How To Start A Restaurant

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How To Open A Restaurant: Easy Way To Make $10K?

For many entrepreneurs, owning and managing a restaurant is their dream job. The global pandemic caused the majority of restaurants to close down their indoor dining spaces and for some, forced them to close permanently. This may have put the dream on hold.

Restaurant owners across the country are still feeling the effects of Coronavirus, as the industry struggles to recover. Food service providers have adopted a number of strategies to help weather the crisis by developing new restaurant trends as well as diversifying revenue streams to meet its current challenges.

Many people believe that it is still possible to own a restaurant. This article outlines a checklist to help entrepreneurs get started.

This guide will help you decide if a restaurant is the right business for you.

And at the end, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions on how to start a restaurant business…

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Table of Contents

How To Open A Restaurant

It takes careful planning to start a restaurant. However, it is easier to manage the process if it’s broken down into smaller steps. To help anyone navigate the process of opening a restaurant, below are the simple steps to consider.

Choose A Restaurant Concept And Brand.

Many who dream of opening a restaurant often put a lot of thought into the restaurant concept. startup restaurants

The most enjoyable part of the planning process of startup restaurants involves choosing the concept for the business.

It includes the type of restaurant, as well as the cuisine and service style. The concept should also influence the interior design of the restaurant.

The following are just a few examples of restaurant concepts that could spark an aspiring restauranteur’s imagination.

  • Ghost kitchen concept offering vegan comfort food delivery
  • Fast casual restaurant specializing on customized ramen bowls
  • Fine dining restaurant offering a traditional French cuisine

The restaurant brand is more specific and can be referred to as the primary means of communicating the company’s mission and identity with the public.

Additionally, the restaurant name, logo, menu design, and merchandise all need to reflect a consistent image of your brand. The brand identity should influence how the advertising channels are used.

Target Demographic

For those who already have a location in mind, the target demographic can help guide in developing the restaurant concept. If the concept comes first in the planning process, the location needs to have a demographic that’s able to support it.

Create Your Menu.

The next step in opening a restaurant is creating a menu. While choosing what menu items to include should be enjoyable for all foodies, it is essential that the items are carefully selected.

The menu will determine what kind of equipment is appropriate, the skills that the staff should have, including what type of crowd is attracted to that menu. 

For example, if the restaurant plans to offer a dessert list with delicate French pastries, a pastry chef will be needed along with the necessary supplies. For pizza, one would need proofers, dough mixers, and chefs who are skilled in handling dough.

Write A Restaurant Business Plan.

A solid business plan is essential for any business venture, including a restaurant. For those who are not familiar with how business plans are created, this is the most difficult step.

Business plans for restaurants cover all aspects of the new business from your restaurant idea to your financials.

The plan’s purpose is to provide details about your business that can be used to sell potential investors.

Restaurant loans can be obtained by submitting a restaurant business plan. This will prove that the venture is viable.

These are the key components of restaurant business plan:

  • Executive Summary
  • Company Overview and Description
  • Concept and Menu.
  • Management and Ownership Structure
  • Employees and Staffing Needs
  • Marketing and Competitor Analysis
  • Advertising and Marketing Strategies
  • Financial Projection and Summary

Obtain Restaurant Funding.

Next, you need to get funding to open your restaurant. Most people don’t have enough money to cover the costs of opening a restaurant. This is where outside funding will come into play.

Start by estimating the total cost of opening a restaurant and the daily operating costs. This information can be used to forecast the restaurant’s total costs for the next year and create a budget.

To determine how much funding the restaurant will need, take the budget for the restaurant into account. Keep in mind the cost of equipment, licenses, building repairs, staff salaries, and so on.

Here are some options to get funding:

  • Traditional Commercial Loan- This type is obtained through a bank. With a traditional commercial loan, lower interest rates and greater capital access are often available. However, collateral and a good credit score will be required.
  • Business Line of Credit – The maximum credit amount can be applied much like a credit card. While interest only accrues as money is used, lending standards are higher and the applicant may not have the ability to borrow as much as with other types.
  • Small Business Loan – A small business loan can be obtained directly from a bank. However, many banks have partnered with the U.S. Small Business Administration. It is possible to get a small loan for the business even if the credit score is below the minimum threshold. Sometimes approval can take up to a year due to the need for collateral.
  • Investors – To find investors, it’s best to reach out to people and sign up on a site such as AngelList.
  • Crowdfunding – Sites such FoodStart and Indigogo are great places to raise money for restaurant startup costs.

