Do you dream of opening your own restaurant? What should you do to successfully open a unique restaurant? Opening a restaurant is like starting any new business. It is really tiring and not easy at all since it requires spending a long time and exerting a huge effort to finally get the fascinating and impressive results you want. Moreover, there are many restaurants you can find around you and this makes the task of starting a new restaurant more difficult. For this reason, you have to focus on right planning and try to make your restaurant different from others to be able to achieve the great success you dream of. In order to know how to start a restaurant successfully, keep reading the following 10 steps you need to take before starting a restaurant business.
1 Decide the type of restaurant you want to open
The first and most important thing you have to think of once you decide to open the restaurant you dream of is the type of that restaurant you want to open. There are various types from which you can select what you like and satisfies your customers’ needs. Fast food restaurants, ethnic restaurants, casual dining restaurants, fast casual restaurants, fine dining restaurants, family style restaurants, and barbecue restaurants are among the most common types of restaurants you can find. Moreover, there are also buffets, bistros, brasseries, cafeterias, cafés, pubs, tabletop cooking restaurants, destination restaurants, food truck restaurants, pop-up restaurants, pizzerias, seafood restaurants, steakhouses, and coffeehouses. You have to decide the most appropriate type that allows you to make your dreams come true. You will need to offer what customers cannot find anywhere else.
2 Create a catchy restaurant name
Your restaurant’s name can play a significant role in encouraging customers to enter your restaurant and try what you offer. Selecting a wrong name can turn your customers away even before they enter the restaurant and try the delicious dishes you serve. For this reason, you have to carefully select the right name to increase the number of customers and achieve more success. Choosing a good restaurant name may seem to be easy, but when you start selecting a name, you will find yourself unable to easily and quickly do it. The restaurant name you select should be unique, easy to remember and tell the type of your restaurant. You may need to ask some people or even potential customers to help you choose the best restaurant name.
3 Identify & analyze your target market
To be able to satisfy your customers and meet their needs, you first have to determine and analyze your target market. Satisfying everyone is impossible. For this reason, you have to focus on your target market and do your best to help your customers get what they expect from you. There are teens and young adults who love quick-service and fast-food restaurants, families that need restaurants with a child-friendly atmosphere for their kids, vegetarians, and empty nesters who visit upscale restaurants and focus on excellent service more than prices.
4 Write a great restaurant menu
Once you decide the type of restaurant you dream of and identify your target market, you will find it easy to write a menu. A restaurant menu is not just a list of items and their prices. It is an easy way to reflect the quality you deliver at your restaurant. Moreover, it can encourage your customers to order if it is written correctly. For this reason, you have to know how to write a great restaurant menu. Try to describe your mouth-watering dishes through using simple terms that speak to your customers’ senses.
Keep your description short in order not to make your menu boring. Organizing the menu into categories is also important to make it easy for customers to read and quickly find what they want to order. You can attract the attention of your customers to specific items through adding colors or bold text. Also, write prices after the dish description instead of keeping them lined up on just one side of the menu. You may need to change your menu several times depending on what your customers enjoy the most.
5 Choose a good restaurant location
Many restaurants fail because their owners do not choose a good location to start their new business. This means that selecting the right restaurant location is highly important to get enough business and attract more customers. To choose a good restaurant location, you just need to analyze the foot traffic in the area you select for opening your restaurant. Busy areas with a lot of foot traffic or enough parking are perfect choices for you to open your restaurant. Remember that the success of your restaurant primarily depends on your location, so do your research and choose your location carefully. Also, nowadays, scouting for the best place for your business is now easier with web-based mapping technologies like Maptive. With it, you can use heat mapping software to help you gain more significant insights into your competitors. You will be able to visually identify the areas where you have the most competition, which in turn will help you decide on the best location to set up your business.
After choosing the right restaurant location, you need to start thinking of the atmosphere you wish to create at your restaurant. Various important factors such as furniture, lighting, music, restrooms layout, serving style, and a practical and excellent design can help in creating the inviting atmosphere you want to allow your customers to enjoy their time at your restaurant.
6 Write a comprehensive business plan
Creating an accurate and comprehensive business plan is highly essential for you to open a new restaurant, achieve success, and avoid many problems. Your business plan should include a comprehensive description of your target market and concept, the outline of your restaurant menu and pricing, marketing plan, hiring and training employees plan, financial information and details on start-up capital, long-term income, and expenditure, in addition to the problems that you will face and how you are going to solve them.
7 Try to get the needed financing
It is the only thing that will allow you to open your restaurant. Without money, you will not be able to start running the restaurant you dream of even if you are professional and can serve mouth-watering dishes. Getting financing is difficult but not impossible. Your savings, retirement accounts, valuable belongings like vehicles and jewelry, investments, and commercial bank loans can help you get the needed start-up capital. You can also try asking family and friends for help or make use of the government programs that offer financial support for small businesses. Finding a business partner is another perfect way to get the needed financing and share responsibilities as well.
8 Buy restaurant equipment
After getting the needed financing, you will be able to purchase everything you need for opening and running your restaurant including equipment and other restaurant supplies. Your menu and the design of your kitchen are two important factors you have to consider when you purchase anything you need for your restaurant. You do not need to buy new restaurant equipment. If you want to save money, then you can resort to buying used restaurant equipment which is not more than three years old.
9 Hire the right employees
To offer excellent service, meet your customers’ expectations, and achieve great success, you need to hire the right employees. Decide the number of staff you will need for your restaurant and try to select those professional and well-trained employees. Friendly servers, excellent cooks, and a good manager are the most important employees you will need to hire for the success of your restaurant.
10 Prepare yourself for your grand opening
Advertising is more than important for your new restaurant to get the needed publicity and increase the number of potential customers. To make your grand opening successful, you need to plan it carefully, get press, hire photographers, invite a restaurant reviewer if you are completely sure that your food is great, welcome local celebrities, and provide your customers with the needed entertainment for an unforgettable night. Moreover, you should not forget to place traditional ads in newspapers and magazines to attract customers. You can also use social media sites to make your restaurant successful by offering incentives, like free drinks and discounts, to encourage more customers to come to your restaurant.