6 Things to Consider Before Opening a Restaurant
So, you have decided to open a restaurant. It may be a lifelong dream that you are finally ready to pursue, or something that you recently developed an interest in. It may be an investment opportunity that just arose, or a business idea you've had for a long time. Regardless of what has led you to this decision, there are a number of things you will need to consider before getting started. The better informed you are of the process that you will need to go through - from planning your restaurant to opening day, and beyond - the better the likelihood for success! Here are 6 things to consider.....
Is it right for you?
Owning a food service business may sound exciting 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 can often mean evenings and weekends at work. Effort means the actual work of purchasing equipment, hiring staff, planning menus, dealing with customers, and doing whatever is needed to make your business succeed. We'll take a look at money later on, and stress, well, ask anyone in the restaurant business and they will tell you that stress is just part of the job. To a restaurateur, stress is something that they thrive on and is often the fuel for creativity and excitement.
You also have to consider that, once you commit to opening a restaurant, it will take a lot of time and effort to keep it running smoothly. It will also take 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 - most experts say at least a year or more.
What will your concept be?
While it may sound like a given, it is vital that you figure out what type of restaurant you want to open and the type of food you want to serve. This will be the basis of all your decisions - from location, to name, to funding, to the type of equipment needed, and so on. In the end, everything will ultimately come down to what your concept is, and the type of food are you going to serve. If you think that you have a unique concept that will set you apart from the rest of the crowd, then you can develop a plan with a definite pathway to success.
Should you purchase a franchise?
If you are not sure about opening a unique food business, and are thinking about purchasing a franchise, that may be a way for you to express your desire to open a foodservice operation, but without the stress of starting something brand new. 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. With a franchise you can just jump in and be the captain that steers a ship that is already set to sail.
Do you have a good location and name?
Where you decide to open up your food service business will have as much of an impact on your success as the menu itself. You will need to find the best location for your establishment. So, before you begin the process you should determine the area where you want to set up your food business and if this area is a good place for the type of food you want to serve.
You will also need to pick a unique and interesting name for your business. You will want your restaurant name to attract customers while at the same time be easy enough for customers to remember. The name will be the identifying factor for your restaurant's brand for the many years that you are in the business.
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 make sure that you have the funds you will need before you begin the process. This means more than renting or buying a space. You will need to purchase or rent equipment, dinnerware, furniture, uniforms, food and ingredients, and pay for all of the necessary licenses. You will also need funds to pay the staff, as well as to support yourself until the restaurant starts to earn a profit. So you will need to acquire enough funding to cover all of your expenses so you can get your business off the ground and keep it running, until you start to generate some profit.
What are the local laws?
Dealing with the laws regarding health, food, and safety are extremely important for any food service establishment. 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 as well as which licenses you will need to acquire before opening your particular type of food establishment.
Once you have considered these 6 points, and feel that you have a good grasp of what to expect, you can go on to do the exact planning for opening your own food service establishment.