How to Start a Restaurant

The Key Ingredients to Starting a Restaurant

For chefs and entrepreneurs, opening a restaurant is a dream come true. Chefs can use them to share classic and specialty dishes with their community, while entrepreneurs see restaurants as reliable, recurring income. In this article, readers will learn the major steps involved in starting a new restaurant.

In the beginning stages, entrepreneurs need to determine their brand and create a menu that fits this image. The restaurant name, logo, concept, theme and cuisine must be determined at this point. Alexander Djerassi notes all these features should be aligned in order to create a strong brand and image. This step of the process also involves selecting a target customer base that fits the concept and will be most likely attracted to the restaurant.

The next steps in opening a restaurant involve finding investors and obtaining funding. In order to attract potential investors, restaurant entrepreneurs need to create a business plan. Djerassi acknowledges the business plan should cover the idea behind the business, menu and concept, management and employee structure, financing and all other information relevant to investors. This step also involves creating a first year budget to figure out exactly how much money will need to be invested to make this business a reality. The most common forms of funding for a new business include: investors, small business loans, traditional loans, business lines of credit and online funding campaigns.

Once the idea is in place and funding has been received, restaurant developers need to determine the location. The ideal location for any restaurant would be somewhere with low competition, low cost for renting or purchasing a building and close proximity to the target market. Next, it is important to apply for and obtain any necessary permits required for operating the restaurant. Food service permits, business licenses and liquor licenses are common requirements, and other licenses may be required depending on location or industry. There are also requirements or limits on restaurant seating which are determined by the location of the restaurant. These capacity requirements should be factored into the design of the restaurant, along with decor, furniture, flooring and spacing.

Once the restaurant design and layout have been completed, Alexander Djerassi points out that the next step is to find the right equipment, suppliers and employees. Each of these aspects will be dependent on the type of restaurant and its location. It is important to find the right suppliers and employees, because High quality food and staff both have a major impact on a restaurant’s ability to attract customers and maintain smooth operations. With the right suppliers in place and all necessary staff positions filled, the final step is to start advertising and prepare the restaurant for an opening. Local advertising may be costly at first, because the restaurant is unknown and needs to rely on these advertisements to attract its first customers. However, over time, quality service and word of mouth will help make advertising easier and less expensive. The final step before actually opening the restaurant is to have a small scale opening, where family and friends can come taste the food and staff can get in a trial run of how the restaurant should operate.

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