Multiple Location Restaurants: Their Challenges and How to Handle Them

You own a restaurant and it is flourishing more than ever.

The tables are always full, your kitchen is buzzing with activity, customer reviews are positive and your restaurant’s reputation is growing day by day.

So, you decide to take the next step and expand your business by opening another restaurant at a different location.

Isn’t that what every restaurant owner would do if they were in a similar situation?

Well, the answer to that question is: No.

Opening up another restaurant might seem like a simple duplication of everything.

You set up a restaurant at the new location, cook the same dishes, and maintain the same ambiance, and voila, the new place is as successful as the previous one.

If you expect things to go like this, it’s time to stop and think again.

Expanding into a multi-office operation is more than just opening up another place similar to the previous one. It requires a change in management and all your business strategies.

Many restaurateurs who develop their businesses into multiple location restaurants are often unable to handle the increased workload. In fact, in most cases, their original restaurant also experiences a drop in quality and service.

So, if you want your business to remain successful, here’s what you need to know about the challenges of managing multiple location restaurants and how to handle them.

Effective communication

It may sound simple, but proper communication is highly important for smooth operations across multiple locations.

It’s easy to keep track of things when everyone is working under the same roof. But when the members are spread across different areas, staff disengagement becomes a key problem.

You should make sure all the employees, especially the branch managers, stay connected and update each other when required.

Management issues

It goes without saying that your new restaurant will initially require more time and attention.

While you tend to the issues that arise at the new place, you should be careful that the previous restaurant does not get neglected.

Train your current staff well so that they can handle all the work in your absence.

Competency issues

In multiple location businesses, an ‘us-versus-them’ mentality is often created.

This means that the employees in one location start viewing the members in the other business location as competitors. This not only leads to a lack of team cohesiveness but can also disturb operations as the staff tries to work in different ways to surpass the efforts of the staff in the other branch.

Thus, it’s important to ensure a friendly work environment. This can be done via strategies such as rotating the employees between the restaurants or holding meetings and other staff gatherings so that they get to know each other well.

Lack of knowledge and expertise

If your first restaurant is doing well, it doesn’t mean the second one will be successful just by using similar techniques.

Research about the tastes and preferences of people in the new area and make any adjustments to your plans if needed.

Therefore, do not underestimate the time and extra resources you will have to invest when you expand your business into multiple locations.

Pay attention to all the details and formulate a plan accordingly to ensure that your new restaurant also thrives and flourishes.


To take your business to the next level, we’d suggest investing in a multi-location pos system to consolidate and centralize all the data and critical business operations. In doing so, you have more consistent service at each location and better control over the menus, employees, and sales.

Schedule a demo of iTab POS today to learn how our system is top-notch for your restaurant.