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Mistakes To Avoid When Opening And Running A Waterfront Seafood Restaurant

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When people are on the waterfront, many of them want to eat seafood. And indeed, a seafood restaurant can be one of the best types of restaurants to open on the water. You should have no trouble sourcing your seafood, and you already have an easy design scheme — beachy! If you want your seafood restaurant to succeed, however, there are a few small mistakes you'll want to avoid.

Mistake #1: Serving only seafood. 

Seafood can easily be the cornerstone of your restaurant. You can include it in 90 percent of your dishes if you please. But don't make 100% of your dishes seafood-based. There may be some groups of visitors that include a vegetarian or someone who does not like seafood. You want to ensure those guests have something to eat while their dining partners nosh on lobster and shrimp. So, it's a good idea to include at least one vegan or vegetarian meal, plus one meat-based meal, on the menu.

Mistake #2: Going reservation-only.

Going reservation-only may be the easiest way to run your restaurant, but it can also be a big turnoff to guests. On the beach where things are generally very relaxed, you can expect a lot of visitors to walk the beach and choose a restaurant they pass on the way. If you go reservation only, potential guests may be annoyed when they see your restaurant but get turned down for a table — and they may not come back. Consider taking reservations on weekends only, and doing a first-come, first-serve system during the week.

Mistake #3: Not sourcing your seafood locally.

Even if you can get certain seafood cheaper if you have it shipped in, you generally don't want to do this. When they are dining on the water, guests will expect that the seafood they are eating comes from that water. If they find out otherwise, they may feel duped. Plus, if you source your seafood all locally, you can advertise that you do so. This will really appeal to customers who try to eat locally and ethically. If there is a certain kind of seafood you can't get locally, but you really want to serve, make sure you are honest about it and note this on the menu.

A waterfront seafood restaurant can be a really fun type of restaurant to run. Just make sure you avoid the small, but common mistakes above along the way.

To learn more, contact a company like Scoma's.