in cuisine, interior, atmosphere, class, and finally - from the rest of the establishments that they are used to visiting. After all, hardly anyone would dare to go to the edge of the city in order to visit the “double” of one of the restaurants located in the center.
On the other hand, having premises in the center, at the intersection of transport and pedestrian routes, it is worth thinking about what is more profitable in this case - to open an elite establishment with gourmet cuisine and expensive dishes or to build a completely democratic restaurant that relies on the turnover. would be obvious, but not always taken into account by the future owners, some of whom are guided by completely understandable, but far from marketing considerations - to build a copy of a restaurant that they especially liked somewhere abroad, or even just “the restaurant of their dreams” …
Thinking about what its future restaurant will be like, or, in the language of professionals, building its concept, the first thing to do is decide which cuisine to choose.
What to choose from
An entrepreneur who is going to open his own restaurant has a wide choice of cuisine.It is only important not to forget that not all national cuisines can be perceived by the stomachs of the Ukrainian consumer without appropriate adaptation.
The number of restaurant cuisines that have already taken root on Russian soil cannot be accurately calculated. One of the experts interviewed named traditional Ukrainian, French, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, American, Mexican, German-Austrian, Indian, Georgian, Armenian cuisines as the most popular. He lost count, added that he probably forgot to mention something, suggested doing something more productive - and he was right, because he really forgot, for example, restaurants operating in the capital with Jewish, Yugoslav, Argentinean and Uzbek cuisines.
If the above list seemed too mundane to you, you can add to it the Greek, Afghan, Colombian, Tibetan, Indonesian and Ethiopian cuisines, which are quite famous in the world.
Market point of view
The director of one restaurant-club stated:
- Today there are over 500 restaurants, but this market is far from saturated. There are 12,000 of them in Tokyo, and 3,000 in Moscow. Of these, there are very few expensive and classy establishments with a high level of service. The majority are so-called democratic restaurants, which maintain an average price policy and focus on the quality of food, caring less about the level of service.
The age of restaurants, even the most fashionable ones, is very short - three or four years, at most five years. New national cuisines appear, new "gadgets" - a spit in the hall, something else - and the whole party runs from you to another restaurant, and then to a third. Therefore, the art of keeping a client in one's institution is a special art. If a restaurateur, who has just opened a restaurant, sees a client for the second or third time, then I would already congratulate him. In fact, restaurants are in third place in the world bankruptcy book after ready-to-wear and photographic stores. And they are prone to bankruptcy, first of all, because everyone believes that opening a restaurant and running it is a trifling matter. I, they say, will do everything like my mother. And where can I get my mother's ability to choose products in the bazaar? Mom's ability to save? Where can I get my mother's stuffed fish? Restaurateurs must understand that today they must either give more services for the same money as yesterday, or - with the same amount of services - reduce prices.
How to choose a kitchen
In the opinion of restaurateurs, the optimal strategy for choosing a kitchen is to combine data from the analysis of the expected market needs and sober consideration of their own capabilities, with an emphasis on the second component.
So, for example, before opening a restaurant with unfamiliar exotic cuisine, you should think about whether you can distinguish a master from an impostor when choosing a future chef. And when planning a restaurant in the regional center with a focus on French or Italian cuisine, you should first think about where you will find suppliers of seafood, as well as salads, vegetables and fruits fresh throughout the year.
As for the needs of the market, according to professionals, they are still insufficiently met (especially in the regions), and therefore today a high-quality restaurant with any cuisine will be a success.
So, in a successful “purely Russian” restaurant, we were told that “the client was fed up with all sorts of curiosities and freaks,” and continued: “Yes, there was a period when it was interesting and fashionable, and everyone wanted to try exotic dishes. But it was all over. Our people have been accustomed to their cuisine since childhood. And just like the Germans will always be supporters of German cuisine, the French - French, Japanese - Japanese, Russians will prefer Russian. And any person who came to us from abroad will definitely try the national cuisine”.
