Successful Restaurant Owners: 9 Key Factors and Strategies

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Article contributed by Kacey Bradley, The Drifter Collective

Restaurant owners face a difficult road to success. Getting their doors open is only half the battle. They need to create a memorable guest experience that drives repeat business.

To thrive in this enterprise, successful restaurant owners embrace key strategies. They begin with a powerful mission statement and they let that focus guide their daily operations. They remain open to new ideas and they commit to continued growth.

1. They Target Their Market

Successful restaurateurs possess a clear vision for their establishment. They carve out an unforgettable niche. Maybe they offer vegan and vegetarian dishes with a healthy focus. Maybe they cater to creating a romantic ambiance for those celebrating special occasions like first dates and wedding anniversaries.

The top restaurant owners target their market with an audience-facing mission statement that addresses the customer wants. They make it more specific than simply, “serve good food.” And they let this statement serve as their North star in their everyday operations.

2. They Automate Quality Control

Savvy restaurateurs know that quality matters most. They also recognize the possibility of human error. Such owners implement automated quality control measures to elevate the meals they serve. They use machines, for example, to evaluate food freshness.

  • RATIONAL USA
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • Inline Plastics
  • Atosa USA
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • Imperial Dade
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • DAVO by Avalara
  • Day & Nite
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • McKee Foods
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Easy Ice

3. They Serve Top-Notch Food

Smart restaurant owners know their food drives their success. They hire professional chefs and provide them with the tools they need to do their best work. They provide ample staff members to help with food preparation and they invest in quality equipment.

4. They Vary Their Menu Seasonally

Many restaurant owners keep key items available year-round, but they vary most of their menu seasonally. They know that foods harvested recently are fresher and more nutritious. They combine ingredients in new ways to create signature flavors unavailable elsewhere. And they hold tastings with staff members so they can accurately represent dishes to customers.

5. They Use Local, Branded Products

Savvy restaurateurs know that fruits and vegetables begin losing nutritional value and flavor 24 hours after harvest. They also understand today’s diners care about the environment and will pay more for locally sourced products. They seek out local farmers and partner with them to serve the freshest products.

Top owners also stick to branded goods. They know customers recognize quality and understand manufacturers only put their names on products meeting strict specifications. Using well-known products helps ensure clientele enjoy a consistent experience.

6. They Connect Through Media

The smartest restaurant owners know people love posting their meals on social media. They have chefs plate dishes so they’re Instagram-ready and reap the benefits of free publicity.

Additionally, they issue press releases about special events. They read both professional and amateur reviews of their establishment and quickly address areas of growth potential.

7. They Hire and Keep the Best Staff

The restaurant industry is notorious for its high turnover. Successful restaurant owners hire and keep the best employees by treating staff members like family. They understand that their team members can’t focus on improving customer care if they’re worried about how to feed their families. They pay a living wage and they provide a clear pathway for career advancement.

Savvy restauranteurs empower their staff to make decisions. They don’t require managerial approval to comp a single item that a customer found unsatisfactory, for example. If a customer harasses a server (it happens), they take action to address the matter rather than let the employee struggle with a hostile environment.

8. They Commit to Professional Growth

The top restaurant owners understand their industry changes with technology like any other. They subscribe to journals and embrace continuing education opportunities. They take restaurant field trips with staff members to grow their knowledge base, too.

9. They Create a Memorable Guest Experience

Finally, the savviest restaurateurs create an unforgettable guest experience. They pay attention to details like cleanliness and regularly inspect all areas of their facility. They review staff performance routinely and provide actionable feedback to help them grow. They seek out new dishes and flavors and take occasional risks. They actively solicit guest feedback in the form of survey cards and they listen to this advice without growing defensive.

The Most Successful Restaurant Owners Embrace These Strategies

Running a successful restaurant means constantly improving. By focusing on offering consistent quality and creating an unforgettable guest experience, savvy owners keep customers coming back for more.


Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Follow her on Twitter to keep up with her travels and inspiring posts!

  • Imperial Dade
  • Atosa USA
  • BelGioioso Burrata
  • RATIONAL USA
  • Day & Nite
  • Simplot Frozen Avocado
  • RAK Porcelain
  • Easy Ice
  • AyrKing Mixstir
  • Cuisine Solutions
  • T&S Brass Eversteel Pre-Rinse Units
  • Inline Plastics
  • McKee Foods
  • DAVO by Avalara