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Choose A Location And Lease A Commercial Space.

When selecting a location for the restaurant, these are some of the most important aspects to keep in mind:

  • Visibility And Accessibility – Choose a location with high visibility and lots of foot traffic. Parking availability and access for pedestrians and vehicles should also be considered.
  • Demographics – The demographics of the area should reflect the target market for your restaurant.
  • Labor Costs – It is possible for labor costs to vary depending on where the restaurant is located. Higher wages tend to attract skilled workers in areas with a higher cost of living.
  • Local Competition – Take a look at what other restaurants are doing in the vicinity. The key is to select a location where similar restaurants are operating successfully, but avoid any neighborhood that is overcrowded with restaurants that have the same concept.

It is not easy to choose a space. Some experts recommend leasing. It gives you more flexibility to grow or make changes in the business during the early stages.

Restaurant Permits And Licenses

Multiple licenses and permits at the federal, state, and local levels are required to open a new restaurant. When applying for permits and licenses for restaurants, it’s a good idea not to miss a step. These licenses are absolutely essential.

  • Business License – To be able to open a restaurant in the US, a business permit is a must. Each state will have its own requirements depending on the type of business license needed, the cost, and the renewal frequency.
  • Employee Identification Number – It is important to apply for an Employee Identification Number (EIN), as approval can take a while. To hire employees and set up payroll, an EIN is a mandatory requirement.
  • Foodservice license – In order to obtain a foodservice license, the new restaurant must pass an inspection that ensures it meets all applicable food safety regulations.
  • Liquor License – A liquor license is necessary if the restaurant will serve alcohol. While alcohol can greatly increase sales, the process for obtaining a license to sell it can be long and expensive.

Design Your Layout And Space.

Two components are required to design the layout of your restaurant: the front-of–house space and back-of–house space. Each space has its own requirements.

You might consider consulting an industry expert for assistance in creating a custom design layout for the new restaurant. This ensures that the physical space is in line with the workflow. In this way, daily operations will be more effective.

The following factors are important in the space planning of the dining area:

  • Seating Capacity – Local regulations govern the size of the dining area. The space must be sufficient to accommodate each customer. This is based on its size and number.
  • Dining Room Furniture – Find restaurant seating that matches the overall restaurant concept. Consider also the seating capacity and comfort level before choosing the design and shape of the restaurant furniture.
  • Ambiance and Decor – Using decor and lighting can help to enhance the atmosphere and dining experience in the restaurant.
  • Cleanability – It is important to choose flooring and wall fixtures that are easy to clean. Carpeting absorbs odors, spills and is not the best choice in a dining area. It is also difficult to clean drapes and fabric window treatment.

The kitchen layout is as important as the dining area layout. Take into account the flow of the service and ensure that there is enough space for the following tasks:

  • Warewashing – Servers with dirty dishes should be able to access the warewashing zone easily. This area will include dish machines, compartment sinks and drying racks.
  • Cold and Dry Storage – To ensure that shipments can be quickly put away, dry and cold storage areas should not be far from the receiving area. These spaces will need organization and shelving.
  • Food preparation – This space is where the kitchen staff will do all the food prep tasks. Enough space is required for this task.
  • Meal Cooking – This space is used for the majority of cooking tasks. For heavy equipment, such as deep fryers, range tops, and flat-top grills, more space will likely be required.
  • Service – Service area should be located near the cooking area to ensure that ready-to-eat meals can be quickly passed on to servers. Heat lamps keep meals warm until they are ready to be picked up.

Find An Equipment And Food Supplier.

The kitchen must have the right equipment before the restaurant opens.

There are many kinds of equipment a restaurant needs. Refrigerators and cooking equipment are examples of such items.

It depends on what the menu serves, so some specialized equipment and tools may be required like pasta cookers and pizza deck ovens.

