Many chefs, wait staff and keen foodies dream of one day opening up their own restaurant. They often look at things others are doing wrong and know that they could avoid the same mistakes. They have visions of running a successful restaurant and bringing something new and exciting to the market. It’s rarely that simple, but with the right idea and lots of hard work, there is no reason why your dream shouldn’t be a reality. However the world changes and advances, people will always need food, and they’ll always enjoy sharing food as part of a social experience. So, what’s stopping you? Here’s a look at everything you need to get started.
Money is top of the list for opening many businesses. But, restaurants perhaps more so. You need a lot of things that cost money to get started, and it might be a while before you start seeing a return on your investment. Restaurants rarely make it big straight away. Look at savings, loans, investors and start-up loans, as well as a capital one spark card business account and other ways to fund your business and manage your money. It can sometimes be a good idea to start small, perhaps with a small cover restaurant or even a street food enterprise, and then grow as you earn.
The premises you choose is a massive part of how successful your restaurant will be, so don’t rush this decision. It needs to be big enough for a good number of tables, but not so big that it costs a fortune to run or gets out of hand. You need office space, food storage space and enough room for a working kitchen, and you can’t forget essentials like staff and customer toilets.
But, you also need to think about location. You need plenty of passing footfall, the right environment and not too much direct competition.
Opening a restaurant isn’t quite the same as opening another business. There are a few legal hoops that you’ll need to jump through. You need a food service license and an inspection certificate. You and your chefs will need to undertake food hygiene and health and safety training. You’ll need to think about whether or not you want to serve alcohol and applying for the licensing to do so. Then, you’ll also need a license to play music or for any other entertainment.
The menu is probably something that you thought about before anything else. But, it’s the one thing that you can’t afford to get wrong, and a menu to launch a restaurant is very different to an idle daydream. Think about what you want to serve. Look at the cost of making it, and how much profit you will make. Think about the times your meals take to make, and how long they will last. Do some market research and scout out some other restaurants doing similar things. You want to sell amazing food that stands out and keeps people coming back, but you need to make money from it too.
Then, it’s down to the nitty-gritty of sourcing stock and equipment and finding the right staff. Just make sure that you take your time and get it right.