The Aftermath Of Rapid Restaurant Growth – Is It Worth It?

At first glance, growth may appear to be an exciting prospect. After all, what does a business owner want for their enterprise more than to grow?

But growth can bring with it many unexpected challenges. If you aren’t prepared to handle an increase in demand, you may be presented with an entirely different set of problems on the other end.

Is it worth stimulating rapid growth in your restaurant? Read on.

Sudden Decline After Rapid Growth

Not that this would happen to every restaurant that’s trending upwards. But a sudden decline is never beyond the realm of possibilities, even if you’ve been on a growth curve for several years.

The economy can change. Consumer behaviors can change. Natural disasters can occur. There are variables you can control, and those you can’t.

A sudden decline can be discouraging to a business owner. There may not be any logical reason for it, but it’s natural for a restauranteur to turn inside to see if there’s anything they’re doing that needs to change.

Scrambling To Adapt

When your business is growing fast and suddenly takes a dive, it’s natural to begin looking for solutions. The problem is that it’s easy to make decisions that aren’t calculated or strategic when you’re in a panic.

You may look at everything from your marketing to personnel to adjust. But are these really the variables that need to be adjusted? What happens when business stays the same or continues to decline after you’ve adapted your strategy?

Sometimes, growth can put you into reactionary mode. And when you are always reacting to problems, you’re going to fall behind the curve. Scrambling to adapt could cause you to make poor decisions that don’t benefit your business.

Keeping Up With Demand

An increase in demand is welcome when you’re prepared for it. It can be complex and challenging if you aren’t.

For one, you need the personnel necessary to handle demand. This isn’t a problem if your team is big enough and you can schedule people in at a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, this is rarely the reality with today’s common scheduling challenges.

For another, your restaurant needs to be adequately systematized. This means systems, processes, procedures, policies, checklists, and so forth. If any of your team members are unclear on what they need to do or how to do it, it could result in inefficiencies and poor customer experiences. That could have a negative impact on your reputation.

Exhaustion & Burnout

Keeping up with growth can be exhausting, especially as it goes on for months or even years. You can put your blinders on and plow through for a while, but at some point, it will start to take its toll on you.

What if key employees and team members end up having to take time off because they’re tired and possibly even sick? Can your business run without them? If you don’t have a contingency plan, you could be in a bit of trouble.

It is possible to handle growth with grace, but if you don’t plan well, it can lead to exhaustion and burnout for you and your staff, which can be costly for your business.

Final Thoughts

Growth can be challenging. This isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t do what you can to encourage growth in your restaurant. But you should ask yourself if you’re prepared.

Many businesses like to find a predictable equilibrium and remain there for a time before choosing to expand. With stability achieved, the right personnel and systems in place, you can move towards expansion with confidence.

Rapid growth can be good for businesses in some situations, but it’s a good idea to be aware of the potential downsides so you can mitigate risks before they ever arise.