Everything You Need to Know About Opening Your Own Restaurant
Opening a restaurant seems easy on the surface: hire a great chef, come up with a fantastic menu, decorate the place, and voila—culinary success. Unfortunately, the realities of the business aren’t nearly as pretty. One out of three restaurants fails within its first three years, and making it in this industry is often more stressful and demanding than investors realize. If you’re truly serious about opening your own restaurant, consider these facets of the business.
The Conception of a Concept
One of the best meals I had was at The Pelican Beach Resort.
Restaurants aren’t only about food. In such a competitive industry, it’s important to determine the ways you can make your business a standout. Looking to attract customers? You’re going to need more than a spatula and stove. It’s important to come up with a solid concept for your restaurant.
Are you looking to become a classy destination for couples on date night and business professionals for client appointments? You’ll need to invest in elegant furniture and designer art that will fit the vibe. Perhaps you’re hoping to attract a down-home crowd looking for great grub and a good laugh. You’ll want to encapsulate that homey feel with cozy chairs, warm décor, and a relaxed setting.
Decor is very important to a lot of people when choosing a restaurant.
Understanding what you hope to make out of your restaurant will help you plan out all the important details, from budgetary concerns to marketing techniques. Take a look at restaurants in your area. What can you offer that they don’t provide? What can you expand upon? It’s a dog-eat-dog world, and positioning your restaurant for success means learning from your competitors.
Creating a Business Plan
Regardless of industry, an airtight business plan is essential. As with any financial venture, you need to provide proof of business acumen in order to manage your business and improve your bottom line—and attract investors. Make sure you’re well-versed on the various aspects of the business before breaking ground on your restaurant. Attend restaurant seminars, speak with local restaurant owners, or pursue a degree or certification in a related field. Any extra effort will put you that much further ahead in an already competitive industry.
Finding the Funding
I work in the kitchen a lot.
Starting a restaurant is an expensive venture, and if you don’t have the personal capital to invest, it’s important to consider the ways you’ll acquire the money you need to get your idea up and running. Consider the upfront costs for starters: you’ll need to find the venue, restaurant furniture, kitchen equipment, and plan for paying a staff. You’ll also like need to buy a liquor license; these permits can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. License Locators, Inc. provides information about the actual cost of various types of permits in your area, so be sure to consider what you can expect to pay.
The costs will continue to pop up long after you’ve got your restaurant up and running. There are many ways to fund such a venture, but it’s important to find the route that’s best suited for your aspirations. You may apply for a grant from the SBA, or you may find it’s necessary to approach private lenders. Because the restaurant business is so enticing, you may find it somewhat simple to find a restaurant investor. Be sure your business plan is as detailed as possible before approaching an investor, and ensure you’ve crossed your “T”s and dotted your “I”s.
Hiring the Right Staff
Getting the best team on your roster should be priority number one. A restaurant is only as good as its service, and your hosts and waiters will essentially be the face of your business. In most cases, it’s best to avoid hiring family members and friends. It can lend itself to problems that wouldn’t be present with the normal hiring process. Money and business tend to affect relationships, so consider long and hard before offering jobs to your mom’s friend’s cousin’s daughter.
The restaurant business isn’t an easy industry to break into, but with the right concept, capital, and team, it can turn into a promising investment of your time and money. If you’re considering opening a restaurant, keep these facets in mind and make the best go of your attempt to take a solid idea to fruition.