Tips For Opening a Restaurant Business
There’s a lot that goes into opening a new business, especially all of the finer details needed to create a glamorous and successful restaurant. Location and financing are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to everything you need to know. From keeping track of your employees with software like Clockspot to liquor laws, here are a few things to consider before opening your restaurant.
You probably have a good idea of what you want your restaurant to be. The first step is to take those ideas and flesh them out on paper. Start by defining the type of restaurant you’ll open from the atmosphere to the food you’ll serve.
From there, identify a few real locations where your restaurant can be located. A general idea is great, but you’ll need to do your homework and uncover a piece of real estate that offers high foot traffic, plenty of parking, and a close proximity the area’s other hotspots to ensure a profitable business.
Finally, you’ll need to solidify the name. Your name is your brand, which is how customers will relate to the business and gather an understanding about it before they step in. Something like Shenanigans would show them that this is lively atmosphere, while The Ritz would tell potential customers that your establishment is high class.
No business is successful without a proper plan in place. This will allow you to foresee potential problems from gathering a customer base to budgeting concerns. More importantly, it allows you to receive financing.
Most would-be restaurant owners watch their dreams crumble at the financing stage. A strong business plan shows investors and lenders that you have it what it takes to weather the storms owning a business will bring. It also shows potential profit margins and how you plan to achieve them.
Consider every cost that needs covered when crafting your plan. That includes everything from utilities to the cost of obtaining a liquor license, which usually requires legal help from a firm like Monshaugen & Van Huff, P.C.
The Element of Design
While you’ve probably thought about a few key design elements that your restaurant needs to have, there’s still a lot more to think about. Restaurant space fills up fast, especially after adding in a commercial kitchen, walk-in refrigerators, restrooms and a waiting area.
This stage requires you to draw up the floor plans, making sure to give space to the essentials first. Then adding in finer details from there. Include everything from seating to work spaces, then move onto finer details like color. Take your time with this stage, making sure to include everything possible.
Next, you’ll need a full-fledged menu. Make it descriptive, but easy enough to read with a simple layout. Avoid the generic clipart, too. Take photos of the food you want to sell if you really want to wow customers.
From there, you’ll need to order the equipment you drew in your floor plan. This step is expensive, but you can save money by purchasing used equipment or opting for Energy Star-rated devices. While eco-friendly machines are more expensive off the bat, they’ll save you money in the long run on operating costs.
Once your building is fully operational, it’s time to begin hiring. While it might be tempting to save money through hiring less employees, don’t. It will pay off by having a fully-staffed restaurant. Hire on enough kitchen, bar, and wait staff to avoid any gaps in the schedule or overworked (and miserable) employees.