How Independent Restaurants Grow from One to Two Locations

essentials for success restaurant growth
How Independent Restaurants Grow from One to Two Locations

How do you know when it's the right time to grow from one to two locations for your independent restaurant? While you want to grow, the realist in you how you are going to duplicate yourself when your current location needs you all the time. Watch this video, and I’ll teach you the five things you must have in place before you look at a second location.

This message is for the single unit operator who's entertaining the idea of opening a second location and doesn't know when it's the right time to ask. This question has nothing to do with desire, by the way. It’s more about when you are ready and willing to take action on the idea. You’ll know you’re ready because it’s when you, as an entrepreneur, are ready to take on the risk. But rather than jump at the first opportunity you can’t pass up, make it easier and less risky and follow what I'm about to share with you.

This is especially true if you are like more restaurant owners and feel like a prisoner in your existing location because you’re working 80-plus hours a week, managing the floor, placing orders, writing schedules, paying the bills and so much more.

To put yourself in the best position to open a second location, here are the five things I recommend you have in place first.

  1. A budget. This is your financial plan for success.
  2. There's a system, a process, a way to doing anything and everything in your business and having it done your way. This ranges from writing schedules to dollars per labor hour worked to placing orders to taking inventory or analyzing your menu to do menu engineering and even ordering lightbulbs and silverware.
  3. A strong management team in place. If you're the only manager, a second location isn’t going to work. You need to have managers in place ensuring the systems are working when you're there, but especially when you're not.
  4. The ability to work on your business rather than in it. You must spend at least one to two days a week working strategically on your business, seeing the challenges in front of you and how you're going to get past them.
  5. Three years of strong financials. If you're going to get financed by a bank or small business administration, they're looking at your last three years.

The bottom line is if you don't have these things in place and you want that second location as an entrepreneur, you can open it without a plan. You can open it without systems, with no managers. You can work more hours in between the two locations, more than your body can handle, and you can have a current location that's losing money. If you do that, you're going to be working so much harder. It's going to make your life so much harder. You're going to be a prisoner to two restaurants. You deserve to put yourself in a better position. Tick off those five boxes before looking at your second location.

If you're ready right now to make some serious changes in your restaurant, you can also book a 60-minute call with me where we talk about your challenges and figure out exactly what is holding you back from having a restaurant that doesn’t depend on you being in it to be successful. 

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