Consider the layout and size of the kitchen before making any decisions, such as whether there is a need for narrow-depth or double-stacked units to save space, for example.

Buying restaurant equipment online has many advantages. The ability to shop online, compare prices, and research features while opening a new restaurant is an important benefit.

Search for an online supplier who offers fast shipping and wholesale prices on commercial restaurant equipment.

Leasing food service equipment is a great option to save money and have more capital available for other items. Alternatively, restaurant equipment financing can also be a way to secure equipment as this allows owners of restaurants to get capital to purchase equipment which also serves as collateral.

It is also important to find a supplier of food, disposables, or any other items that may require reordering regularly. Likewise, working with a supplier that offers a variety of products with free shipping and discounts for bulk orders can save a lot of money. 

Take advantage of additional benefits like the Webstaurant Rewards(r), Visa Business Card where​​ customers can get rewards by purchasing from the WebstaurantStore.

Hire The Right Staff.

Opening a restaurant is a chance to establish a great work culture right away. It is crucial to consider the work/ life balance of the future employees by considering employee benefits, training programs, incentives, and other related factors.

Efforts to retain employees will be more successful if these are prioritized. A management team can be hired to support this mission as well as hiring goals.

Take note of job roles and positions necessary to operate the restaurant on an everyday basis.

Think about how many days that the restaurant will be available during the week, and how many shifts will run each day at the front- or back-of-house.

Advertise Your Restaurant.

Advertising is essential to attract customers and spread the word about the newly established restaurant. It gives basic information about the restaurant so potential customers can find out where it is and what type of cuisine is being offered.

A successful advertising campaign should generate excitement around your brand. Here are some tips:

  • Invest in website design.
  • Open a TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google My Business and OpenTable Account.
  • Use the social media platform.
  • Provide promotions for new customers.
  • Host a grand opening.

Host A Soft Opening.

It’s a common saying that practice makes perfect. And this holds true even for starting a restaurant. A restaurant soft opening is a rehearsal run that will help in the preparation for the actual grand opening.

Invite only a few guests to your soft-opening, typically the staff’s family and friends only. This will allow for any issues in the service to be sorted out before the real grand opening day.

Below are some of the most popular soft opening ideas:

  • Trial Menu – Provide a sample menu that only offers a few options. This reduces stress for new staff members and encourages customers to return to check the full menu.
  • Schedule limited – Consider operating on a restricted schedule on the first few days of the soft opening period.
  • Sneak Peek Event – Hold a happy hour “sneak peek” with selected signature cocktail and menu items.
  • Friends and Family Night – Have friends and family come over to the soft-opening for a stress-free, fun way preparation for the grand opening.
  • Neighboring Homes and Businesses – By inviting neighboring businesses and homes to a soft-opening, local fandom and pride in the community are encouraged.

Despite all the difficulties of the past year, the restaurant business will continue to be an integral part of the global economy.

As trends in the restaurant industry continue diversifying, there is more space for new restaurants to enter the market and capitalize on new consumer interest.

This restaurant opening guide can surely help anyone create a unique restaurant concept.


How Much Can You Make Owning A Restaurant?

Restaurant owners can expect to make an average salary from $24,000 to $155,000 annually. That’s quite a broad range. These projections also take into consideration the restaurant’s location, size, menu options, and amenities.

Is A Restaurant A Profitable Business?

Yes. Restaurants can be very profitable. They have, however, very low profit margins. Profitability is dependent on many factors, including the size and economics of the restaurant. A new restaurant can turn a profit in an average of 2 years.

How Much Does A Full-Time Chef Earn?

Entry-level jobs start at $55,307/year while the highest paid workers earn  as much as $80,000 annually.

What Is A Point Of Sale System For Restaurants?

Point of Sale is a system used in the retail and restaurant industries. These computerized systems allow business owners to monitor sales, cash flow, and food inventory which can greatly simplify the bookkeeping process.

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1 Comment
  1. You made a good point when you shared that your restaurant’s kitchen needs to have the right equipment before it opens. It is best to determine your menu so you can find out what you will be needing. I would like to think if someone is planning to start a restaurant business, he should consider getting the right refrigerated equipment from a reliable supplier.

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