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4 Questions a Restaurant Owner Should Answer Every Day

By CareerBuilder
Submitted courtesy of the National Restaurant Association and CareerBuilder

You know that running a restaurant is more complicated than just making sure food gets served to customers. It’s about making sure everything is running smoothly—from the front of the house to the finances. Handling the day-to-day tasks is no easy feat, so we asked some restaurateurs about their experience running a business. We put together a checklist to help you keep track of your responsibilities. (You might want to tape it up somewhere.)

  1. Are you square with the health department?
    “Contact the health department …When restaurants change hands, the health department has the right to expect new things from the new owners that the old owners were grandfathered into.” Danny Fisher, co-owner of Gup’s Place Restaurant, Duncan Falls, Ohio
  2. What’s the status of your permits?
    If you’ve opened a restaurant, you know that permits aren’t easy to obtain. But don’t forget that new laws are passed and new permits or needed or have to be renewed. Make sure you’re current on all of your permits.
    “Permits take time -- lots of time. When we’ve asked our restaurants about their biggest business challenge, approximately a third mentioned struggles with permits (from building to liquor) and inspections.” Abby Hunt, public relations manager for the online and mobile food ordering platform GrubHub
  3. Have you checked in with your backstage crew?
    A successful restaurant isn’t only about the food; it’s also about the business side of things. You need to make sure you’re having regular conversations with our business contacts to make sure you’re all on the same page and working toward the same goal.
    “Most of your time is spent dealing with vendors, employees, accountants, insurance providers and all the other behind-the-scenes factors. It’s important to … balance the creativity of being a chef with the business acumen necessary to be successful.” - Betty Fraser, co-owner of Grub, Hollywood, Calif.
  4. Do you still like what you’re doing?
    Ultimately you want to make sure you have the same joy you did on the first day of business.
    “The number one reason to me to open a restaurant is because you have the passion and belief that you can offer the public something better than is already out there. If you love to cook, that is great. But will that love of cooking still be with you after you’ve made that 932nd omelet?” - Jeff Flancer, owner of Flancer's Restaurant in Gilbert and Mesa, Ariz.
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