The Difference Between An Average and A Successful Restaurant

In this article, we will explore the difference between average and successful restaurants, and share some tips and best practices on how to be a successful restaurant owner.
Publishing date 10/04/2023
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In this article, we will explore the difference between average and successful restaurants, and share some tips and best practices on how to be a successful restaurant owner.

Average vs. Successful Restaurants: The Key Differences

According to the National Restaurant Association, there are over 1 million restaurant locations in the United States, generating over $900 billion in sales annually. However, not all restaurants are created equal. Some are thriving, while others are struggling or failing.

What are the main differences between average and successful restaurants? Here are some of them:

Customer acquisition and retention: Average restaurants invest a ton of money to open the doors, pay a premium to acquire customers, but have no customer retention strategy. They rely on one-time transactions and hope that customers will come back.

Successful restaurants invest a lot of money to open the doors and attract customers, but they have a solid customer retention strategy. Customer retention is a top priority for successful restaurants. They have implemented a comprehensive strategy to keep patrons coming back, building a loyal customer base that serves as the lifeblood of their business.

In a previous blog post, I have shared how a proactive customer acquisition and retention strategies can transform your restaurant. Learn how innovative approaches can attract and retain loyal customers, ensuring long-term success and growth in a competitive market.You can read it revolutionizing restaurant industry.

Technology: Average restaurants fail to invest in the right tech stack. They often neglect the importance of investing in the right technology stack.They use outdated or inefficient systems that cause errors, delays, and dissatisfaction. They miss out on opportunities to optimize their operations, marketing, and customer service.

Successful restaurants invest in the right tech stack. They use modern and reliable systems that streamline their processes, enhance their performance, and improve their customer experience. They leverage technology to gain insights, automate tasks, and increase efficiency.

In a separate blog, we took a deep dive on “The Importance of All-In-One Restaurant Tech Platforms”. This article explores the advantages and disadvantages of the “best of breed” approach versus the “all in one” platform, shedding light on the critical decision-making process that business owners and tech leaders face. Check out the blog franchising expert reveals insider tips for success.


Reviews: Average restaurants have no 5-star review strategy. They ignore or avoid customer feedback and reviews, especially negative ones. They do not respond to complaints or resolve issues. They suffer from poor reputation and low ratings.

Without a clear plan for garnering 5-star reviews and reducing customer acquisition costs, the average restaurant struggles to break even. They might make around $659,000 in annual sales, but thin margins, high food costs, and labor challenges ultimately leave them in the red.

Successful restaurants proactively seek out 5-star reviews, understanding that positive online feedback can significantly impact their reputation and customer acquisition costs. They monitor and respond to customer feedback and reviews across multiple platforms. They address problems and offer solutions. They encourage positive reviews and testimonials. They build trust and credibility with their customers.


Sales and profits: Average restaurants make $659,000 a year in sales but complain of thin margins, high food costs, labor challenges, and other problems. They blame everything and everyone else for their poor performance. They lose money, shut down, or go out of business.

Successful restaurants make over a million dollars a year in sales, but have healthy margins, low food costs, solid labor, and other advantages. They take responsibility for their results and seek improvement. They make money, grow, or open new locations.

These are some of the key differences between average and successful restaurants. As you can see, success is not a matter of luck or chance. It is a matter of strategy, execution, and innovation.

How to Be a Successful Restaurant Owner?

How to be a Successful Restaurant Owner

The answer is simple: INCREASE YOUR TOPLINE REVENUE. That means increasing your sales by $150,000 a year. How can this make a difference? Well, with this strategic sales increase, your net profits soar by an additional $105,000 annually. That’s a whopping 30% increase in profitability, reshaping the financial landscape of your restaurant.

But how can you achieve this sales increase? How can you attract more customers, retain them, and make them spend more?

Here’s how:

Elevate the Customer Experience: Customer experience is the key to customer satisfaction and loyalty. You need to deliver exceptional service to your customers at every touchpoint. Seek an all-in-one platform that can help you do that by offering online reservations, online ordering, gift cards, coupons, loyalty programs, and more. These features can make your customers’ lives easier and more convenient, as well as reward them for their patronage. They can also increase your customer engagement and retention by offering incentives and benefits that suit their needs and expectations.

Personalize Marketing Messages: Every customer is unique. You need to tailor your marketing messages to each customer’s preferences and behavior. A Customer Data Platform (CDP) can help you do that by collecting and analyzing customer data from various sources, such as POS system, online orders, reservations, feedback forms, social media, etc. You can use this data to segment your customers into different groups based on their demographics, interests, habits, etc. You can then send personalized offers, promotions, reminders, confirmations, etc. to each group through email, SMS, push notifications, etc. This way, you can increase your customer relevance and responsiveness, as well as boost your conversion rates and sales.

Increase 5-Star Reviews: Reviews are one of the most powerful ways to attract new customers and build trust and credibility with them. You need to have a proactive 5-star review strategy that encourages positive feedback and testimonials from your customers. Integrating a Customer Experience Management app can help you do that by monitoring customer feedback and reviews across multiple platforms, such as Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, etc. You can also address problems and offer solutions to dissatisfied customers before they leave negative reviews. This way, you can improve your online reputation and ratings, as well as generate more word-of-mouth marketing and referrals.

Improving your customer service, satisfaction, and loyalty; investing in the right tech stack; having a proactive 5-star review strategy; these are some of the solutions that can help you increase your topline revenue and become a successful restaurant owner.

Elevate your restaurant’s performance to new heights. Learn how!

Be the (Wo)Man with the Plan: A Call to Action

Now, the question is: Which category do you belong to? Will you be content with running an average restaurant, constantly battling thin margins and high costs, or will you seize the opportunity to become a strategic business owner?

By investing in the right technology, prioritizing customer retention, and actively seeking 5-star reviews, you can set yourself up for unparalleled success in the restaurant industry. Don’t just hope for the best—be the (wo)man with the plan.


In the world of restaurants, the difference between average and successful is a well-thought-out strategy. The successful restaurant owner understands the value of technology, customer retention, and positive reviews. They don’t just survive—they thrive. So, which one will you be? Join the ranks of strategic business owners and pave the way for a flourishing future in the culinary world. Contact us, to learn more how Milagro can help your restaurant business, today.

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