When starting a small restaurant your priority focus has to be your target audience – first of all, decide who you see eating at your restaurant. One of the most promising and potential options would be opening a medium-priced midscale restaurant.
Choose the Right Location
Determine your restaurant location, as it’s one of the key success factors. The proximity to other places to eat plays an essential role as well.
Fast-food places or big upscale restaurants, meant for well-off and elite customers, won’t be competitors to a midscale restaurant.
The most successful location can be near the offices of large companies and businesses, close to public transport stations and stops, busy streets and popular places.
Decide on Your Schedule
As for the restaurant working hours, it would be nice if first visitors could come to the place 1-2 hours before lunch, and last visitors could be served after midnight. The mixed cuisine type would be really a good choice: the menu should offer different cuisines – European, American, Chinese etc. The menu should include a few main courses, 3-4 appetizers or cold dishes, not less than 5-6 meat courses, over 3-4 various trimmings, a dozen of sweet desserts, and a big choice of alcohol and soft drinks.
Equipment and Kitchen Appliances
The restaurant area has to find room for a kitchen, a storage for all kitchen inventories and equipment, a food storage (refrigerated), and obviously the main restaurant area for visitors – a dining area. Renting a place is a good idea, but certainly it depends on the amount of money a future business owner can afford to put up into business. Obviously, renting fee will be higher in a downtown or business district. However, such locations draw crowds, are easily accessible, and have potential for growth and attracting more customers.
It’s essential to monitor the market: to take into consideration success stories and failures of potential competitors, to learn more about places to eat nearby – study their food quality, menu, prices etc.
The next step will be purchasing high-quality equipment, fridges, ovens, electric cabinet ovens, kitchen utensils, tools and cooking gadgets etc.
Then comes the restaurant general style and design development, equipment installation and interior decoration.
As with every business, make sure you know how much money you need to get your restaurant off the ground. Your foremost expenses will be rental fee, equipment purchase, staff salaries, marketing and promotional campaigns. Consider incomes when you are half full and find out the payback period.
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We suggest considering this list as a basis for your solid restaurant business-plan:
- Choosing restaurant location
- Naming your restaurant business, deciding on design and overall style.
- Equipment purchase and installation.
- Hiring your staff.
- Deciding on menu and testing it.
- Figuring out your budget, making profitability prediction.
- Defining marketing expenses.
A midscale restaurant, aimed for up to 50 people to be served at the same time, requires the staff of 2-3 chefs, 2 barmen, a couple of administrators, 1 waiter per 5-6 people, and cleanup staff to keep the place clean.
Monitor and Control Expenses
Monthly expenses will include food products purchase, paying different services for a restaurant, its security (can be either video surveillance system or security guards), equipment and kitchen gadgets maintenance services etc. Acquire the necessary permits, licenses and other documentation before starting a restaurant. Don’t forget that payroll and tax payments will also be on the list of monthly expenses, though still the biggest day-to-day sum to pay will be the cost of food and beverages.
Establish long-term partnerships with trusted and reliable food suppliers if you want to provide your customers with the best-quality products for their money.
Starting a restaurant is exciting, but it’s also time consuming and requires solid planning. If you want a successful restaurant, you’ll need to invest enough time and money. We hope that our post will be your starting point in planning, funding, and managing your future restaurant. For the right owner, everything will go smoothly. This guide has outlined many of the primary components in starting a restaurant, and we encourage you to explore the topic further to get the whole picture of how to build a successful restaurant business.