But an hour later, in an equally successful restaurant focused on European cuisine, they said that from a whole list of Russian dishes that they previously included in their main menu for foreigners, only borscht remained. “They removed, - as it was said, - even the“Kiev style”cutlets.
Obtaining permits and construction
By this time, the future owner should already, as they say now, “decide” on the personality of the future director or manager of the restaurant, ie. a person who will be doomed alone to go through the entire path of the cross of approvals, permits and approvals.
Of course, no one forbids the owner to carry this burden on his shoulders, but in this case he will simply have to forget about his main business - practice shows that the “permissive stage” in opening a restaurant lasts from six months (a record result) to a year and then to infinity.
Therefore, knowledgeable people advise future restaurateurs from the very beginning, even when registering a legal entity, to seek help from lawyers. At the same time, as practitioners explain again, they hire lawyers not so much to replace petitioners in their visits to instances (this is almost impossible), but above all to correctly draw up the countless number of papers that are proliferating during this circulation. Establishing and maintaining personal contacts at all levels, down to secretaries and ordinary inspectors, should be the prerogative of the director of the future restaurant.
In the ranks of some practitioners, there is also the point of view that, having found a room for themselves and proceeding to obtain permission to rent it, one must firmly remember that a person who has come to the authorities to seek to open not something, but a restaurant, appears in their eyes an invaluable (in the literal sense of the word) source of replenishment of all kinds of funds. By dodging contributions, you may gain in your own eyes the reputation of an "unyielding fighter", but such a position is unlikely to bring the opening date of your restaurant closer - no one will say "no" to you, but your papers will irrevocably sink somewhere in the depths of the lower performing levels.
After obtaining a rental permit, the stage of drawing up an architectural, engineering and technological project begins. At the same time, the premises will be inspected by representatives of various services - electricians, gas workers, sanitary and epidemiological workers, firefighters. In this case, inevitable complications will arise, to which the owner should already get used to it. So, if the room is old, then it will have to be examined for the strength of the foundation and beams, if the building belongs to historical monuments, you will have to deal with the appropriate management. If the object does not have enough power supply and it will be necessary to lay a cable or, even worse, if you erect a detached building and pull tens or even hundreds of meters of engineering networks, you will again have to get countless approvals, etc.
After the approval of the project by the firefighters and the sanitary and epidemiological station, before starting construction, you need to obtain permission from the department (special department, special inspection - they can be called differently) for the improvement of the local state administration, because, as one of our interlocutors said, “with the first blow of the hammer, all city services will certainly be at you".
While construction is underway, it is also necessary to start obtaining a patent for trading activities (catering is considered production and trading activities), a license for the right to produce and sell food products in the public catering sector, as well as a license for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products.
Purchase and installation of equipment
Decide what kind of engineering and technological kitchen equipment for the restaurant will be, and you need to order it already at the beginning of construction.Practitioners' opinions on the provision of ventilation for the restaurant premises coincided: firstly, it needs to be worked out in detail at the project stage and, secondly, to be prepared in advance for the most serious costs, which usually exceed those planned "by eye".
As for the purchase and placement of kitchen technological equipment, among restaurateurs, there are two points of view on how this should happen. The first point of view is that the main executor of the owner's will at this stage of the development of the event should be the technologist (sometimes the future owner of the restaurant he finds it himself, but more often his technologist, with whom he is used to working in one bundle, is suggested by the project architect).
He appears in the construction arena after the owner, who has already chosen a restaurant kitchen and found a chef, negotiates with him all the details of the "culinary policy" of the future establishment. Many believe that the selection and placement of equipment should be the prerogative of the chef.
The task of the technologist is, in accordance with this policy and countless current regulatory documents, to plan the kitchen premises, build technological chains, draw up a list of the necessary equipment with the chef, and then, when the purchased equipment is delivered, arrange it (again, together with the chef According to the second point of view, the choice and arrangement of equipment is the prerogative of the chef, and, it should be noted, practice quite often confirms her right to life.
