Are you ready to take the leap and open your restaurant? The idea of starting a restaurant and being your own boss is exciting, however bringing your idea to life is more complicated. And while there are challenges of starting out, there is no doubt how badly the pandemic affected the restaurant industry. Many entrepreneurs are closing shop while others are taking a temporary break to adjust to the economic tumble. Coronavirus has undoubtedly put a rift between many entrepreneurs and their life-long dream. But your aspirations to own your restaurant does not have to be hit a dead end just yet!
Many people are rising to the challenge by diversifying ways of bringing in money in the food-service business. A bunch of them are working to transform their vision into a reality. Opening a restaurant is more than a business venture; it takes passion and careful planning. If you are going to get your restaurant business off the ground successfully, there are some things you need to know. So let’s get right on it!
1. It is not for everyone
Your passion may have gotten you this far; however, it is a long way from starting a successful restaurant. It will take you a whole lot more than passion to pull off owning a restaurant. The restaurant business is not for the faint heart; it takes sacrifice and commitment. Are you ready to sacrifice part of your social life? Can you handle the long hours the business will throw at you? Will you be able to put the well-being of your clients and employees first? Think long and hard because some people fail only a year after launching; they can’t keep up.
2. Lay it out the business plan
An idea remains an idea but creating a business plan is the first step towards starting a restaurant. So, why do I need a business plan? First, if you want to secure investors, you will need a concrete business plan outlining your concept. Then, you will need to conduct thorough market research to uncover where you stand in the market, potential risks, competitive advantages, and problems like licensing and tax law and this can only be done by creating a business plan. Finally, you can anticipate the financial performance and plan to reach your target sales with the information. So, you definitely need a business plan.
3. Get the proper licenses
Some regulations come with owning a restaurant, and among them is meeting your licensing needs. Depending on where you plan to start the restaurant, you may need state and local licenses, business licenses, and insurance. For example, if you are going to operate your restaurant in California, you need to comply with California’s food safety regulations and laws. All employees should complete a California food handler training course, that is necessary to prevent foodborne illnesses for public safety and maintain an overall safe environment. In addition, if you plan on including liquor in your menu, you will also need a liquor license and liability.
4. Your location matters
The restaurant was great, but I didn’t particularly appreciate where it was located. Sounds familiar? A location could make or break your restaurant. Convenience, accessibility, and easy-to-find are some of the things customers look for when reserving restaurants. Think about it. Who would want to enjoy their meal near a construction site? With a restaurant, you are selling meals and an experience; thus, a customer-targeted experience translates to a higher clientele.
5. Decide on the menu
An appealing menu is just as important as serving tantalizing meals. Plan your menu with a twist. You want to serve meals that customers are familiar with yet set you apart from your competitors. Take a step back to learn what your competitors are offering, and come up with ways to make your meals unique.
6. Get the needed manpower
As determined and focused as you may be, establishing a restaurant is not a one-person job. You will need help. Hiring the right staff is extremely important for your restaurant business. A good chef and customer-friendly servers are crucial to helping your business prosper. In addition, you will need to train your staff on etiquette and communication to aid them with their interaction with customers.
There is a tremendous difference between opening a restaurant and establishing a restaurant successfully. The two are worlds apart. Although there is no secret formula, these are some of the things you should know when opening a restaurant. Pair them with commitment, sacrifice, and passion, and watch your restaurant soar in this competitive industry.