Looking to buy an existing restaurant? The restaurant industry is a profitable enterprise but it will take a lot of work. The key to tackling changes in ownership is being open and transparent right off the bat. We have to remember it’s an adjustment period for both you and your staff.

Though it’s easier to buy an existing restaurant, there are still challenges you will face. A lot of time will go into deciding whether to keep operations the same or change things up.

Do you need to update your technology? Hire more staff? Rebrand so it fits your vision? So many questions to answer, that’s why we’re here to help. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the challenges you may face and insight on how to make it a smooth transition.

Here is some guidance that will help you better understand what to do when owners change:

Challenges of Taking New Ownership

Employee Retention

Oftentimes with shifts in ownership, employees have a hard time adjusting. At times, new owners come in and demand changes right away. That puts staff in a tough confusing position in which they aren’t familiar. To avoid this, new owners need to sit down and have an open conversation with their staff.

This is an opportunity for staff to come forward and address all their concerns. It’s important to ask questions such as these to understand operational barriers:

1. Is there anything that you need that can help you improve how you do your job?

Staff may bring forward that they don’t have the proper tools to do their job. This can include all the restaurant basics. Glassware, silverware, wine glasses, and much more. Not having the correct supply of these things can make a shift 10x harder. Servers may feel that they need more support staff. Make sure to ask essential questions such as these.

They may also address that technology in the restaurant is out of date and doesn’t work. This is where you come in and address those issues right away.

2. Do you feel there could be a better way of operations being handled?

Did you know that 57% of employees have left jobs because of a manager? The saying is true that people leave managers, not companies. Your staff may feel that they aren’t getting proper support from management. There are instances where managers are never on the same page. As the new owner, you would need to put in place a system of communication that can prevent this.

Though this a question for management as well, you are in charge of managers and you would need to make this change. It will be a process but keeping your staff that knows your restaurant is crucial.

Growth from within

Beyond pay raises, your staff wants to know that promotion is possible. Be attentive with your staff and make it known that there is room for growth within their position. One of the top reasons why employees leave their role is because it plateaus.

This will help with employee retention as your staff will be more motivated to work harder. Your staff might be more welcoming to new ownership is this is a key goal you promote.

Controlling Finances

One of the biggest challenges new owners can have is getting business out of money loss. So, it’s time to get to the books.

In some cases, previous owners may be willing to discuss the book-keeping with new owners. The first step in dealing with financial recovery is being able to identify what the cause is. Once you’ve allocated where there needs to be cut, you’re able to put that money back into the restaurant. Working hand in hand with the past owner during this time can help give you superior insight.

This is also something that you could hire an external team for. It could give you information from an outside perspective that you may have never thought of. 

Also, restaurants run on very thin margins. Because of this, take control of money loss right away. Invest in state-of-the-art technology to help you. It will handle your issues with food waste and employee theft, the top reasons in which you can lose money.

What to Change and What Not to Change

Taking on the role of ownership includes dealing with all past matters. Things such as overhead costs, sales, and brand reputation all come with it. You need to decide what to change and what not to change.

A tip is to be proactive from the beginning to show your staff you are serious about making needed changes. Here are a couple of areas in which you may need to make changes and insight on how to do so.

Recommendations for Making Your Mark

Does the restaurant you took ownership of have clear consistent branding? It’s important to check your marketing efforts and brand message. If it’s not clear to you and your guests, make the decision for a rebranding.

A successful restaurant rebrand takes a lot of work. But, it will help you be better equipped to take ownership and make the necessary changes. Here are 8 tips for launching a restaurant rebrand:

  1. Understand Your Restaurant
  2. Know Your Audience
  3. Check on Competitors
  4. Take Feedback Seriously
  5. Involve Your Staff
  6. Revise the Menu
  7. Focus on Marketing and Branding
  8. Host Special Events

These are all essential to creating a space that’s welcoming and will help boost profits in the long run. To deep dive into each of these, check out our blog “8 Tips to Successfully Launch a Restaurant Rebrand.”

Transition Your Technology

Did you know that a point of sale (POS) system is the most important technology to 84% of business owners? The technology that the restaurant operates on is your money maker.

If the previous owners were stuck on a legacy POS system, you need to switch. Right away you can save thousands of dollars from the upkeep that legacy systems take.

Upgrading your restaurant technology is necessary to make effective changes under new ownership. With a cloud-based POS system, like CAKE, you can access your restaurant from anywhere.

You need full access to the complete data to help you make management decisions for upcoming changes. Be sure to check back on our blog next week where we will guide you step by step on how to update your technology.

Change is good

Even if the business was great before new ownership, there’s always room for improvement. As time goes on, you will begin to fully understand what your new restaurant and staff need. These changes will not be made on their own, technology will help you.

New restaurant ownership is a lot of responsibility. That’s another reason why it’s so important to involve your staff in the transition. Do your full research to make appropriate changes. We have an easy decision for you, switch to CAKE.  Our all-in-one POS system has custom solutions built to help you grow your business. There’s a lot to gain at this time, make the most of it.