How to select equipment
The market for equipment, from technological kitchen equipment to furniture, dishes and textiles, is so saturated that the restaurateur can only work out the correct strategy for behavior on it.
The exact formulation of this strategy is a private matter for every restaurateur, but a few simple rules are quite acceptable for everyone.
Rule one - do not chase cheapness. In a restaurant, like nowhere else, it is true that a miser pays twice. Ordinary furniture breaks down here within a year, ordinary dishes tend to beat constantly, and even the toilet cistern works hundreds of times more intensively than in an ordinary apartment.
Rule two - trust reputable suppliers. A good reputation in the restaurant business is a very serious thing, and it is unlikely that a supplier who has already gained weight will want to damage it at the expense of a newbie.
In addition, the competition among suppliers today is so high that serious firms are trying to lure the buyer with the widest range of marketing services, in addition to, say, the obligatory conditions of warranty and post-warranty service, additional equipment, etc. accompanied by a commercial offer) and detailed review advice on the area of the restaurant business to which the company is related.
Rule three - first of all, talk to restaurateurs. The most detailed plan for the arrangement of kitchen technological equipment, commented by a specialist, will give a beginner 10 times more if before that he spends at least a quarter of an hour in the restaurant kitchen and talks to its chef.
Point of view on the factors of restaurant success
Vitaly ULITSKY, head of USP-Design:
- The first factor of success is the location of the restaurant. There are many successful restaurants in bad places, unsuccessful restaurants in good ones, but nevertheless the location is very important.
The second success factor is quality cuisine. But this is also not the most important thing.
The third and main factor for the success of a restaurant for me is its ideological component. I would call the restaurant a catering establishment with an ideological and plot origin. For me, the main component of the restaurant is its legend, which develops plot in this restaurant. A distinctive feature of the restaurant is its theatricality.People come here not only to satisfy hunger, but also to emphasize their social status while eating.
All successful restaurants have their own plot and script, which are replicated in all the attributes of the restaurant and in all advertising manifestations. The clearer and more interesting the plot, the more trifles in the restaurant that define and confirm its direction - from the restaurant's logo on the edge of the saucer to the non-standard uniform and texts that are present in advertising messages - the more the restaurant acquires its own individuality, which is instantly visible to the public. felt. This is the living energy that distinguishes successful restaurants from standard and unsuccessful ones.
When the dish is served, the client, before having tried it, already evaluates with his eyes how attractive and interesting it is. You can, for example, serve "cabbage" in a simple plate, or you can bake bread, cut off the top crust, take out the crumb, pour the same " cabbage”inside, cover the bread with the top crust again and serve.
You can simply grill the salmon, or you can bake it in fish made from puff pastry, decorate the dish with red caviar (fish eyes) and a layer of spinach (seaweed) and serve it already.
Finally, you can cook a leg of lamb, cut it and serve it to the client, or you can take it entirely into the hall, where the waiter will cut it in front of everyone on a special table. And this is done not least so that other visitors will notice that such and such a table has ordered an expensive dish. There are no trifles in the restaurant business, and regular visitors notice literally any changes. For example, if linen napkins are simply folded in a triangle and placed on a plate, this is one thing, but if every day of the week they are “wrapped” in a new way, this is completely different.
Part two: people
Chefs are usually looked for in the same way as a future marriage partner - preferably the best and forever, but, in principle, time will tell. In this case, most often the feet of the seeker are directed along one of the three paths indicated below.
The first way. You can apply with an appropriate application to a reputable recruiting agency, best of all international, with its own branch in Ukraine. The agency will select candidates, those - prepare dishes for a potential employer to try. The search may take a long time, but the chances of finding a really worthy chef on this path are close to zero, since almost all of them in Ukraine are provided with jobs and decent salaries today.
