So you want to open a restaurant. You’re a great cook and your friends and family have told you that you should do this for a living. So what exactly is involved in a venture like this?
You should know that according to Alleywatch, almost 60 percent of all restaurants fail within the first five years of opening. That’s a daunting statistic but with some careful planning, you can make sure you maximize your business’s chance of success. Keep in mind, this is a bare bones outline for what you need to do.
It All Starts With An Idea And A Plan
Before you can begin your new business, you have to have some ideas in place. Things like who you will be catering to and what type of food you’ll be serving. The needs of an All-American café are much different from those of an upscale steakhouse. Figure out what type of food your menu will have and the clientele that you are focusing on. Once you have those ideas in place, you can start creating your business plan.
Your business plan will focus on the bottom line. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but you should know going in how much capital you have to spend on things like location, equipment, and even your staff. It does you no good if you run out of money halfway into opening. So craft a business plan with a budget and stick to it.
Location Is (Almost) Everything
Once you have the idea and the plan, start looking for the spot that will become your baby. Ideally, you’ll find a spot that already has a kitchen and equipment in place. If not, you’ll need to think about getting what you need. It’s not just a stove and a countertop either. You’ll need a refrigerator and a freezer to store perishables. You don’t have to go with a huge walk-in for your needs; industrial-grade restaurant freezers that hold up under tough working conditions come in all shapes and sizes. This is where most people make compromises on their budget. You can be flexible if you need to, but what you go over on here will have to come from somewhere else.
When it comes down to it, you’re going to need to hire someone. Even if you fill all the roles in the kitchen, you can’t cook and serve at the same time. That means hiring good wait staff. It’s a difficult decision to choose who you’re going to hire. After all, these are the people who will represent you to the public. Your best bet is to hire a manager who has experience in the food industry. They have the knowledge necessary to sniff out the best people. And while you’re running the back of the restaurant, they can manage the front, dealing with all the details you don’t have time for.
Reputation Is King
Now you’re ready to open your restaurant. You have your menu, your location, and your servers all ready to handle the influx of new customers. Now how do you get people in the door? One key way is by smartly utilizing social media and advertising. No matter how word of mouth is spread, managing your reputation is key. For example, 92% of customers are likely to visit a business with a 4-star rating, but only 13% will visit one with a 1 or 2-star rating. Maintaining control of your own reputation can make or break your business.
There’s no doubt that opening a new restaurant is going to be demanding. But with proper preparation and a good plan, you can ensure you maximize your chance of success.