What You Should Know Before Opening a Food Service Business
You have decided you want to open a food service business. It may have been a lifelong dream or something that you developed a fondness for over recent years. Regardless of what has led you to this decision, there are certain things you should know before you get started. If you are well informed in advance, it will help you be better prepared for the process that you will go through from planning your restaurant to opening day, and beyond.
Is it right for you?
Owning a food service business may sound enticing and fun, but it is also a lot of work. So before you go through with your decision, you should make sure that this is truly what you want to do.
Owning a restaurant requires a lot of time, effort, money, and stress to get to opening day and beyond. Time often means evenings and weekends at work. Effort means the actual work of purchasing equipment, hiring staff, planning menus, dealing with customers, and more. Money, we'll take a look at later, and stress, well, ask anyone in the restaurant business and they will tell you that stress is part and parcel of the job. To a restaurateur, stress is something that they thrive on and it is simply part of the deal.
You also have to consider that once you have committed to opening a restaurant, it will take a lot of time and effort to keep it running smoothly. It will also take quite some time to become profitable, so you will be doing a whole lot of work with little or no income for an indeterminate amount of time.
Should you create your own business or purchase a franchise?
There are benefits to both creating your own business as well as to purchasing a franchise. If you think that you have a unique concept that will set you apart from the rest of the crowd, then creating your own business is probably a good way to go. However, if you simply want to run a food service business, then you might look into franchise opportunities. With a franchise you will have instant recognition, a menu that has been tried and tested, and a brand that people know about and like.
Do you have a good location and name?
Where you choose to open up your business will have as much an impact on your success as the menu you offer. You will want to find the best location for your establishment. So before you begin the process, you should determine the area in which you would like to set up your food business.
You will also need to pick a name that stands out. You will want your restaurant name to attract customers, while at the same time, be easy enough for customers to remember. This will identify you and your brand for the remainder of your business years.
Funding for your business?
Obviously a dream without the funds to back it up is nothing more than a dream. So it is important to be sure that you have the required funds before you begin the process. This means more than renting or buying a space. You will also need to purchase or rent equipment, dinnerware, furniture, uniforms, ingredients and pay for all the necessary licenses. Don't forget that you will need to have funds to pay the staff, as well as support yourself until the restaurant starts to earn a profit. Therefore, remember to acquire enough funding to cover all of your expenses and then you will be able to operate your business until you start to generate some income.
What are the local laws?
Dealing with the laws regarding health, food, and safety are extremely important for any food service provider. Therefore, you will need to familiarize yourself with the appropriate laws and understand which inspections you will need to pass, and which safety requirements you will need to follow. If you have this knowledge in advance, you will have a much better chance at success.
What will you serve?
In the end, everything will ultimately come down to how good your food is. Therefore, it is vital that you know what you will be serving customers long before you begin the process of opening a business. Deciding on a menu should be one of the first tasks that you do.