Do You Know Who Your Most Important Customer Is?

Ask a restaurant owner who their most important customers is and they'll likely name some big spending regular or a local business who calls in large catering orders.

Chances are, your most important customer hasn't even seen your restaurant yet. I'm not talking about customers who buy your food and beverages but the one customer who will eventually buy your restaurant.

As a restaurant owner, one of your greatest opportunities for financial gain is when you ultimately sell your business.

Here's a short-list of things you should be doing now to enhance the value of your business in the eyes of most potential buyers regardless of when you think you'll be ready to sell.

  • don't skim, report all your sales

  • keep good accounting records and prepare accurate financial statements

  • keep track of your lease renewal dates, don't get blindsided and lose your lease (and your business)

  • make your restaurant "systems-dependent" not "YOU-dependent" by creating manuals, procedures and checklists in every area of your restaurant

  • develop great managers so you can manage managers and your managers can manage the employees and run your restaurant

  • build a customer database with the names, birthdates, anniversary dates, addresses and email addresses of your regular customers

  • don't let any part of your physical plant look tired or worn- out, always keep up your restaurant's appearance

Notice that most of these items will not only help you have a more valuable business down the road but will also translate into a more valuable and profitable one today as well.

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