Get it while it’s hot – Why you should visit recently opened restuarants

There are many great restaurants around the world that have made a name for themselves and are a staple on the foodie scene; The Fat Duck, White Rabbit, Attica and Blue Hill to name just a few. Given their fame and the quality of their experiences, they thankfully won’t be going anywhere in a hurry. However, like with any new business, not all restaurants manage to go the distance.

As around half of all new businesses fail to survive the five year mark, this means that your hot new local food spot may also not be around for the long haul just by following that statistic. In addition for restaurants there’s also considerations about changing trends in foods and cuisines, rising food and staff costs, and the one thing that is absolutely critical for any fledgling restaurant – footfall.

Unless a restaurant has an already established backing such as a famous chef, Michelin stars or a truly unique offering, diners generally don’t go too far out of their way for somewhere new. In parallel, most cities are constantly undergoing changes to their infrastructure and as much as some areas become more popular and accessible, others lose out. Ultimately no customers means no business, leading to no restaurant.

Costs are also an ever-present risk for any new restaurant. Purchasing quality ingredients is not cheap or easy in most major cities, as is the cost of excellent staff both front and back of house. Add to that the cost of equipping a restaurant, marketing, utility bills and of course, rent, and it’s no wonder many restaurants close their doors too early.

This is why I believe that as soon as you hear of a restaurant that you like the sound of – visit it as soon as you can. Not only will you get a chance to try out the restaurant before anything unfortunate happens and you can’t regret it later, but by being an early supporter you can help make a difference in keeping the restaurant running.

In their early days, your business is a direct and obvious way to help them. And given that they’re new and looking to impress early diners for positive reviews and word of mouth recommendations, you are also likely to get some of the best treatment and service. These early days are also a great time to impress people yourself. This is assuming, of course, that the restaurant is good and worth it in the first place!

From my experience, I have unfortunately missed out on a number of what were generally regarded as excellent restaurants. Either I didn’t manage to go at all, or my planned returns were put off for whatever reason. Upon hearing that these places subsequently closed down I can’t help but think if a couple of extra visits, particularly with a group of friends, would have been enough to keep them going. Most likely not, but at the very least I would have had an opportunity to try out something new, or enjoy something again that I know was worth it.

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