Every foodie dreams of owning a little eatery, café or restaurant. Nothing sounds better than owning a beautiful establishment filled with your favorite goodies, whether it be exquisite pastries, signature pastas, or Japanese fusion cuisine.
Once you start dreaming, the ideas bubble up. Yet opening a restaurant isn’t so simple. Running a restaurant is demanding and saps a lot of your energy.
How to Open Your Own Restaurant
Most restaurants close within the first five years, so investing can become a huge financial burden. It takes true dedication and passion for becoming a successful restaurateur, but you too can achieve this ultimate goal. Here are the basic steps to own an eatery of your own.
Create a Concept
When guests go to a restaurant, they don’t just want food; they want an entire atmosphere including scenery, ambiance and excellent cuisine. The restaurant industry is extremely competitive, so you want to make sure you stand out. In order to do this, you need to create a concept. The concept is the all-encompassing experience you want your guests to have.
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For most, the concept derives from the food. Will you serve Italian, French, American, Vietnamese, or a new experimental concept? Perhaps you’re inspired by your mother’s cooking when you were a child or you’re a chef who specializes in seafood. These are all important factors to consider when designing the restaurant.
Next, you need to understand your clientele. Successful upscale restaurants, trendy eateries, bars, fast food and more all have a distinct atmosphere that keeps people coming. There is always something special about a successful restaurant that sticks in the mind of customers and it’s not just the food.
While food is the most important factor, other factors are close behind. Hire an interior designer to help maximize your space and create an inviting environment based on your concept. You want both the food and the environment to say, “Wow”!
Formulate the Business Plan
No business is foolproof, but a no-nonsense business plan is what you need to be successful. Remember, owning a restaurant isn’t for the faint of heart; it takes hard work and dedication to achieve. Your restaurant is first and foremost a financial investment, and you don’t want that investment to go to waste. Consider getting a degree in business or take classes regarding the hospitality industry. Both will teach you how to create a business plan so you can create a budget, create goals for growth and manage your expenses.
Consider getting a degree in business or take classes regarding the hospitality industry. Both will teach you how to create a business plan so you can create a budget, create goals for growth and manage your expenses.
Find the Funding
In order to start on the right foot, you need to get the right funding. Hire a financial advisor who specializes in the restaurant industry to sit with you and discuss your options. You will have to consider everything from the cost of the venue, the flatware and everything in between.
Research all of the permits you need when you start to develop your restaurant. Want to play music? You need a permit for that. If you want to serve alcohol, you need a license for that too. Licenses can take
Licenses can take time to get and cost upward of thousands of dollars, so it’s best to use a service like License Locators, Inc. to do all of the hard work for you. It’s worth the investment so you can get work done faster and profit sooner.
Don’t Hire Staff, Hire a Team
A restaurant is nothing without a great team. Hire dynamite staff and you’re well on your way to success. Look for enthusiastic wait staff with a history of responsibility and respect. Your wait staff should be friendly and accommodating to guests.
After all, one bad experience with a server can turn off a guest for good. As you expand, consider hiring a manager and accountant. As the owner your job is to make sure everything runs smoothly. As business gets bigger and more complicated, it will be worth the cost to hire people who can help you manage your wait staff and finances.
Any foodie can own a successful restaurant with the right preparation. Follow these tips and you’re well on your way.