1. Make a solid Business Plan
The first thing you ’ ll want to do before making any investment is do your inquiry, diligently. Spend a few weeks ( or flush months ) getting a deeper understand of the broader foodservice landscape, your customer target, latest trends and competitors, and start writing a clientele plan for your investors. think of it as exploring your 4C ’ sulfur : customer, consumer, channel and context .
For this, you ’ ll want to :
- Define your target market: Who is your new business targeting – baby boomers, gen X, gen Z, empty nesters, seniors? Once you’ve defined your target segment, make sure you understand what they buy, why they buy, where they buy from and what makes them tick. This will help you create a relevant, targeted offering.
- Define your USP: Find what sets you apart from the rest of the herd. Have a look at what your direct (and indirect) competitors are doing, and establish your point of competitive difference. Now here, it doesn’t’ have to be radical, but it does have to be relevant. For example, if you’re targeting young families, creating a child-friendly establishment with nutritious children’s meals could be enough to give you a leg up on the competition.
- Define your restaurant style: Are you thinking of opening a bakery, coffeeshop, quick-service, fast-casual or full-service dining restaurant? Each one of these channels requires their own unique approach, operating hours and investment, so make sure to pick one that suits you as an individual, and the work schedule that you’ll want to have.
- Select your food type/menu offering: Think carefully about your menu and the type of food you’ll want to offer – and do so early on in the process. Find out what the latest menu trends are (especially for your target market) and tailor your offering to them. Some of the hottest trends right now include: vegetarian/vegan diets, allergy-friendly & gluten-free menu options and sourcing your produce locally.
- Define your brand: Your branding – from your logo and the imagery you use, to the design of your menu, music you play and even and uniforms of your staff – define what your business is all about, and what you stand for. It sets the tone for your restaurant and lets your customers know what they can expect. Think carefully about how you want to position yourself and what you want your identity to be.
once you have your business plan in place, go out into the worldly concern – and test it. Find some of your target customers and ask them for their thoughts and impressions. This could be adenine simple as polling a handful of people off the street to a full-blown market research survey .
2. Secure your financing
now it ’ sulfur time to sort your finances. But not everyone who wants to start a restaurant has the personal fund to do so. In fact, most don ’ thymine .
thankfully, there are lots of other ways that you can find fund for your new venture :
- Get a business loan
- Turn to family/friends
- Find outside investors or bring in a partner
- Use crowdfunding
- Get government aid
precisely remember that it ’ s probable to take years before you turn your first profit, and money will be tight at first. sol think about starting minor ( you can always scale up ) and choose your business partners wisely, because they ’ ll be around for a good while .
3. Choose your location
You know what they say : “ placement, placement, location ”. well, as it turns out, that ’ s not always the casing. The placement you choose for your establishment will depend on the a issue of factors, and unless you ’ re relying heavily on foot-traffic, you don ’ thymine inevitably need to be in the hottest modern retail placement .
here are a few factors you ’ ll want to consider :
- Cost: based on your sales and profit projections, what can you afford to spend on rent?
- Accessibility to potential customers: how are you customers getting to your restaurant, by foot, by car, by public transport?
- Restrictive ordinances: some neighborhoods have strict noise regulations or restrictions on the times when your suppliers can deliver your produce
- Proximity to other businesses: competitors and other businesses can influence your traffic, so map out what’s happening around you, and how it could affect your business
- Plans for the future: consider what the neighborhood will look like in 2, 5, 10 years, and if there are any major development projects underway that could change the local landscape
4. Design the layout of your space
once you have the a venue, it ’ s time to start working on the layout and design your space .
Of course, this will depend on the character of institution you ’ re tend, but typically restaurants dedicate about 45-60 % of their space to the dining area, about 35 % to the kitchen area and the remainder to storage and office space .
Think carefully about the layout of your kitchen and dining areas, and make certain there ’ sulfur a smooth flow between the two. Prep space is besides critical, thus shuffle sure your chefs have enough room to plate, garnish and decorate their dishes.
And most importantly : don ’ triiodothyronine ignore corners in your dining area. This is the stage of the show – literally where all of the magic trick happens – so finding the right ambiance and interior decoration to make your customers feel welcome is critical to success .
5. Choose your suppliers
As a restaurateur, you ’ ll be working with a number of different suppliers – from furnishings to POS systems, bar equipment, kitchen appliances and of course, food. Make your wish list, scope out your short and long-run budget, and go on the hunt for your partners. But remember that while you don ’ t want to cut corners when it comes to quality, over-priced suppliers can minimize your margins and run your business into the labor. then make certain to negotiate, hard .
But where do you start looking ? Try going to sweeping retailers, local farmer ’ s markets, F & B conventions, ask for recommendations from mate restaurateurs or equitable do a simpleton Google search .
You ’ ll be looking for a trustworthy supplier, who has a adept track record of providing quality products and rota of successful partnerships. For food suppliers, be indisputable to about their delivery schedules and food safety management practices. And go local – they normally offer fresher ingredients .
6. Get your licences and permits
When it comes to regulations, every state, county and city is different. But make certain that you check in with your local regulative function, and consider getting legal advocate to make certain you adhere to all of your local health & condom codes and food regulations. fair know that some licenses can take months to acquire, so stool sure to get started on this serve well before opening day .
7. Start hiring your employees
first, think about what staff you need to hire for your restaurant type. Based on the plate of your restaurant, this may include : HR managers, purchasing experts, accountants, marketing & sales managers, chefs and sommeliers, waiters, hosts, bartenders and clean and dish-washing staff. Make certain to hire enough staff for each problem, and anticipate shift design and back-ups in lawsuit of illnesses and vacations .
count for candidates with sufficient experience and a successful track-record, who are immediate on their feet, can multi-task and are effective. All of your employees should work well under blackmail, and customer-facing staff should have especial social skills .
And when it comes to hiring staff, you can never be besides careful – so do your ascribable application. Make certain to do background checks, conduct respective face-to-face interviews and call their references .
8. Advertise your business
Before opening your restaurant, you ’ ll wish to do a fair come of advertising to alert your local community that there ’ s a new restaurant on the block.
And while discussion of mouth is still the best form of promotion, here are a few other ways you might like to consider announcing your new speculation :
- Build a great website: make sure that it’s easy to navigate and includes all of the key information, including your opening times, menu, a booking engine and if/how you cater to special requests
- Use social media: create accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and Instagram, and share relevant news and high-quality photos of your restaurant and the behind-the-scenes process as you’re getting ready for opening day
- Put an ad in the local newspaper (and online news platform)
- Host a soft opening: this is not only a great practice-run before opening day, but will also help create some buzz about your restaurant within your local community. Make the guest-list small, and consider having a soft opening for family & friends, followed by one for local businesses and partners.
- Offer promotions to new guests: offer a free drink or dessert for the first 10, 50 or 100 customers – you’ll be remembered for your hospitality and generosity. After all, who doesn’t love free stuff?
And with that, we leave you with one last tip off for success : bring hard, don ’ t give up, and be prepared to risk it all. Starting any new guess will be a challenge and most likely an uphill battle, but in the end, nothing tastes sweeter than victory .