Success in the Restaurant Business is NOT About the Food

People open a restaurant for lots of different reasons. Some have a passion for food and believe their obsession for serving exceptionally high quality food will drive their sales, profit and success. Others create unique menu offerings they think will give them a completive advantage.

One thing that we’ve learned about success in the restaurant business – it isn’t about the food. Not even close.

To prove it, just think about where you go when you want to have a really good meal or celebrate an anniversary or other special occasion.

Who’s thinking about McDonald’s? Answer: Nobody.

McDonald’s doesn’t serve good food. Their fry’s are okay but there are tens of thousands of other restaurants that make a better burger.

They key to McDonald’s success is not their food but in how they do business. And how does McDonald’s do business, one word – consistently. McDonald’s is uncompromising and fanatical when it comes to consistency.

Sure food quality matters and yes, McDonald’s is an effective marketer but here’s our point. One extremely important ingredient in any restaurant’s success is being able to put food on the plate to each and every customer the same way every single time.

The mother of consistency is systems. Having some level of systems to ensure that your food is sourced, prepped, portioned, cooked and served the same way every time regardless of what employees are in the kitchen is the only way to have a shot at creating food that looks and tastes the same today, tomorrow and three weeks from now.

Consistency produces predictability and predictability is why customers return. They come back because the expectation is that they’ll get the same type of food and experience they had the last time.

Want more customers to come back more often? Borrow a page from McDonalds, make your food more consistent and the experience more predictable with better systems.