Opening a new restaurant may seem a daunting task to many of us. In fact, there are so many important factors to consider when doing so – such as choosing the best location for the business, financing the project, selecting the right name, buying equipment, and hiring staff. This article highlights some important tips to consider when starting a new restaurant.
Deciding on the Type of Restaurant, Location, and Name
What type of restaurant are you planning to establish? This is the first thing to consider when opening a new restaurant. Is it going to be a high-end fine dining project or a 1950’s style restaurant? Do you have a specific type of cuisine in mind – such as French, Indian, or Italian? On the other hand, you may prefer a pub or microbrewery to a traditional restaurant. In fact, you should first define the type of restaurant you plan to establish before you decide to move on with the project.’
Location is Everything
Your location can make or break the restaurant project. That is why it is important that you do the homework before you go out and sign the lease for the location. You should choose a location in a busy area with plenty of foot traffic. Make sure that there is enough parking space when choosing the best location for your restaurant. What about the competition for your type of restaurant? These are important things to check before you go ahead with the project.
The most important part of opening a new restaurant is selecting the name for your restaurant. It may be a family name or even a name that reflects on the location and theme you choose. For example, Highlands and Broadway Diner are two such names.
The Business Plan
A business plan is important for many reasons. Two of the most important reasons are – it helps you to see potential problems in the project, and it is impossible to get financing without such a plan.
Financing is one of the main obstacles that keep people from starting their own restaurant. It is difficult to get financing for a restaurant since they have a high failure rate compared to most other businesses. However, it is not impossible with the right business plan. There are many banks, private investors, and small business agencies that offer finance for such projects. You should make sure you show up to your interview professionally and prepared with a successful business plan. In fact, you should be able to show your investors that you have thought about all the mechanics of opening and running a restaurant successfully.
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It may take several weeks or months to get the license and permits to operate a restaurant. Once you have the financing issue sorted out, it is important that you start filling out the paperwork for the necessary permits. Here are some of the common permits and licenses to operate a restaurant – signage permits, liquor licenses, workers compensation insurance, and permits for outdoor space.
Designing the Restaurant
The most important thing to remember is that you will never have as much space as you initially thought when you plan to design the restaurant. In fact, the space will quickly fill up when you start adding walk-in refrigerators, commercial kitchens, restrooms, bars, and the waiting area. You will need to make sure that the design is a balance between seating capacity and aesthetics. Make sure to keep practicality in mind when designing the restaurant. The right colour is important to establish a strong brand. It will also help establish a welcoming ambience for the customers.
Staff, Menus, and Equipment
The restaurant menu should be descriptive, clear, and easy to read. Make sure that you use a fancy font and high-quality paper for the menu.
Once the design is taken care of, you can start buying commercial kitchen equipment and the required furnishing for the project. Buy used equipment from a reliable source to save money at the start. Commercial equipment with an Energy Star rating might be initially expensive but will pay for itself many times over in the long run. It is also good for the environment.
The next step is to hire the right staff for the kitchen and floor. Make sure you hire the ideal person for each position. Test-taste the food of the chef you plan to hire. Don’t forget to hire experienced staff for all positions.
Advertising is important for a new restaurant. Online advertising is quite effective and affordable compared to traditional methods such as newspaper and radio. In fact, an aesthetically-pleasing website can definitely entice diners to your new restaurant.