Restaurants are a tough industry to work in, but many consider them to be the most rewarding. The hours are long, the work intense, but the income can be high, and if you have done everything well, the praise can be extremely gratifying. In recent years, styles have been updated to appeal to a more discerning audience. Generally speaking, fine-dining is where the money and profit margins are. But what can you do to upscale your existing restaurant and capitalize on the growing trend of luxury?
Perform An Audit
Before starting any meaningful project, you must conduct an audit. This should cover (at a minimum):
- What your current market segment is.
- How is your current profit and loss?
- What your competition is and will be.
- Who your employees are and if you will need to hire new staff or retrain existing members.
- What your current menu is.
- What your budget will be to enact any changes.
There will be more aspects to audit, but they will be unique to your specific situation. The point is that you should understand where you are now, where you want to be and why.
What Can You Do To Increase Luxury?
Once you have performed your audit and understand what your options are, you can move on to implementing the appropriate changes.
Improve The Lighting
Liginthing can make or break a restaurant. Although food is ultimately the final arbiter of whether a restaurant is good or not, the lighting can influence the mood to such an extent that it can change the atmosphere. If you are going for a luxury approach, you will need to think about soft lighting with fixtures in a style that matches your needs. For example, you could go traditional, or you could go modern. The best thing about lighting is that you can be highly creative. Furthermore, the lighting specialists at replicalights.com.au state that you don’t have to compromise quality if you want to stay on budget. Lighting designers like them typically offer a range of contemporary lighting fixtures that have been designed to fit the zeitgeist. Nevertheless, always remember that luxury is timeless, so try to steer clear of anything that seems like a fad.
Update The Decor
Along with the lighting, your next step should be to bring your decor into the modern world of fine dining. This means out with the old-fashioned and ancient seating and in with a more stylistic and contemporary look. Obviously, this will depend massively on where you are located, but generally speaking, most large cities are moving towards a modern feel and away from the traditional. Again, this is based on various factors. If you already have a very classic style, you could build on that rather than attempting to reinvent the wheel (and you might also stand out among a sea of minimalist designs). Either way, your audit should have let you know what type of customer you want to target so you can plan accordingly.
Hire A Respected Chef
The best way to ensure luxury is to hire a reputable executive chef. You will need to prepare your mind that these are strong-willed breeds of people who will argue their opinion to their last breath. If you can find one who has already established themselves, they will probably bring their existing customers. To succeed, you will often have to work closely with them when hiring and training staff and coming up with a new seasonal menu.
Hire Quality Staff (And Train Them Well)
Your back and front-of-house staff are on the front line, and their service will decide how well-received your establishment becomes. They need to be highly-trained, well-presented, and knowledgeable about food and wine pairings. Your executive chef should also take responsibility in this regard by training his kitchen staff as well as the waiters and maître d’s. Unless you take on the responsibility yourself, you might also consider hiring a general manager to oversee the day-to-day operations.
Use Fresh, Local Ingredients
Fresh and local are the buzzwords of the day when it comes to luxury. Gone are the days of importing mussels from Normandy when you have outstanding ones on your own shores. It’s the same with meat and other produce. Luxury begins at home, and with more and more people understanding the effects of climate change and organic produce, you need to keep up with the times and only import what you absolutely cannot get from your own backyard.
Pivoting from standard to luxury doesn’t need to be as challenging as it seems. You will need the right decor, the best people, and the freshest produce. Once You have all of these ingredients, you will be able to make a successful high-class establishment.