5 Ways New Restaurants Fail in Their First 12 Months

Many people dream of launching new restaurants each year, and most of those individuals achieve their goals. However, the sad truth is that some restaurants fail to survive, and the reasons are often oblivious to their owners.

If you’re planning to open a restaurant, it makes sense to go about it the right way. With that in mind, check out these reasons why some restaurants fail in their first 12 months, and make sure you don’t become the next victim of business failure:

1. Bad Location

A restaurant is a very public retail business. One of the keys to its success is being in the right location for its target market. Did you know that for some restaurant owners, the reason for their business failures can be solely down to a bad location?

What defines a “bad” location, you might ask yourself? Examples include having no parking, poor visibility, and being inaccessible to disabled customers. Another, of course, is being in an area that’s far away from any residential zones.

2. Poor Furniture Choices

New restaurant owners will undoubtedly have ideas for the aesthetics of their premises. The thing is, some restaurants end up receiving little to no customers due to poor furniture choices.

For instance, if they wanted to pull off a specific look, they might have failed to use a custom furniture manufacturer for hospitality + residential industries. Instead, they just ended up buying cheap ergonomic furniture from a well-known Swedish company.

They might even be using furniture that causes customers significant discomfort, and the layout designed purely for maximum occupancy rather than customer comfort.

3. No Management

The staff in a restaurant each have different roles. Waiting staff take orders from customers, ensure they get their food and drinks in a timely fashion, and help with any inquiries. Chefs cook the food. Bar staff mix and provide customers with mouth-watering beverages.

But, if there isn’t anyone around to manage all those people, chaos will ensue. A lack of accountability, customer service, and communication breakdown will often follow, along with disgruntled customers getting up and leaving.

4. Lackluster Menus

Have you ever noticed how the most successful restaurants in your area always have changing menus? Even certain fast-food establishments often introduce regular menu changes and “limited time” changes.

Why? The answer is simple: new menus give customers different choices to try, and they help restaurants gauge which menu items are hits and which ones they should permanently ditch.

If your restaurant’s menu seldom changes, customers will become bored with ordering the same meals and go elsewhere to try something new.

5. No Marketing

Your restaurant might be eye-catching to passersby on the street. But, you still need to market it. Otherwise, you won’t ever get fully booked every night. Marketing and advertising are crucial to establishing a new restaurant brand.

You need to invest in viable marketing strategies, both online and offline, to increase footfall at your restaurant.


If you’re going to launch a restaurant soon, make sure you avoid making the above mistakes to increase your chances of success.

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