The second way. Your best bet is to contact a reputable overseas recruiting agency and look for a chef overseas. The agency, as the search is successful, sends the employer a resume of the next candidate, and when the restaurateur finally ripens for a choice and comes “to the place” (in Milan, Madrid, Lausanne, Marseille, etc.), arranges a presentation of the cooking art of three - four candidates selected by the employer based on their resume. This, of course, is more expensive, but there is something to pay for - the databases of foreign recruiting agencies are incomparable with domestic ones.
The third way. A chef, like any other employee, can be lured away from another establishment. True, everyone talks about it “with a feeling of deep disgust,” but since they do say it, it means that from time to time something like this happens.
How much to pay him
The sums of contracts with top-class chefs, of course, are shrouded in deep commercial secrets. Someone talks about a salary from 2 to 4 thousand dollars, someone calls the amount of annual contracts from 40 to 100 thousand dollars.
In addition to the salary, the employer hires the chef in comfortable accommodation near the restaurant, pays for his vacation and twice a year a trip to his family (the family, as a rule, is not brought here) … In short, he provides the chef with everything that is called a compensation package in the West.
With all this, the risk of "flying through" with the chef and not getting the desired result for your very big money is quite serious.
Sometimes, but it happens that upon arrival in our “wild uncivilized lands” a chef hired in Milan (Madrid, Lausanne, Marseille), remaining a high-class professional, but having lost the environment of his usual food suppliers and a cook team, cannot show his personal quality to the fullest. If we translate this diplomatic formulation into the language of bare facts, we can say that there were cases when foreign chefs who came to work in Moscow, after a while received payments from the owners of the establishments and either returned to their homeland, or looked for work here, but already, of course, in another restaurant and on different terms. However, there are also opposite examples, when foreign chefs have been successfully working in Moscow for seven to eight years.
The size of the chef's team depends on the number of seats in the restaurant. In one of the Kiev establishments, for example, there are 20 kitchen staff per 100 places, working in two shifts of 10 people each.
Each of the chefs has a narrow specialization and works in his own specific area: someone makes only cold appetizers, someone only hot, someone prepares soups and so on. If the staff of cooks working in the kitchen is smaller, options are possible in the distribution of responsibilities, for example, “soup bowls” are combined with those who prepare hot snacks, etc.
There are also people working in the kitchen who, before handing over the semi-finished products to the cooks, bring them to the desired condition, for example, cut them off, remove the veins and bring the ten-kilogram piece of meat brought into “good weight” (the expression of restaurateurs).
In addition, someone has to peel the potatoes, someone has to wash the pans and pans, and so on.
In the early and mid-nineties, when “equalization” in the payment of kitchen workers was still in price, friction sometimes arose between a chef who came from abroad and ordinary cooks associated with something unthinkable by Soviet standards (15-20 or more times) the difference in wages. Today it is taken for granted and, moreover, it is understood that, working next to the master, ambitious young people receive a free professional education right at their workplace. a cook from Moscow, who, when he was still a boy, learned that a Frenchman had come to work as a chef in one of the Moscow restaurants, came to work for the local kitchen. When it turned out that there were no vacancies in the restaurant, he announced that he would work for free. And yet he achieved the fact that he was in the same kitchen with the Frenchman, perceiving what was happening to him not as free work, but free study.
Some experts believe that the chef should, on his own initiative, share culinary secrets (although not all, of course) with his subordinates, and every day he arranges a “debriefing” in his team.
The rest of the team
All other employees, and they work in a medium-sized restaurant, in addition to the kitchen staff, about 80 people, are usually recruited by the director.
The principles of personnel policy are not particularly intricate - they are looking for candidates either through acquaintances, or by ad (option - through a recruiting agency).
The first way is used to recruit people for key mid-level positions in any restaurant - senior administrator, senior bartender, chief accountant, chief of security. Unlike the director and chef, who actually live in their own restaurant, middle managers have the privilege of legal days off.
The rest of the employees - waiters, bartenders, suppliers, technical workers and office workers - are recruited, as already mentioned, either by ad or through recruiting agencies.
Recently, there has been a tendency among restaurant owners and directors to pay more attention to both psychological selection criteria and psychological preparation and education of waiters.
