Since time immemorial, food has brought people together. Food is an undeniable part of life. Many people are extremely passionate about food and want to make a living out of it. So, owning your restaurant can be an incredibly rewarding pursuit as you help others break bread daily.
A passion for food and entertaining is the first and arguably most important step. If it’s not a labor of love, you might soon find yourself getting frustrated with the long hours and stress that owning a restaurant can bring.
But before you dive into the hustle and bustle of your restaurant, you first need to do your homework. Opening a restaurant has a lot more to it than what it looks at the surface. There are many things to be done, and you need to be aware and ready for them.
Of course, make a business plan and do the needed research. But there is a lot more as well. So, if you plan to take the plunge, here are some important things to consider before setting up your own restaurant business.
1. Getting Enough Capital
This one is kind of obvious. Starting the business on the right foot means having enough cash in the bank beforehand. There is a lot of investment that goes into opening a restaurant.
You’ll need to pay for your premises, staff, equipment, and more before taking a penny back. Also, let me not even get started on the invisible costs that one doesn’t anticipate. You need to have enough money on hand so that you can open your restaurants without hiccups.
It will likely also take your place a little time to start earning a (hopefully good!) reputation for service and the food on offer. Before you start raking it in, it’s always worth having a bit of cash in reserve so that you can keep going through quieter moments.
2. Finalizing The Concept
Once you have settled the capital, it’s very important to finalize a concept for your restaurant. This is what you can call a ‘key factor.’ Think back. Every restaurant you’ve ever visited might’ve had a concept. They may have themes that you see all over the place.
Do your research well before that. If you choose a concept that many people have used, yours will look like a knock-off. The concept you should have an evergreen theme. You can choose your concept on a trend, but the thing with trends is that they die down.
Also, if you choose a concept that’s unique but rejected by others, find out why. It might have a con that you are overlooking. Once you’ve crossed and burnt all the bridges, it’s great if you come up with a fairly unique and great concept for your restaurant.
3. Finding The Right Location
Picture two restaurants; one in a shabby alley and one over a beautiful river. Which one would you prefer? The river one, right? Hence, the point proved. Location is key! This is true for all businesses.
If your new restaurant is not flush with bookings in its early days, you will largely depend on walk-in parties. Therefore, it’s important that you are located in an area with high footfall and that your business looks like a restaurant.
Put a menu outside to tempt people in, and make sure to sit customers in window seats first, so your place looks full at all times!
4. Locating The Right Suppliers
Have seen Ratatouille? If yes, you must remember Colette telling Linguine how much good produce is important for a restaurant. This is actually a very absolute and obvious fact.
The quality of your food will come down to the quality of your produce and even the apparatus you use to cook it. Thus, finding local suppliers will give you access to the freshest ingredients and a selling point that many diners look for.
If you don’t already own the equipment, machinery, and maintenance tools required, this is another costly upfront expense to think about. Read more about those here.
5. Getting The Right Licenses and Accreditations In Place
There are many licenses you will need to apply for before starting trading. Food business registration, alcohol license, and pavement license are a few you might need to consider.
Then there are the right kinds of business liability insurance. This will be an ongoing cost. You may also have to apply for certain permits if you wish to use your venue to host live music later at night.
You will also need to regularly welcome food safety standards to inspect your premises. The aim is to earn that all-important five-star rating so that your diners enjoy peace of mind.
6. Look For Good Staff and Train Them Well
When you have nailed down everything else, you are still left with one important thing; food. Yes, good food and great service are the two pillars of a successful restaurant, along with everything else.
For that, you must hire good staff including the head chef, the sous chefs, the waiters, the helpers, everything. You can hire services that’ll aid in this matter. But you need to make sure that the staff’s goals align with yours.
You need to train them well for your restaurant to be a success. Everything else will fail if the food at the end of the tunnel is not good. Choose your head chef wisely. One thing you can do is make a manual containing the ethics and instructions. Also, regularly conduct sessions with your staff.
So, these are some of the tips that you should consider before opening a restaurant. If you follow this list, the painstaking process of establishing a new business might become streamlined if not easy. I hope you found this article helpful.
Tell me in the comments below how helpful did you find my tips. I’ll see you next time. Until then, take care!