Several important components from a restaurant advisor perspective when starting a new restaurant venture are planning, capital and timing. However, opening a new food and beverage business and keeping it growing and profitable will also require attention to other key areas and more. Here are five pitfalls along with tips to help you grow and stay a successful foodservice business: Lack of Marketing – Good food, excellent service, reasonable prices and a wonderful atmosphere are only as relative as the number of people who know about it. Investing a consistent percentage of time and money toward public relations, customer goodwill, in-house promotions and advertising to keep your name in the public’s mind is just as important as your patron’s word-of-mouth, and even generates it. Bad Management – Great chefs are not always good people or financial managers. The artists often need business people teamed up with them to help everything flourish. Think like a restaurant advisor and help them get help. Big Staff – Labor costs, not food, bar and rents, are the single largest expense in operating a restaurant. It is not only wages, but the payroll taxes and benefits that must also be paid. Once you spend it, the money is gone forever. Watch it like your cash registers. Poor Controls – Foodservice is a volatile business. Money can be wasted easily. Implement systems that will monitor sales, costs and expenses daily as part of your restaurant planning. Too Little or Too Much Expansion – Not all restaurants successful in one location will do well in another. If it takes one restaurant’s profit to subsidize the loss of two others, you may close all of the doors. Or, if you enjoy a growing clientele and reputation, but operating costs have you breaking even, it may be time to add seats or another restaurant elsewhere. We also publish a monthly newsletter called “The INNsider Update©.” Owners, operators and their advisors can get additional restaurant management tips and more and subscribe here. Or, if there is a specific problem that may require the assistance of a restaurant advisor, follow the link below and submit a request for a no-cost, preliminary consultation. A consultant will in touch with you shortly.