In today’s world, we are surrounded by a universe of fabulous chefs and restaurateurs who amaze us with their stunning dishes, impeccable hospitality, and unforgettable culinary experiences. For some, simply tasting, seeing, and talking about food is not enough; they instead are the entrepreneurs and dreamers who take their passion to the next level – and open their own restaurants.
Owning a restaurant is no doubt fun and exciting, with the real chance of leaving your mark on the F&B industry for years, maybe even a lifetime. But in an industry known for its razor thin margins, those who want to run their own place need to plan well before jumping in head first.
Below is a starter list for what you should consider when opening your restaurant. There is undoubtedly more work to be done, but these six hints are a good way to being your planning.
- CREATE A CONCEPT
Do you want to open a traditional pizzeria or a trendsetting taco place?
The secret behind your choice could be ‘differentiation’, being able to stand out from your competition. It would help you in increasing awareness about your restaurant, having people actively searching for you on the internet. However, you have to remember this: it is great to be original but don’t go too far. You want to attract customers, not scare them!
- LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Now, where do you want your amazing new restaurant to be located? Right in the city center, between shiny skyscrapers? Or more in an underground area, surrounded by the latest street art masterpieces? Choose whatever you prefer, as long as the foot traffic is there and it flows well with your core concept.
But remember: keep your wallet in mind! With the location secured, the next question will be about renting vs. owning.
- SECURE FINANCING
Opening a restaurant isn’t cheap. Those pennies in between your couch cushions probably won’t be enough. Starting a restaurant requires a huge initial capital investment and a continuous cash flow. We have already established that significant dollars will be going towards paying for the location itself, now don’t forget food & beverage costs, staff/labor, licenses to operate, etc.
Most importantly, understand that the average restaurant is not profitable for quite some time. Ensure whatever money you raise and wherever it is from, that you leave yourself a runway far enough into the future that you are able to keep the doors open and lights on.
- GET LICENSES & PERMITS
You’d be surprised to see the number of different approvals needed to be able to operate things such as outdoor dining space, a full bar, and/or certain types of kitchen equipment. In the earliest days of your restaurant planning, be prepared to make friends with everyone from the health inspector to fire department. We’d suggest keeping those relationships strong always, but be prepared to spend significant time getting all your permits and licenses in place.
- BUILD YOUR TEAM
The people that will work in your restaurant will be those helping you grow your business, build repeat customers, and bring your dream to life. In short, your people are everything, and the time and attention you place in the hiring process is critical to your success. Be cognizant of who you are hiring for each role, hostess to head chef, and be sure to properly train and support and motivate them moving forward.
They are an extension of you to offer the best possible experience to your valued customers.
- LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY FROM THE START
Implementing technology to streamline and organize your business can only help you and your team. Do your due diligence and think twice before choosing a POS system, signing up for an OpenTable account and posting your menu on GrubHub. It is easy to first look at marketing tools that drive new business, but the battle is won or lost before you even open your doors. Back of house tech is a phenomenal way to control your business before the shift even gets started.
Interested in taking control of your business from purchase to plate? We suggest Nix86 at the best possible tool to manage your product inventory and vendor relationships.
Simplify the labor intensive and manual process of proper product management while gaining access to all of your suppliers, 24/7. Nix86 is the ultimate mobile App and Online Platform to save you time and money. You can place multiple orders with a single click, access your full vendor catalog at any time, and communicate with your reps if there is an error with any orders on the fly. Order whenever wherever and however you want, without wasting your time and focus on what you matters the most: your restaurant.
Follow these tips and share your others for a jump start on how to open your dream restaurant!
Nix86: because the product you serve matters!