Opening a restaurant is as challenging as it is exciting. Many people dream about opening a restaurant or a cafe in their lifetime. However, 60% of restaurants fail in their first year, and not more than 80% survive past their next five years. Opening a restaurant is a demanding venture. All jobs require dedication and the hardwork, but restaurants need more. It needs passion, gruelling hours, business acumen and perseverance.
The restaurant business is lucrative and can bring huge profits once it kicks off. However, there are plenty of things to take care of before opening a restaurant; locating your target audience, finding an ideal location, acquiring equipment and raw material, hiring and training staff, etc. So if you have decided to open up a restaurant, here is a checklist for you.
1. Developing a Concept
The concept of a restaurant contributes to the overall theme of a restaurant. Developing an idea for your restaurant is crucial for opening a restaurant. You need to decide on a concrete concept for your new restaurant in the early stage. A theme reflects the vision, mission and brand of your restaurant to your audience. An innovative concept creates distinctiveness. Even restaurant owners are taking this as a chance to explore their creativity. Once you have thought about your idea, it is time for market research to understand how it will work.
Market research is a must before starting any business venture. There needs to be a clear understanding of the market, and the success and failures of your competitors in the market. Without a clear understanding of the market, opening a restaurant can prove disastrous. Based on your research, you need to shape your final concept plan.
2. Create a Business Plan
Starting a business plan for opening a restaurant is one of the first steps you need to take. Your business plan needs to be detailed and comprehensive with industry analysis, operations plan, financials analysis and marketing plan. A business plan for your new restaurant would include getting investors on board, making a budget, creating a menu, hiring your staff, buying equipment, etc.
3. Choose Location Wisely
Your site can determine the fate of your business. The location to set up your new restaurant needs to be chosen carefully. If your location does not help attract new clients then your concept and quality also won’t be able to save you. As you finalize the location, make sure it is easily accessible and visible to customers. Your location also needs to match your concept. For instance, if you go for a fine dining restaurant, then a restaurant at a high-end corporate place would be more suitable for you than establishing it in an area with a huge student population, where a fast food joint is likely to work better.
4. Design a Smart Menu
Menu planning is a crucial step in opening a restaurant. The menu is a powerful communication tool that reflects the restaurant’s spirit. You need to study the food trends and how they fit in with your concept before finalizing a menu. Menu designing is a laborious job where you carefully need to ensure proper pricing, options, naming and categorization.
5. Get all Required Licenses
When opening a restaurant, you need to acquire specific licenses for running the restaurant legally. Amongst others, you need FSSAI License to make sure that your restaurant’s food standards meet the standards set by the food authority of India; NOC from the fire department to certify fire safety in your establishment; health and trade license to ensure you achieve the necessary benchmark in safety and hygiene levels. You can check out our blog to learn about all the required permissions for opening a restaurant.
6. Hire and Train Staff
A restaurant is incomplete without a staff to run and take care of it. You will need an experienced chef, kitchen staff, wait staff etc., to run your restaurant smoothly. People have set expectations from restaurant staff. They need to be courteous, welcoming and available. Once you get the team on board, you need to train them. Conduct regular training sessions and make a manual that they can access anytime. Training your staff to upsell well can increase your sales.
7. Buy Equipment and Furniture
Restaurants need equipment and supplies to run. Once you have your location and concept in place, and you can make arrangements to develop your menu and acquire the needed equipment accordingly. In addition to all kitchen equipment, you also need to buy furniture that fits your restaurant concept. Further, it is also good to have a good POS system to manage your work smoothly.
8. Lots of Marketing
Once you have all the above in place, marketing is the next big thing in your opening a restaurant journey. You want everyone to know about your new restaurant and marketing your restaurant well is the answer to that. One of the primary reasons restaurants fail in their starting years is a lack of marketing. To that end, you can imply specific marketing techniques that have worked well over the years. Social media influencer marketing, events and gatherings, and discount vouchers are some of the most effective marketing tools.
Hope this blog helps you in opening a restaurant. You can also hire a restaurant consultant (industry experts who provide their knowledge and experience in the field in exchange for set consultation fees) to help you in this journey.
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