Managing bistros is not as simple as it may first appear. It’s a task that can bring about all manner of day to day issues that need to be handled carefully. However, the worst (and most damaging over long term) issues can prevent your bistro from being a success and could even result in a closure of your operation.

Here’s what we know can prevent your bistro from thriving:

The Menu

In the competitive bistro marketplace, it’s important to have a well-balanced menu. How many menu items you opt for along with pricing and coherency can also make a difference.

Sometimes a smaller number of dishes that are done very well can work better than a greater number of options. Keep your menu in line with your USP (unique selling proposition).

Larger menus can take clients longer to choose from and they also require more ingredients for you to buy and then store. Larger menus can also get complicated to cook, more dishes and pans and more cleaning up. Overall the result is a slower food delivery rate that is more hard work.

Make your menu accessible online so that it can be viewed on a mobile phone. Passers-by are more likely to want to read your menu from their mobile device.

Customer Service

Although your food may be wonderful and your décor memorable, if you give bad customer service, it’s going to have a negative impact.

Happy customers who want to keep coming back are going to be the key to your success. Each member of your team should be fully focused on the wellbeing and happiness of your customers. Think welcoming, accommodating and pleasant when it comes to every touch point.

A Unique Selling Point

What are you offering? A bar experience, a romantic dinner setting or an adventure in taste? Your customers need to know what they will get when they eat at your spot.

Ideally your unique selling point should make an emotional connection with your guests.

Effectively Managing Your Bistro

Bistro management is one of the most important pieces of the restaurant puzzle. Understanding how to analyse your business with regards to making a profit is critical. Track the following:

  • Number of customers each day by mealtime
  • How many menu items are ordered
  • The most profitable menu item
  • Costs of each meal
  • Your employment budget and whether this is being stuck to
5 Management Challenges for Bistro Owners


Not putting enough time and energy into marketing is one of the most common pitfalls. It’s crucial for every bistro to pay attention to:

  • What competitors are doing in terms of marketing and online presence
  • The creation of a marketing plan to cover opportunities such as Valentine’s Day, NYE and more
  • The development of a website that is accessible from all mobile devices including your menu
  • Using online reservation platforms that make it easy and convenient for your customers to book a table

Overall a marketing plan is what can make or break a restaurant. If you don’t make it part of how you go about managing your bistro, then it could put you into a financial trench.

To find out more about a FREE online reservation platform click here.