There are a lot of people out there who love cooking, many of whom have dreams of one day opening an eatery or restaurant. There is no doubt there are a lot of challenges ahead, but with the right direction there is nothing to stop you from making it happen. In today’s guide, we’re going to go through a checklist of everything you need to turn your restaurant dreams into a reality.
The legal bit
First up, it is essential that you understand your legal obligations as a restaurant owner. It’s a veritable minefield of policy and regulation – but you have no choice other than compliance. The truth is that many people go into the restaurant industry without a full knowledge of the requirements. But, once they know the truth, they can often feel frustrated – and even quit before they even give themselves a chance. Save yourself the pain by investigating all the rules beforehand – it will put you in a much better place to start.
Costing is another big issue for new restaurant owners. How much are you going to sell your food for? And will it be enough to pay your rent, staff, equipment loans, taxes, suppliers, and all the other payments you have to make? There’s permits, insurance, and utilities to think about, too. It’s easy to get carried away with your dreams, but your costs are a big reality check. You could easily spend anything up to $100,000 just starting up a small restaurant – so calculate and evaluate every cost for a better chance of success.
The type of food you sell is important, of course. But more vital is the way that you sell it. You have to be different than any other restaurant in your locale, or you might find the competition too hot to handle. Think about injecting your personality into your restaurant, as well as your skill and experience. It can often be the number one way of ensuring your success.
Part of the appeal of your restaurant will be in the design and layout of the dining area. It means that you need to take every step of the process seriously, from sketching out architectural designs to furniture procurement. Decor is important, too, of course. Everything needs to work together to create – and deliver on – your unique vision. Never forget it’s not just about the quality of food that makes a great restaurant – it’s also the atmosphere.
Unlike many other startup ventures, you will need to start hiring people as soon as you are close to opening. But it’s a tricky problem to fix. Hire too many people, and you will have a severe impact on your profit margins. Too few employees, however, and people will soon start kicking up a fuss about poor quality service. Think carefully and be ready to react fast if things are going the opposite to your estimations.
Our last point is vital – if you don’t market your new restaurant, no one will come. You have to make a big a noise as possible right from the opening night and beyond. A grand opening can give you a fantastic impetus – don’t ruin it by letting your marketing slip.