Opening a restaurant is an exciting venture, but it needs careful planning and preparation before spending thousands on equipment and ingredients, creating menus, hiring personnel, and marketing the new business.
The cost of opening a restaurant can be high, and there are many risks you need to be aware of. To ensure a smoother and more successful opening, here is a checklist you should tick:
Choose a location
A well-planned location is vital for success. It should have a steady supply of your target market and serve as an intake hub for customers. If you are planning to cater deliveries, you need to select a location in the heart of the city.
Before occupying any space, you must identify water sources, electrical supply, telephone lines, sewage system, or septic tank capability. Check providers on the availability of water and power supply in the area.
Investigate your market
Determine who your target customer that you want to serve and find out their preferences and dining habits. Identify your competition within a 5-mile radius of your proposed location and study how they run their business. In this case, it’s important to consider media monitoring as it helps in identifying your competitors and trends relevant to your target audience and brand. According to Onclusive, a data science company for marketing and communications, “You need to be in the know about all of the media coverage around your brand, your competitors, and keywords that are important to your business.
Build a design
Designing a building for restaurant use is a significant investment. Therefore, it should be by the budget and expectations of the owner. Consider providing proper ventilation, sufficient lighting and enough seating capacity.
Before you start your restaurant plan, it is crucial to prepare your menu. Decide how many varieties of food you should offer and how much time and effort should be allocated to prepare the dishes. Don’t forget that your customers should associate you not just with one type of cuisine but with several variations.
Check the feasibility of your concept
The restaurant industry is cutthroat competition. To survive, you must offer something different or unique from other restaurants around. Ask yourself these questions: Is there similar food being served already? Can I bring about changes in how it is made? How can I make my place stand out in terms of interior design? This will help you develop a competitive edge over others who may have similar concepts regarding menu and location.
Secure Licenses and Permits
Different local governments require businesses with different types of licenses to operate, such as business licenses, health permits, and food safety audits and certifications. Failure in securing them may result in a heavy fine or imprisonment.
Get your finances ready
Before opening a restaurant, you must have sufficient funds to cover start-up costs of equipment, supplies, operating capital and marketing. You will need cash reserves to pay for all those things before getting paid through customer payments. Running out of inventory can be disastrous to your business as it can translate into losses if you are forced to pay for these things out of your pocket.
Hire a Web Designer
With the growing number of foodies who rely on restaurant review sites for reliable information about restaurants in and around their area, your new business must have an online presence. Hire a web designer to build you up an attractive website where you can post menus, photos of dishes and other important details of your restaurant, which will give customers accurate information they need to decide whether or not to try your place.
Hire & train personnel
Staffing can make or break a restaurant, especially if it is a newly established one. It doesn’t matter how good your concept is if you have the wrong people running the show. Assess each person’s strengths and weaknesses. They should be competent enough to handle their tasks and provide you with high-quality service when dealing with customers.
Train your staff before accepting customers. A good training session can help ensure that every customer gets the best service possible even when it’s their first time visiting you. Training covers all restaurant operations, including food preparation, table setting, customer service, and proper cash handling.
Hold a soft opening
To get valuable feedback from your customers, it is best to hold a successful soft opening before your restaurant’s grand opening. This way, you can gather initial data about their likes and dislikes about your food and service. It will help you make necessary changes before officially launching to the public.
What’s important in opening a restaurant business is that you consider all factors that will affect the success of your new venture. There is much more to it than just cooking great food.
Opening a restaurant is an undertaking that will require careful planning and consideration. With this checklist, you can ensure that you are not forgetting important steps on your path to opening a restaurant.