Opening a restaurant or a bar is a dream of many entrepreneurs, but a restaurant business is one of the most capital intensive companies you could own. Whether you want to serve steak, fast food, pizza or coffee, start the journey here with this complete guide to launch your own restaurant with ease.
In this article, we cover fundamental tips on how to open a restaurant that help those people who are interested in business open their dream restaurant within the shortest period of time.
How To Open A Restaurant Easily – Starting Your Own Restaurant
1. Develop A Concept
This is considered as the first step when it comes to learning how to open a restaurant. This step could determine how much start-up money you need as well as what kind of location will serve you best. In order to decide the type of restaurant you want to open, there are a variety of things to consider. Oftentimes, people who want to open their own restaurant wish to serve food they love to cook and in the atmosphere they feel relaxed in. However, there are also many people who are interested in franchising. A restaurant franchise usually offers several benefits, such as immediate name recognition and built-in marketing. In other words, the majority of restaurant franchises seem not cheap, and the entrepreneurs need to follow some fundamental rules.
Some potential concepts contain: steakhouse, seafood, family-style restaurant, ethnic restaurant, sandwich shop, bakery, or pizzeria. Once you have decided on your food concept, you could start crafting your own menu. Just try to get a sense of how the menu can reflect well the concept of your restaurant.
You can refer some ideas on how to create a cake business plan here to get more ideas.
2. Secure Funding
To learn how to open a restaurant, once you have the theme of the restaurant determined, you need to develop a funding for starting up. Do not worry that you do not have enough money to open a complete restaurant as many restaurant owners use small business loans to cover their budgets until they get enough profit for maintaining the restaurant and starting paying back their loan. You always have different choices of using your own money or making use of private investors to open a restaurant if you have enough capital.
3. Choose A Location
Location is one of the key factors which decide the success of a restaurant. There are some aspects you should consider when searching for that perfect ambiance of your restaurant, containing population base, accessibility, and local employment figure. Your concept for the restaurant also helps to determine what kind of location will be the best for you. Moreover, when it comes to the ambiance of a restaurant, you also need to determine whether or not you wish to buy a location or just rent it. Buying might cost you more at first, yet it can enhance your profit later down the road. On the other hands, renting will allow you to be flexible to move around if necessary. Also, renting might help you find the better location in your city afterward. Each method has its own pros and cons. To help you have a specific view about choosing a location, we collect some following tips:
- Population base: you need to make a question: are there enough people in the area to support your restaurant? It is essential to be enough people living in the area, or pass through the area on the regular basis to keep your business busy. If possible, you should do a site study. However, in case you do not have enough money to do it, you can use a circle graph, as well as ask the local chamber of commerce or town office for further information.
- Parking: the question is that will there be enough parking spaces to accommodate all the seats in the restaurant? It is ideal if your restaurant has its own parking lot. Another alternative option is public parking near your restaurant ambiance.
- Visibility: this factor is very important for new restaurants. Clients should know the restaurant is there. Also, this is the answer of why property prices in developed strips or downtown districts tend to higher than others.
- Accessibility: do you find that many restaurant chains are usually located near freeway or highway exits? The reason is so simple because it makes them more accessible for clients. Clients could reach the restaurant without having to fight traffic as well as driving out the way. The majority of successful restaurant are easy to find.
4. Create A Business Plan
An accurate and comprehensive business plan is the ultimately critical component of building a new restaurant. In reality, the success or failure of a restaurant depends on the effectiveness of the business plan. So, ensure that you do it right. A business plan is also important if you need to get loans from banks. To prepare for the interview with bank, you should do carefully at home. Here are the necessary sections of a well-prepared restaurant business plan:
- Executive summary: this part will introduce an overview of the whole business plan. It is better to make it interesting in order to keep the readers’ attention.
- Company description: this part will let readers know the location, legal name, and style of your restaurant. Also, population base, target customers, local competition, and other information should be added in this part.
- Market analysis: this section refers to marketing strategies of your restaurant.
- Business operation: in this part, you will mention to employees, products, services, food supplies, etc.
- Ownership and management: the owner, manager, bookkeeper, head cook or bartender, and so on.
- Funding: this section should include the profit and loss that project how much you are going to spend and make.
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5. Recruit Staffs
The staff you employed in the restaurant could make a different between whether or not your restaurant takes off and simply tanks. It is the best if you can hire staffs that are knowledgeable about their position, have a good attitude. Good foods might lose its appeal if it accompanied by bad service. Experience counts for critical position, like head cook, bartender, or dining room manager.
Check out: methods to manage a restaurant successfully.
6. Create A Menu And Choose Suppliers
The menu could make or break your restaurant, and should be in accordance with the conception of the restaurant as mentioned above. Revisit your business plan to ensure that your menu is attractive to the target customers, is affordable within your own budget, and complement the design of restaurant’s concept as well. For instance, if your restaurant is ideal for family parties, you need a kids menu.
Getting to know how to open a restaurant also means that you need to know how to choose food suppliers. There are a number of different suppliers that could bring food to you to use in the restaurant. You can deal with one or two suppliers in order to avoid confusions as well as chaos of receiving food on different days. However, other people might find it is better to use different suppliers because this can decrease the price and avoid the risk for business if there is something suddenly happen to one of suppliers. When building restaurant, you should choose the best choice for your case and opt for the suppliers based on that.
You can refer some tips to choose healthy foods that help build your restaurant’s prestige effectively.
7. Advertise And Market
Now, after doing the above steps, it is time for you to make a comprehensive marketing plan. You can have the best menu, staff, and food in the city, but you cannot get profits if you do not take time to market your restaurant. With any business, especially in the modern life, marketing is indispensible. After determining your budget, you need to list out the advertising, radio and television advertising, and ads in coupon clippers. Also, you should get noticed online by building your restaurants’ website. Ask clients about how they found out about your restaurant, so that you can choose the best marketing plan. Setting up tasting booths at some local events or planning an event at the local charity will be effective and inexpensive way to gain positive word-of-mouth advertising. So, do not overlook this kind of grass roots advertising.
8. Continually Improve Your Restaurant
Though the main focus is to get the restaurant open to the public, it is also important that after gaining this target, you should continue to grow your business and excel it. Create a long-term business plan for restaurant and periodically review it.
Furthermore, often listen to your employee and customer feedbacks because it is a good way to figure out what you are doing right and what you could fix to do better. In other words, this can promote a better working environment, which is the base of your smooth business. Happy employees will lead to higher productivity and satisfied customers.
Well, owning and opening a restaurant is not for everyone. It is not easy to open a restaurant and even more difficult to maintain and develop a restaurant. Besides a lot of work involved, a successful restaurant needs to have a little bit of luck.
If you feel this article of how to open a restaurant is beneficial for you, leave your comments at the end of this post. We will answer all as completely as possible.