As the President of the Kiev Association of Restaurant Business said: “The waiter maintains a large number of different contacts per day, and it is on him that the negative emotions of the visitor close - in terms of food quality, assortment, culture, orchestra playing, sanitary condition, car parking, rejection of a credit card, on a host of other issues. Not everyone can endure such an emotional marathon in a day."
A point of view on the tasks of the kitchen
A chef, like an artist, must be constantly on the lookout. A real artist cannot replicate the same picture from day to day. Yes, the visitor is not interested in eating the same dishes all the time, even the most delicious ones. Only it is not necessary to change all the menus at once, but to introduce new items gradually.
For example, we keep a computerized record of the sales of each dish during the month. There are leaders. And there are outsiders. Outsiders are removed from the menu at the end of the month, and new dishes are introduced in their place. So until the 5th day of each month, the menu is updated by 20-25%.
On the other hand, a visitor who comes to a restaurant wants to be sure that the taste of his favorite dishes remains exactly the way he liked it at one time. Therefore, the chef must train his staff to work so that the salad prepared by the chef on today's shift is an exact replica of the salad made by the chef on the shift yesterday - and precisely because both of them are an exact replica of the salad prepared by the chef. Ordinary chefs are supposed to see dishes through the eyes of their chef, which is why every good chef actually lives in the kitchen, and has the right to select his own team and maintain strict discipline in it. Tough, but not violent.
Part three: food and drink
In today's conditions, when the opened restaurant at first can claim 10-15% of the "load" at best, it is not worth the risk, but it is worth trusting your chef, who himself will estimate how many products he will need for the first time.
In principle, in the same way you can entrust the formation of the initial stock of the bar to your senior bartender, but given the high cost of alcohol, directors prefer to take control of this business. So, for example, in one of the expensive and fashionable Moscow restaurants, the director, observing all the canons of drawing up a wine list and bar assortment, nevertheless, corrects them by price: 20-25% of the total number of names are exclusive wines and spirits, available in the restaurant in the amount of one or two bottles, 10-25% - Ukrainian wines and spirits a la cognac "Karpaty", and the rest are drinks of the most frequent demand.
At the same time, one must be prepared for significant costs, since good brands of cognac, whiskey and wines of the best years are very expensive. And the unwritten rule that in the bar of a good restaurant there should always be, for example, cognac worth more than a thousand dollars per bottle, has not yet been canceled (restaurateurs call such positions “shelf positions” and say that once a year they are all still “shoot”).
In addition, the craze for wines has recently become more and more fashionable among restaurant visitors. So, in Moscow, which our restaurateurs are guided by, they already believe that the wine list of a “normal restaurant” should contain at least 70 positions. Some Kiev restaurants already have their own sommeliers - people who consider their profession more art than work, and whose duties include forming an assortment of wines and offering them to restaurant visitors.
Nevertheless, as practice shows, it is not always necessary to “pump” money into a bar.Reputable companies - suppliers of alcohol (and there are already quite enough of them in Ukraine) sometimes provide promising, from their point of view, newcomers the opportunity to defer payment. Sometimes it is possible to agree on the supply of alcohol with the condition of payment after sale.
It is believed that in a mid-price restaurant, for example, six types of hot meat dishes, six types of fish and three or four types of poultry are quite enough.
Naturally, there should be more positions on the menu of an expensive restaurant, but also within reason. This is done so that an inexperienced client does not get confused in the dishes.
Another fashionable trend - all kinds of low-calorie menus - is not yet very much instilled in the homeland of homemade sausages and dumplings with sour cream. As one of the restaurateurs said: “Our man loves a hearty and tasty meal. Impressed by the speech of a fashionable chef from Milan that we heard in Moscow, who said that the mayonnaise group was becoming a thing of the past, we left only a few mayonnaise salads and began to introduce low-calorie light salads, and in the summer. But our audience did not accept it. Moreover, the sale of the remaining mayonnaise salads has increased sharply”. In addition, we must not forget that the main consumers of low-calorie dishes are women, who, according to the observations of restaurateurs, make up no more than 30-40% of visitors. The main rule of making a menu looks very simple - it should be focused on the maximum profitability of the restaurant, i.e. e. regularly get rid of the ballast of not in demand food.
