Top Tips To Start A Restaurant in 2022
Owning and running a restaurant is a lifelong dream for many aspiring entrepreneurs. However, this desire came on hold when the pandemic drove businesses to suspend in-restaurant eating or lock their doors. Restaurant owners worldwide are still feeling the effects of the coronavirus as the industry fights to recover. As a result, the foodservice sector has adopted new restaurant patterns and varied revenue streams. Yet, many people believe that restaurant ownership is still attainable. So we’ve put together a restaurant beginning list to help you get started.
Starting a restaurant necessitates meticulous planning. Though it is less complicated when segmented into steps. So, are you wondering how to launch a restaurant?
Don’t worry, we have provided a detailed checklist to help you get started. Stay tuned!
Pick a Restaurant Concept
If you’re looking to own a restaurant, you must have brainstormed some fascinating restaurant concepts. Moreover, this phase is one of the most interesting aspects of your restaurant planning, as you’ll be free to express your creativity. Your concept should feature the type of restaurant you’d like to open, your cuisine layout, and your desired style of service. The interior of your proposed restaurant should also match your concept. Below are some restaurant concepts to lighten up your creativity:
- Ghost kitchen: This restaurant concept offers vegan comfort food only through delivery.
- A fast-casual concept: this concept aims to provide build-your-own ramen bowls.
- A nice dining space with a classic French menu
Your brand must be unique, and it should communicate your mission and originality to the public. Additionally, your restaurant’s name, logo, merchandise, and menu design should also express a cohesive picture of your brand.
Outline Your Menu
This is another creative phase of your restaurant planning but requires careful planning. Your menu should feature the equipment required for each meal, the skills to look out for in your staff, and your target customers. For example, if you plan to make pizza, you’ll need proofers, dough mixers, and professional chefs who can handle pizza dough.
As a startup, it will be best to consider your demographic. For instance, if you own a restaurant space in a college town, it must be designed for college-age customers. However, if you choose to go with an upscale menu, your restaurant must be located where the median individual income encourages higher price points. Once you’ve determined your menu choices, you can start building an online presence for your restaurant.
Build a Website for Your Restaurant
Is it necessary for restaurants to have a website? Indeed! People are progressively seeking information and suggestions from online sources. A well-designed and appealing website will assist you in presenting your restaurant idea in the most refined manner.
A website is not only for brand awareness. A company’s website can help you achieve various promotional and tangible goals. Below are certain tips you can follow.
- Invest in local advertising. You can begin by identifying where your cuisine is available for purchase.
- Create content for social media advertising/marketing and other advertising initiatives.
- Display your menu.
- Add behind-the-scenes videos or material. These can give your clientele a view into your firm’s face and personality, thereby enhancing engagement.
- Allow online booking of takeaway orders for extra convenience.
- Use specialized sites (landing pages) for launching new food items, menus, or special services to your customers.
While you may achieve all the earlier objectives, establishing a website is not as complex as it appears. In fact, several hosting providers use a targeted approach. These are super helpful, especially for small and medium businesses that aren’t tech-savvy. However, we recommend Bluehost for hosting your website. They provide a simple one-click installation via WordPress and offer 60 percent off hosting. Also, an absolutely free-of-cost domain name.
Creating blogs on your company website is an excellent strategy as this helps attract organic visitors and grow your business. Check out our comprehensive guide for the smooth and most straightforward method to set up a WordPress page or a blog.
Need a good name for your brand? You can use our business name generator to generate thousands of unique business name ideas for your restaurant.
Create a Business Plan
Like any new business, starting a restaurant requires a concrete business plan. However, this phase may be quite challenging for those who don’t know how to write a business plan. A restaurant business plan has different sections that define all the aspects of your proposed restaurant, from your concept to your finance. A business plan aims to flesh out the more delicate details and outline your business to investors. For example, your restaurant business plan can be tendered to funding organizations when you reach out for restaurant loans.
Here are the central elements of a restaurant business plan.
- Executive Summary – This is the introductory section of your business plan, which can also be written last, making it a recap of the other sections you’ve already completed.
- Company Overview – this section contains a more detailed summary than the executive summary.
- Concept & Menu – Features all the details of your restaurant menu and concept.
- Ownership Structure – Outline your management structure. Charts can be used as a visual aid when considering different restaurant structures.
- Employees & Staffing – It’s easy to miscalculate the number of staff your restaurant needs. However, writing this down will give a more practical view of the ideal number of employees needed to run your business.
- Competitor Analysis – This aspect of your business plan requires thorough research and a breakdown of the competition and demographics in your business location.
- Advertisement Strategies – Use the analysis you’ve provided in the previous phase to determine the best marketing strategies for your new restaurant.
- Financial Estimation & Summary – This section is the most important when it comes to acquiring funds for your restaurant. You can use this information to develop a sales forecast & break-even estimation.
