Tips For Starting A Successful Family Restaurant

Posted on: 25 January 2016

You've decided that it would be fun to start a restaurants like  Buffalo Phil's Pizza & Grille. There are 28 million small businesses in the U.S. and many are family owned, so you'll be joining a popular club. Your success depends on your ability to maintain a balance between work and family. Here are a few tips to have a thriving and harmonious family-owned restaurant.

1. Don't lose sight of the importance of your family connections.

Restaurants are a demanding business that can require long, stressful hours of work. During those times, freely give out hugs, smiles and remind each other that the business was started to have some fun together.

2. Create boundaries that separate business and family.

Set aside physical spaces in which only business or family matters are discussed. When a family issue comes up in the business spaces, walk to a family space to have the discussion. This lets the family know that there are places where they can go where the family matters take precedent and the business can be temporarily put on hold.

3. Respect each other's assigned roles.

On a given day, someone may work as a cook, another a server and a third mans the dishwashing station. These may be rotating roles or permanently assigned because of the family member's skills. Allow each other to be successful in their role without judgment or criticism.

4. Be mindful of mixing business and family topics in the same setting.

When sitting with the family at dinner, don't discuss the family's Christmas reunion party and the next month's lunch specials. Keep the topics separate to give each the attention they need.

5. Don't force family members into uncomfortable roles.

If no one in the family is an accountant, don't make someone do the bookkeeping. This is a necessary role, but it will be a miserable role for someone who really doesn't want to do it. Outsource the work to a contractor or bring in a skilled resource to work with the family and cover those unwanted tasks.

6. Help family members grow their skills.

Should a family member want to go into accounting, help them get the necessary training to do the job well. Let them do some of the bookkeeping functions, if they want to and can, and allow them to take on more responsibility as they increase their skill level.

7. Don't hesitate to hire a small business consultant to review your operation.

You and the family will get so busy with the restaurant that you may miss opportunities to make improvements that make life easier for the family. Have a consultant that specializes in family-owned businesses review your business and make suggestions that will make this a more enjoyable experience for all of family members.