If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant, there’s a lot to consider. Location, menu, décor, and of course, financing are just a few of the important factors that go into starting a successful eatery.
Assuming you have all the necessary components in place, opening a restaurant can be accomplished in eight simple steps. Here’s a rundown of what you need to do to get your doors open and start serving up delicious meals to your patrons:
1. Choose Your Concept
The first step in opening a restaurant is deciding on your concept. This includes the type of cuisine you’ll serve, the atmosphere you want to create, and your target market. Once you have a clear vision for your restaurant, you can start putting together a business plan.
2. Find the Right Location
The next step is to find a location for your restaurant. Keep in mind that prime real estate comes at a premium, so you’ll need to factor that into your budget. Once you’ve found a few potential locations, it’s important to do your research to make sure the area is zoned for commercial businesses and that there’s sufficient foot traffic to support your restaurant.
3. Create a Budget
Now that you have your concept and location nailed down, it’s time to start working on your budget. This includes estimating the cost of renovating or build-out, as well as ongoing expenses like rent, utilities, and labour. Don’t forget to factor in a contingency fund to cover any unexpected costs that may pop up along the way.
4. Assemble Your Team
No man is an island, and no restaurateur can go it alone. As you start putting together your team, look for people who share your vision and who have the skills and experience necessary to help make your dream a reality. Along with a great chef, you’ll need a talented front-of-house staff, an experienced GM, and a competent accountant. Remember to consult with food safety consultants like MacEwan Associates to cross the i’s and dot the t’s. If your restaurant is going to be serving alcohol, you may wish to send the staff who will be serving customers on additional training so that they will be able to serve alcohol responsibly and not get you in trouble with the law. Plus, being able to display something like an RBS training certificate may even help give customers confidence in your professionalism.
5. Build out or Renovate Your Space
Once you have your team in place, it’s time to start working on the physical space. If you’re renovating an existing restaurant, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permits and make sure the work is up to code. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to find a reputable contractor who can help you bring your vision to life.
6. Purchase Equipment and Supplies
No restaurant can function without the right equipment and supplies. In addition to commercial-grade appliances, you’ll need kitchenware like pots, pans, and utensils. Don’t forget to stock up on restaurant staples like plates, glassware, and flatware.
7. Hire Your Staff
Now that your space is ready, it’s time to start hiring your staff. In addition to finding the right people for each position, you’ll need to train them on your concept, menu, and procedures. This is also a good time to start working on your marketing and advertising strategy.
8. Open Your Doors!
After all the planning and preparation, it’s finally time to open your doors to the public. Make sure you’re ready for the rush by stocking your kitchen with enough food and supplies and training your staff to handle a high volume of customers.
There You Go
Opening a restaurant is no small feat, but if you follow these eight simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to success. Bon appetit!