When you look at some of the most successful restaurant managers, what is it that they all have in common? Sure, they can all cook great food - but is that all it comes down to? Being able to whip up delicious meals is just the beginning. If you want to be at the top of the restaurant management game, then there are other key factors to put into place.

Here are five of the most important elements of running a successful restaurant.

1. Work Your Way Up

If you want to run a restaurant that people want to eat in - and work in - then you need to learn the ropes. Restaurant management isn’t just about becoming Head Chef, you need to know the real ins and outs of the business. For example, do you know what it’s like to be the Pot Wash? Have you ever peeled potatoes for hours on end? Without knowing the entire operational aspects of running a restaurant, it’s going to be pretty tough to become a success. You need to be able to understand what your team members are going through, along with their main responsibilities, to keep the ship afloat.

2. Find Your Niche

This isn’t just an essential factor of running a successful restaurant, it’s imperative in practically every industry. What is your niche? In order to make it to the top of the food chain, you’re going to need something that differentiates you from everyone else. Let’s say you want to start a gastropub, for example. What is going to set you apart from the hundreds of other gastropubs in the country? Perhaps you offer a modern take on classics. Or maybe you offer a vegan menu to die for! Whatever it is, make sure you have found your niche.

3. The Highs and The Lows

In order to be successful in restaurant management you’re going to need quite thick skin. By quite we mean very! As with running any business, owning a restaurant is going to be hard work. There are going to be some incredible highs, such as getting rave reviews from your customers. On the other hand, there are also going to be some hard-hitting lows, such as having a lull in custom. Be prepared for the tough times that come along with the good.

4. Remember You’re Running a Business

Most restaurant owners start their business because they have a real passion for the industry. Don’t forget that there is a lot more to restaurant management than plating up fantastic dishes. You need to remember that you’re running a business - which means you’re going to need to wear more than just a chef’s hat. You’ll be head of sales, procurement, marketing, staffing, and a whole lot more. At least in the beginning, anyway. Make sure you’re prepared for all of the hard work that goes into a successful restaurant.

5. Stay on Top of the Trends

It’s important to keep up with industry news and trends. What’s popular with restaurant-goers nowadays? Currently, it’s all about the flexibility and the ease of booking. It seems like everyone wants something at the tap of a phone screen in this day and age. You need to make sure you’re always one step ahead of the trends. Whether that means investing in the latest software and systems or always uploading #FoodInspo on Instagram. By staying on top of the trends, you can make sure your business stands out from the crowd.

There we have it! Five crucial factors to consider if you’re planning on running a successful restaurant. Remember, there’s going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears as you get things off the ground. However, as the positive reviews come in - and the seats fill up - it will all be worth it.