If you’ve seen the witty animated show Bob’s Burgers you know that while Bob Belcher may be a fun and often hilarious character to watch on TV, he’s also a great source of business inspiration… In all the wrong ways. Sure he has passion, and he’s a great chef, but his lack of business acumen makes him a poor restaurateur. If you’re looking to make your fortune in the restaurant business you know that the odds are always against you. Indeed 60% of new restaurants fold within their first year. In order to be a success story in this increasingly cutthroat and competitive business where it seems like the only ones making any real money are the chain restaurants serving up plate after plate of homogenized product it’s important to take inspiration wherever you can find it. By reverse engineering what we see from the likes of Bob Belcher on TV we can piece together the anatomy of a good restaurateur…

Clean chef’s whites

Bob’s passion for cooking is both his USP and his greatest downfall. He spends so much time at the grill that he’s unable to focus on the more strategic elements of his business. He’s unable to carry out market research, look into his cashflow or carry out competitor analysis. This is a fairly common problem for nascent entrepreneurs who are happiest “at the coalface” rather than in their office working on the strategic management of their businesses. In order to be successful, a good restaurateur needs to have clean chef’s whites. They have invested in the recruitment, training and ongoing development of their kitchen staff and are content to let them do their thing.

A full address book

Neither you nor your restaurant operate within a vacuum and in order to be successful in the restaurant game a full address book is vital. Attend conventions, trade shows and networking events in a never ending quest to build contacts and benefit from the pool of knowledge that they can provide. You should also reach out and invest in the help you need. Bob Belcher fails in many respects because he tries to take on too much himself (or enlist the unpaid labor of his children which is obviously a no-no). Invest in accounting help, digital marketing consultancy or brand building and your business will be primed for success now and long into the future. Sure, it may represent a degree of overhead cost, but you shouldn’t be afraid to spend on areas that will generate custom and gained or saved revenue for your business.

A smile

Whether you’re in the kitchen, the front of house or your office, a smile is one of the most important tools in a restaurateur’s repertoire. A smile can turn an angry customer into a pliable customer, an exhausted member of staff into a motivated one and a nervous waitress into a confident one. The restaurant environment is often a stressful, tiring and combative environment where bullying and burnout are rife.

A smile shows that you lead by example and that whatever challenges may come, you’re prepared to guide your workforce forward into a brighter tomorrow.