5 Biggest Mistakes Restaurant Owners Make

Regardless of what business you’re in, you’re bound to make mistakes at some point. After all, trial and error is part of entrepreneurship. The restaurant industry is no exception. There are plenty of mistakes that can be made as a restaurant owner that can be downright detrimental to your business. 

The good news is that most of these mistakes have already been made before, and you can use other people’s mistakes as a guiding light for what you should look out for. If you’ve recently opened your own restaurant and you’re serious about ensuring its success, here are some of the biggest mistakes that you should look out for.

Not Having an Emergency Plan Set in Place

A restaurant should have an emergency plan in place to ensure that not only customers and employees are kept safe in the event of an emergency, but also to ensure that a restaurant can continue to function should you lose electricity. From evacuation procedures to having emergency equipment and medical supplies on hand, you can never be too prepared for emergencies.

Poorly Managing Finances

The number one reason why so many restaurants fail is a lack of financial organization. It’s critical that restaurant owners carefully track their inventory and know exactly what’s coming in versus what’s going out. If you fail to control your costs, you could find yourself with no cash reserve to pay staff and looming debt. 

This is why many restaurants turn to professional accountants to help them with their financial management. Even though it is an additional expense, it can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your finances are well-tracked and you know exactly what’s flowing in and out.

Poor Staffing

Remember, you can have the best chef in the world, but if you don’t have the proper staff serving the food to your customers, then after a while, people are going to stop coming back. Service is a critical part of dining. People don’t just want good food— they want a wonderful experience and friendly and efficient service. 

Take the time to choose staff that reflects your values and is knowledgeable about what you sell. Above all, you want to make sure that everyone works together. The importance of teamwork can’t be stressed enough in a restaurant environment.


Regardless of whether you love McDonald’s or not, there’s one thing that can be said about it— regardless of whether you go to a McDonald’s in Kentucky or Shanghai, you’re always going to get the same consistent quality. Your restaurant should be on its game every time, delivering exactly what it promises to deliver. 

If customers aren’t sure that they can have the same consistent experience every time they eat at your restaurant, then they’ll undoubtedly go to a competing restaurant instead of yours.

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