Keeping a restaurant viable takes work. Keeping an organic food restaurant viable takes even more work. This is a niche market, and you will really need to focus on keeping customers coming in the door and keeping profit margins adequate. Here are some tips to help you do just that!
1. Be willing to work with various suppliers.
Organic ingredients are more costly than conventional ones. You can save some money by being willing to buy each ingredient from the supplier that offers it at the best price. For example, you can buy lettuce from one organic farm in the next town, but melon from a local market that sells it at a reasonable price. You often save by buying directly from the farmer, and this gives you the added benefit of being able to advertise that ingredients are local.
2. Choose dishes with fewer ingredients.
If you keep the menu simple, you can spend less on each dish, allowing for a larger profit margin. This can be a big deal when you're working with organic ingredients! Having to stock fewer ingredients also helps you minimize waste.
Here are some simple, few-ingredient dishes customers love:
- Roasted vegetables of all sorts
- Organic pasta with simple sauces
- Roasted chicken thighs seasoned in various ways
3. Seek to convert new customers.
Your market is health-conscious customers who only want to eat organic food. There are only so many people in this category in any one area. To make more money, you need to convince other people that they should care more about eating healthy foods and that your restaurant is a good place to do that. You can do this by including facts about organic food in all your ads. Consider running commercials that inform listeners about the benefits of eating organic.
4. Don't cater to any one diet.
There are various other health trends that tend to go hand-in-hand with eating organic. Vegan diets are one of them. Gluten-free diets are another. Watch that you don't accidentally start catering to one of these groups. In doing so, you will be excluding other customers who might be looking for organic food but not vegan or gluten-free dishes. Try offering one vegan and gluten-free option on your menu, but in general, keep catering to a variety of diets.
Opening a viable organic food restaurant is tough, but if you follow the tips above, you'll be off to a good start.