horecazaak advies

Wieteke Vonk

Hospitality entrepreneurs give 7 tips: how to create a successful business

Managing a successful hospitality business is easier said than done, but definitely a feasible goal with the right resources. In our previous article, we gave advice on how entrepreneurs can attract customers to their bar or restaurant. Yet, it’s equally as important to take talented staff under your wing! How can one create a place where a hospitality star would like to work? We asked a few successful hospitality entrepreneurs in Nijmegen that we work with, and they had a fresh take on the subject. Read further for their seven tips.

tips hospitality entrepreneurs

The interior of Bistrobar Berlin, one of Frank Goossens’ restaurants

1. Feel at home in your own establishment

It might be self-evident, but it’s crucial that you feel comfortable in your own business. Frank Goossens, the owner of Bistrobar Berlin and Bistrobar Bankoh, emphasizes that you have to stay true to yourself. He adds: “I think that if you do something that’s close to you as a person, the chances of succeeding are higher and the pleasure at work is greater.” Rosmarijn Raanhuis of craft beer and food bar Beij Ons especially underlines that the look of your café has to correspond with the goal that you have in mind for it. To illustrate this: considering the fact that Beij Ons fulfills the function of a local bar, it looks like someone’s second living room.

2. Establish a connection with your staff

In times of scarcity on the labor market, it’s more important than ever for hospitality entrepreneurs to have a good relation with their staff. Ask them how their day was, remember what their hobbies are and go the extra mile during special days! Harm van Oijen from De Waagh points out the significance of an informal setting at the workplace: “My employees need to be able to say everything to me, as long as the goal is to better each other or the business. With the current staff scarcity in mind, it’s important to create a team of friends, because it creates loyalty towards each other and to yourself.” And if there is a good atmosphere, your staff will be less inclined to go and work somewhere else.

tips hospitality entrepreneurs

Inside of De Waagh with its 17th century rib vaults

3. Let your employees be themselves

Don’t ask your staff to behave differently than they do in real life. Frank Goossens really hires his employees on the basis of their personality, not because of the qualifications that they possess. Goossens reasons that they really have to connect with the guests, and they can only do that if “they are boys and girls who feel at ease in the restaurant.” Moreover, one can only be at ease if he/she feels safe in their working environment.

4. Be present in your own business

Make sure that your employees see your face regularly, because they will get the confirmation that they are important to you. Harm van Oijen is also working in De Waagh a few hours a week as a part of the team: “It’s important to do the same work as the people you’ve hired, to make sure that you know how the work is for them. Moreover, you show them that you don’t feel too good for it.” This way, your staff will feel even more motivated to work hard.

tips hospitality entrepreneurs

The staff of Bistrobar Berlin in front of the fitting sentence “Ich bin ein Berliner”

5. Invest in your staff

Appreciate your employees, because it’s obvious you need them to keep your business running. Frank Goossens emphasizes: “Gather the right people around you for the aspects that you know less about yourself.” Besides, Bas Hoebink of the Hoofdkwartier Horeca Nijmegen stresses that you need to let your staff do “tasting sessions, trainings and business visits,” so they can grow their skill set. As soon as employees know more about the dishes and drinks that they serve, they will be much better at selling them and have more fun doing it. For this reason, we started the JAM! Academy, where our employees can follow all sorts of online hospitality courses.

6. Be someone that people like to work for

What does ‘being a good boss’ mean? According to Harm van Oijen, it has to do with sticking to your roots: “Don’t become someone who easily gets carried away.” Self-evidently, this point goes hand in hand with tip number two. Yet, it also entails something else. It doesn’t just mean that you show interest in your employees, but also that you compliment them for their good work. “I always valued having a good relationship with my boss, so therefore I also try to be liked. Of course, I say it when things go wrong, but I definitely say it as well when they go right,” Bas Hoebink says.

tips hospitality entrepreneurs

Bas Hoebink inside of his butchery and restaurant The Black Fox

7. Grant your employees days off of work

The idea that a hospitality employee needs to be at the workplace every weekend and holiday, has to be standby at all times and standardly works overtime is delusional to Bas Hoebink: “You price yourself out of the market.” Therefore, it’s very important for hospitality entrepreneurs to pay for all their staff’s overtime and to give them the opportunity to take a weekend off.

tips hospitality entrepreneurs

At Beij Ons, Rosmarijn doesn’t only serve craft beers; she also makes a good cup of coffee

Having trouble to find staff? JAM! can help

JAM! takes care of the HR for 175 hospitality entrepreneurs. For a great amount of our clients, two of our employees are recruiting staff full time. See all the current external vacancies we have created for our relations here. Feel more than welcome to send a mail to paul@jamhoreca.nl if you’d like to inquire more information about this.

Are you curious which businesses are affiliated to JAM!? Then take a look at our client cases, follow our social media pages (FacebookInstagramLinkedIn) and don’t forget to check our blog page. We often put our relations in the spotlight!