Before you go ahead with your business, you must have all the below mentioned qualities to run a successful bistro in Mumbai.
Restaurant, especially a bistro is not an easy business. Though many young entrepreneurs look at the restaurant segment as one of the most profitable and preferred business, yet it has significant challenges. Before you go ahead with your business, you must have all the below mentioned qualities to run a successful bistro in Mumbai. If still, you are in dilemma you can always refer to this checklist before you go ahead with your entrepreneurial journey in the restaurant business in Mumbai.
You don’t need to get distracted. I have been, in the industry, running the bistro for the last five years. I have seen many restaurants starting and shutting down. I have noticed, it’s not that they went with the wrong kitchen or staff, they had shifted their choices with time and get distracted. My main thing is - if you are doing a great pav bhaji, don’t try to get into the pizza market. Know your thing. If you are a soup person and doing a lasagna also, be good at it. You really need to be focused. In Mumbai, restaurants are doing so many things that people get distracted and start following others. But you need to realise what you are good at.
Restaurant or a Bistro business requires much effort. It needs you to be mentally as well as physically fit. With being focused on your business, you need to be a people’s person. You need to be available all the time, attending your diners, keeping a check of your kitchen operations, sometimes, donning a chef’s role and liaising with your vendors. A restaurant's is a standing job. You need to be there as a people’s person!
Even if you are not from the food and beverage industry, you need to be passionate about your dream business and, of course, food. Without being passionate about food, you won’t be able to concentrate or know what it takes to get into the industry. Passion towards food and a good business sense go hand-in-hand.
From managing vendors to your service staff and then running the entire bistro business, you cannot do it all on your own. You need to delegate your work to the managers of the department and trust them. Hiring a good staff might be a challenge but once you figure it out, you need to be open to trusting them. Keep an eye on what’s happening but trust them. It’s a must!
There might be times when your service staff or any of the staff members from the various departments might not be available. You need to don the hat as well. There might be times when your guests might make a visit at odd times or almost closing hours. If any of the team members are not available, know how to manage, delegate or even play the role of that particular team member.
These three licenses - fire, health and shop establishment are basic ones. These are three licenses which Mumbai goes wrong into, many times. Be sure that you get all these licenses at hand. Then if you go further, you need a license for bar, signage, water, gas line, barrels, drainage line, etc.
Vendors are the main suppliers for your restaurant business. If you don’t get your stocks right, you will be in a problem. You need to maintain a healthy relationship with your vegetable vendor or fish supplier or other ingredient suppliers; take care of them. You need to give their timely payments. Clear off their bills on time. They will get you the right and required produce and then only your product will be good. It’s a part of the supply chain. Consider your vendors to be the big part of the family.
Social media is a big rage now. People want to know what your restaurant is about. Even if anyone wants to visit the bistro, they will surely search for you on social media first, and, probably will decide whether to make a visit or not. Therefore, social media plays a major role in brand building. Today, don’t rely only on offline or word-of-mouth advertising.
Be prepared to work for more than 10-12 working hours or more! As an entrepreneur, you need to understand that you need to be available for everything at all the times; that’s where being mentally and physically fit come in place. It’s co-related. You need to work for long hours. There might be days, initially, when you won’t get a break even for an hour, forget a day.
Generally, we love serving but we are all human beings. We, too, have our share of wrong days. There might be times when you are reporting to work after a break-up or hangover or anything, but at the end of the day, the diners will come to your bistro seeking for good and happy moments. We have to make sure that we take over that role and play it. Therefore, lots of fake smiles for sure.
As told to Sara Khan