Obtain Restaurant Funding
Some startups don’t have enough funds to open a restaurant without financial aid. Obtaining funds from external sources can make your vision of owning a restaurant a reality.
You can start by evaluating your startup costs and the cost required for your daily operations. Then, you can produce a budget and projection of the total cost required for your restaurant in the subsequent year.
Since you’ve determined the required budget for your business operations, you will need to compare the whole cost to your capital to know how much external funding will be required. Nevertheless, below are a few channels to acquire funding for your restaurant.
- Commercial Loans – You can get this loan directly through a commercial bank as it features lower interest rates and higher amounts of capital. However, it is important to have a good credit score or good collateral.
- Business Line of Credit – Like a credit card, you can be eligible for a higher amount of funds. Although the lending requirement is quite strict, your interest only increases as you use the money.
- Small Business Loans – Many banks are affiliated with the U.S Small Business Administration, making it quite easy to receive small business loans. Moreover, the SBA policies protect the lending body and small business owners. Collateral is needed, and you may need some time to get approval.
- Angel Investors – You can sign up for a platform like AngelList or reach out to your network to locate investors for your restaurant.
- Crowdfunding – Websites like FoodStart, Kickstarter, and GoFundMe are fantastic platforms where you can get funds to cover your startup costs.
Rent a Commercial Space
It would help if you considered the factors below when choosing an ideal location for your restaurant.
- Accessibility & Visibility – A business location with good visibility features plenty of foot traffic and vehicles. You also consider the availability of parking spaces to ease the movement of cars and people.
- Demographics – Your target market needs to match the demographics of your location.
- Labor Expenses – Your labor cost varies with your location. Areas with a higher cost of living require higher pay when hiring employees.
- Local Competition – You need to study your competitors in your location. Moreover, it would be best to avoid communities flooded with restaurants with the same concept as yours.
When considering a space for your restaurant, we recommend leasing. This gives you more flexibility to expand or make necessary business changes.
Get Restaurant Licenses and Permits
You’ll need to get all the required local, state, and federal permits and licenses before beginning your restaurant operations. When filing for restaurant licenses, it will be best to reach out to a legal counsel to ensure that all protocols are followed. Below are some of the necessary licenses you need to run a restaurant.
- Business License – You need a business license to operate a restaurant in the US. However, your state determines the cost of the license and how often you need to renew it.
- Employee Identification Number – It would help if you apply for an Employee Identification Number in the early process of your restaurant development because it can take a while before you get approval. Moreover, You’ll need to have an EIN before officially employing staff and creating a payroll.
- Foodservice License – To obtain a food service license, you’ll need to pass an examination that proves that your restaurant meets all food safety rules.
- Liquor License – If you intend to offer alcohol at your restaurant, you must own a liquor license. Acquiring a liquor license can be costly and lengthy, even though it can significantly boost your sales.
Plan Your Space
There are 2 parts involved when designing the structure of your new restaurant. These are your front-of-house & back-of-house spaces. However, each space has its special requirements. If you need help, consult an industry expert to help you create a custom layout that meets all your conditions. It will be best to keep the following factors in mind when considering the perfect layout for your restaurant.
- Seat Capacity – The seating capacity of your restaurant is determined by your local regulations. It is important to meet the square footage per customer requirements based on the number of exits and how big your space is.
- Restaurant Furniture – It will be best to use restaurant furniture in line with your proposed concept. Also, when choosing the style and shape of your restaurant furniture, you need to think of the comfort level each furniture should provide.
- Decor & Ambiance- Proper lighting and decoration can help you enhance the atmosphere of your restaurant.
- Cleaning – Your restaurant’s wall fixtures and flooring should have materials that can be easily cleaned and disinfected. For instance, Carpeting is not an ideal choice for a restaurant because it absorbs spills and odors.
Furthermore, you need to plan your service flow and allocate enough space for the following departments.
- Warewashing – This restaurant area should be big enough for easy movement as it contains compartment sinks, dish machines, and drying racks.
- Dry & Cold Storage – This department should be closer to the receiving area to enhance the quick transfer of shipments. These spaces require organization and shelving.
- Food Preparation — This is where all food prepping tasks are carried out. A lot of space is required for food preparation tools and processing. You’ll need a good space for big equipment like deep fryers, range tops, and flat-top grills.
- Service – This area should be next to the cooking section for easy and quick movement of prepared food. Additionally, there should be a staging space with heat lamps to keep meals hot till they are served.
Irrefutably, the restaurant industry will always remain an essential part of our economy and culture. However, with the change in food service patterns, opportunities for new restaurants to enter the market and capitalize on new consumer interests are emerging.
The concept of owning a restaurant is fantastic. However, starting a restaurant from zero and successfully running it is a monumental task. Use our restaurant opening guide to ensure the effective implementation of your one-of-a-kind restaurant concept.
At last, we hope that this post has helped you learn how to start a restaurant business that too without any prior expertise!
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