At the same time, many restaurateurs supplement the computer analysis of the demand for dishes with a visual one in the old fashioned way - they look at the sink to find out what most often remains on the plates.
There are restaurants where waiters, for example, once a month, or even more often, fill out questionnaires in which they indicate which of the dishes that are not on the menu are asked most often. If several people asked about the dish, this is already a reason to give the task to the chef to develop it.
Despite the fact that “according to science” there are more than a dozen different pricing methods, restaurateurs, as a rule, use only one of them - focusing on the prices of neighboring restaurants.
This is especially important for establishments located in the center. As the director of one of them said: “There are seven restaurants around us. In order for the client to come to us, and not to them, we must combine good quality food and service with low prices.”
Four or five years ago, restaurateurs said that prices do not play a significant role in a client's choice of a particular establishment - it was believed that either rich people or those who want to be considered such go to restaurants. Today, even a fashionable, well-known Kiev restaurant chooses the formula “all the best for little money” as its concept. Determining the price of a dish is relatively simple. The lower limit is determined by the cost of the grocery basket, the upper limit is determined by the maximum price for which the professional director “feels” can buy this dish. Accordingly, the level of mark-up in the same restaurant ranges from tens of percent to many hundreds.
The cost price of a portion of raw potatoes is a penny. The price for restaurant fries, by definition, cannot fall below a few hryvnias. The markup level can be 300% or 500% or more. The same thing happens in summer and autumn with natural juices made from fruits and vegetables bought at the local bazaar.
On the other hand, raw lobster already costs about 150 hryvnias, and here the level of mark-up can be determined only by the director, who should “feel” for what price the visitors of his restaurant will agree to order the corresponding dish. There is a category of dishes for which the mark-up should be minimal - complex lunches (business lunches) and so-called children's menus.
Part four: first steps
Regarding the principles of working with food suppliers, restaurateurs suddenly expressed opposite points of view. The “minority” said that it is necessary to choose large suppliers. The “majority” spoke in favor of the fact that suppliers should be “split up”, arguing their point of view by the fact that if, for example, one of them had problems at customs, it would be possible to turn to others.
However, whatever point of view certain restaurateurs adhere to when working with exotic cuisine or some kind of exclusive products, they are forced to put up with monopolism and, consequently, high prices of three or four, or even fewer, supplier firms. attempts to organize deliveries directly, in contrast to past years, are currently engaged only in a few. As one of the restaurateurs said: “It has long been calculated that buying food from supplier firms is still cheaper than engaging in independent travel, customs clearance and certification.”
Compared to previous years, restaurateurs have cooled down to the market. Most of them prefer to deal with firms that, according to them, supply their products both to restaurants and to the same bazaar.
By the evening, when the load subsides, each of the chefs in charge of a particular area of work in the kitchen looks at what products he lacks for tomorrow, draws up an application and gives it to the chef.
The chef, in turn, draws up a general application and gives it to the purchaser. The purchaser is the person who, having received the application in the evening, must deliver the “hot” products to the kitchen in the morning of the next day one hour before the opening of the restaurant. In addition, for lunch, he must bring those products that are still there, but may run out during the day. The buyer must also constantly have at the ready several options for further actions, if something does not work out with the usual supplier.
However (and this “however” is the cause of concern for many restaurateurs) in all this turmoil, the buyer cannot be 100% controlled. Of course, he delivers food to the kitchen by weight, and the chef signs an invoice for them, but who, for example, can check why he bought this and that at the bazaar today? Therefore, the attitude of restaurant directors to a buyer is, as a rule, ambivalent: with mine, everything is in order, but with others …
Long-term storage products - canned peas, flour, sugar, pasta, etc. - are the paraffia of the storekeeper, who in the same way receives an order from the kitchen, but, unlike the buyer, does not go around, but calls the suppliers so that they bring everything they need.
