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10 Reasons Why Your Restaurant is Not Thriving

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

Are you struggling to grow your restaurant sales every day? Do you know the reason why you are not being successful in this business?

You must identify the reasons why victory seems so hard to achieve for you to be able to finally have that favorable outcome that you've been longing for your restaurant.

Here are 10 possible reasons why your restaurant is not growing fast enough:

1. Having great food

You believe that your food is great. How about the people who got the chance to taste it, did they enjoy it?

Well, you don't have to wonder about it, what you need to do is to check your online reviews and see what people are saying regarding it. What is their verdict, is it a thumbs up or thumbs down?

Always remember, to have a thriving restaurant, your food must be good all the time. It's all about providing good food consistently. Consistency will lead to sales growth month after month.

2. Speed of service

Does your food take forever to come out and received by the customers? Is it sometimes fast, or usually slow? Do you have standards that you follow concerning the speed of service? Speed of service does matter a lot.

We live in a "microwave" society, people want their food now. If they need to wait for 40 minutes to have their food, they would have cooked it at home. Your food is good, but is it taking too long?

You need to assess if your service is fast enough to lead to repeat business first to grow your sales.

3. Friendly service

When you look at your restaurant operations, observe and assess, is your service friendly enough or are there some of the areas that you need to work on?

Are the customers getting greeted immediately the moment they come into your doorstep? Are the staff always smiling?

The friendliness of service is very important, we must be overly-friendly at all times.

Just being friendly enough is not going to cut it, we need to be on top of it and it is possible, we need to smile, we need to greet our customers consistently.

Look over different aspects of your restaurant to make your service very friendly in a memorable way that can keep customers from coming back and grow your sales eventually.

4. Obscurity

When we started our restaurant, we did not have a remarkable sales, and we always had been focused on improving our dishes, training our staff to be friendly and provide a great speed of service, etc.

We worked very hard and exerted so much effort on these things without realizing that the basic reason why we did not have good sales was obscurity. People didn't know us that is why we didn't have enough customers.



As small restaurant owners, we need to get out there and kill obscurity.

Every single time, we need to get this word out of our business, offline, online, every possible opportunity we get because the odds are against us.

So it is obscurity, there are not enough people who know your restaurant, that makes your sales not progress.

5. Marketing

You may not be marketing your business enough that is why your sales are not growing. It has to be an investment, you need to consider marketing as though it's an investment in your business.

In our case, honestly, it's like you put a dollar in and you get 600 to a thousand dollars back per customer that you acquire in a year.

What are our average weekly sales and what is the average we spent weekly on our marketing?

Look at the percentage of sales that you spend on marketing. Without marketing, we are not going to consistently grow.

Do the Math, perhaps marketing is the reason why you are not growing fast enough.

6. All about your focus

Maybe you are focused on the wrong things. As a restaurant owner, you and I must be obsessed with money-generating activities.

We might be spending so much time in little things like food costing.

It does matter, however, what's going to grow our sales, money-generating activities are what we must be focusing on.

We need to dedicate a lot of our time on activities that can make money because if we will not do that, who else will do it for us?

7. Building relationships

If you don't have a clear strategy in place to capture and continue to build relationships with your existing customers, you may be losing them one by one.

You need to make sure that every single customer who comes to your restaurant, you have a way of taking their contact information.

Maybe they liked your Facebook page, they followed your Instagram account, they left a review on a site or they joined your loyalty rewards program, etc.

How are you going to be on their mind?

You must have a proper way of obtaining their contact information and a system to keep in touch with them regularly so we're always on their mind and on their sight.

8. Having the right mindset

The wrong mindset of thinking that if the food is good enough, people will come. That's all fallacy!

We are in business long enough people will come, no, they won't. There are so many ways to grow your business nowadays.

You are going against Goliaths, companies with multi-million dollar marketing budgets, you have to deal with them with creativity and strategy.

We need to get out of the kitchen, we need to get out of this restaurant and get some customers and bring them in over and over. If you don't have this realization, you are gradually, and surely, going out of business.

9. Beating the “big guys”

Blaming big companies should never be in our minds! We don't have a $600,000 budget to go get a McDonald's franchise, but my point is, you may be thinking about you are just a small restaurant competing with some big corporations.

There will always be franchise or big box companies that have multi-billion dollar budget and they have a department for branding, they have a department for their marketing, and etc., but that should not matter!

Think about what are some things that you and I can do as small business owners. As small restaurants, we can do a lot of things that big guys can't.

So think about those things, those are opportunities that you can turn into wins and beat all these Goliaths in your community. We all have them, so we must keep standing firm and continue to grow sales.

Think about the opportunities to turn their weaknesses into your strengths.

10. Location

If you are thinking that it is the location that is causing your sales not to grow fast, you need to think again.

Is location important? Yes. Can that work against you? Yes.

But that's not the reason why you are not successful. Have you seen little restaurants in some of the worst locations? Yes, and they do phenomenal.

All the things that you can think of about blaming the location for your business not to progress are not serving you. Period.

They are not going to help you crush it in the restaurant business, we need to get ourselves together, we have so many bills to pay, so much is at stake, we need to break all these issues we have, and we need to be on top of it.

These are all excuses, there's a great opportunity to be successful in the restaurant industry.

We need to be nimble, we need to focus on money-generating activities, and we need to grow sales to win in this business.

The restaurant business is an extremely competitive industry, you need to be thriving to keep up with your competitors, big or small.

If you want to succeed, you should never stop thinking of ways to boost your sales every single day. You need to be creative, strategic, and persistent.


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