Running your own restaurant can be a very rewarding experience. In order to make your restaurant opening a success, you have to be aware of all of the things that must be done before the day of your opening. Below are a number of tips on how to open a restaurant that should help make the experience easier and much less stressful.
1. Restaurant Features: You will have to do your research to find a suitable location. You have to check out your competition and the type of people that frequent area. Once you have chosen your site, you have to decide what type of restaurant you will operate. For instance, will it be a fine dining restaurant, fast food restaurant, or specialty restaurant such as a Chinese or Italian. It is beneficial to have a restaurant that stands out from your competitors. It should offer something unique that will attract diners. You also have to consider where customers will be seated that is both comfortable and has a pleasant view. The restaurant itself should be appealing to the customer as the first thing a customer judges is the appearance of the restaurant.
2. Financing: When starting a restaurant, one will normally have to make a significant financial investment. This will usually involve acquiring a business loan or getting people to invest in the establishment. You will need a detailed business plan that will include the funds needed to open the restaurant and to keep it financially sound until you start making a profit. Costs to take into account include: lease or purchase costs, equipment and supplies, renovations, legal fees, food, staff costs, taxes, liquor costs, utilities…etc. The lender needs a business plan that shows how you will make and maintain a profit.
3. Restaurant Vendors: You will have to buy various equipment and supplies such as tables, chairs, kitchen equipment such as dishwasher, freezers, ovens…etc. You will also have to furnish the restaurant with items that reflect the restaurant’s theme. Consider such items as decorations, paint, carpet, fixtures, wall décor…etc. It is helpful if you can find one or two restaurant suppliers to provide you will all of the required supplies.
4. Restaurant Permits: Operating a restaurant requires obtaining a number of permits. Check with your local government agencies to find out what permits are needed, however, generally one will require a zoning permit, building permit, permit to operate a food establishment, permit to sell alcohol, and more. You can be fined or shut down if you don’t have all of the permits.
5. Restaurant Menu: The restaurant menu is a key component of attracting and creating loyal customers. The dishes should reflect the theme of the restaurant. The prices should reflect the type of customers you want to attract. For example, will your restaurant be an expensive fine dining restaurant or an affordable family style restaurant? Your food should be fresh and it should stand out from your competitors’ food.
6. Restaurant Employees: Your waiters and waitresses are on the front lines of the business. Your staff should be experienced, professional, respectful, attentive to the diners, and friendly. Make sure staff uniforms are professional and always neat and clean. As well, your chef should be experienced with cooking the dishes you will be serving.
Having the right business plan is essential to opening a restaurant. Creating a step-by-plan will help make sure that your restaurant opening is a tremendous success.