In a restaurant with a bar counter and a decent range of spirits, the bar provides up to 35-40% of the daily revenue.
As the restaurateurs say, a bar is like a state within a state: many of its regular customers have never bothered to change seats from behind the bar to a table in the hall for many months. Yes, they don't need it - if a drunk client is suddenly visited by a sudden attack of appetite, the dish is served to him right there, at the counter.
Moreover (and this is important), in order not to interrupt the thread of communication between the bartender and the client, the dish will be brought not by the waiter, but by the bartender himself.
If we talk about the range of the bar, then, as one of the directors briefly noted, “the bar should have everything”, from domestic vodka and beer to classic wines, cognac, martinis and whiskey. Especially worth noting is the fashion for Chilean and South African wines. which, in terms of sales, have blocked the French in some restaurants. Also on the way are wines from Argentina, Australia and Morocco.
The appearance of a new dish
Each new dish, before entering (or not entering) the hall, is adjusted to taste, appearance, and price. The principles for selecting tasters can be very different.
You can invite not only your employees, but also familiar chefs to the tasting, after which you can conduct a survey.It happened that the chefs from the outside gave advice like “the salad turned out well, but it will be even better if you add this and that to it” - and the salad really got better.
Price adjustments tend to be the most dramatic and follow one of three patterns. The first model is authoritarian. In the story of one of the directors of the restaurant it looks like this: “The chef says:“I will work with this product because it is good”. I say: “No, you won't, because he violates the pricing policy of our establishment. Our menu items are no more than 100 hryvnia, and your new dish with this product will cost 200. Got it?” The chief answers: "No." Then I, as a director, make a strong-willed decision and shoot a new dish”.
The second model is democratic. It is carried out when the director suggests to the chef to either reduce the expensive component or replace it with a cheaper one.
The third model is liberal. It is possible only with the full conscientiousness of both parties, when the chef calculates a new dish in advance so that it does not go overboard, and the director, in turn, agrees to make the markup less than usual.
The next step in approving a new dish is drawing up a detailed technological card, which indicates the recipe and cooking technology. It is needed so that in the future the dish could be prepared not only by the chef who invented it, but also by other chefs of the restaurant, without throwing, for example, 15 grams of salt into the pan instead of the required 5. Next, a calculation card is drawn up, on the basis of which the accountant- the accountant considers the calculation of the dish, after which it, approved by the director, can take its rightful place in the restaurant menu.
Supplier point of view
The first enemy of the restaurateur is instability in the supply of food. Today the dish is on the menu, and tomorrow the supplier informs you that he cannot deliver any products necessary for its preparation on time, or offers a product of inferior quality, and you have to either pay someone exorbitant prices, or refuse this dish for a while. It also happens that I like the products of excellent quality, and I like a dish made of them, but if I know that tomorrow I won't buy these products, then I will not put the dish on the menu, because I will sell it for three days, and then I will explain it for a month. why it disappeared.
Therefore, for each group of products, a normal supplier should have from 3 to 10 companies that are engaged in the supply, so that you can always have room for maneuver. At the same time, there are supplying firms with whom it is pleasant to work, there are firms with which it is not easy, but it is possible to work with, and there are firms with which it is not worth contacting. When working with suppliers, the restaurateur must immediately determine his priorities, and if quality and stability are important to him, he must be ready to pay more. As a result, working with expensive but stable suppliers during the year turns out to be more profitable and more economical.
In response to the traditional question what is necessary for the success of a restaurant, one of the Kiev restaurateurs said: “There should be understanding between the owners of the restaurant, its staff and visitors. If they all strive for the same thing, then there will be success. If the owners want to see millionaires at their place, but will finance the dining room with cutlets, and, conversely, if visitors demand lobster with champagne for their 1,000 rubles, and they will be told that there will be lobsters tomorrow, and today eat cutlets, then all this will fall apart”.