The restaurant industry is one of the most difficult to get into. Which is why it’s vital that you are aware of what it takes before you take the leap and start your own restaurant business. Not only do you need to consider your budget, but the amount of work that goes into it. If you have a good gage of the industry and you’re fully prepared, then there’s no reason why it can’t be profitable in the long term.
But if you’re stuck as to where to start with the process, it might feel very nerve-wracking. To help make this easier, here is a list of the 8 must-haves you should have when starting your restaurant business. Of course, this isn’t a complete list; so it’s vital that you conduct thorough research before delving into the first opportunity that comes your way. But it will give you a good indication of the first initial steps:
Ok, so this might sound obvious, but this is perhaps the first thing that you should look for. When searching for a space for your restaurant, you should first pay attention to the location that it’s in. No matter where you’re situated in the world, you’ll want your new restaurant to be somewhere that will get a lot of foot traffic and will be popular with the local community.
To achieve this, it’s worth conducting some market research ahead of time to determine your target demographic. You should also look into how successful similar restaurants have been in that area in the past and what your existing competition will be.
Then, you’ll want to think about how much space you want. Obviously, the bigger the commercial space, typically the bigger the price tag. So you’ll want to consider how many people you can cater for within your budget.
Next, look at the condition of the space. Does it already have plumbing and electricity? Was it previously used as a restaurant? If it’s already set up for a new restaurant, it will be an ideal space for your new venture. Whereas if it was a different type of building previously, you might need to invest in transforming it to fit your restaurant’s needs.
Stylish and practical furniture
Once you have your premise sorted, it’s time to think about what furniture you want within it. You want your customers to have the best possible first impression of your restaurant, which is why it’s important to invest in stylish and practical furniture for the get-go.
From durable tables to decor that gives off the right vibe, the style of your restaurant will set the tone. If you’re stuck for inspiration, Pinterest is a great tool to help with decor choices. Showcasing various lighting fixtures, centerpieces, etc. it’s a good resource to look at in the first stages of starting your restaurant.
Motivated and trained staff
Before you open the doors of your restaurant, you’ll need to have motivated, skilled and trained staff members. The difference between success and failure, they need to have experience working within a restaurant setting. This is particularly vital if you’re looking to start a restaurant in a central location or one that specializes in luxury cuisine.
You’ll want to consider hiring waiting staff, as well as staff to tend the bar (if you have one), alongside chefs, sous chefs, kitchen porters etc. The number of staff that you’ll require, of course, will depend on the size of your restaurant, but as long as you have the key members at the start, then you’re on the right path.
It’s also vital that throughout the start you are aware of the ways to keep productivity high, so that your staff will remain loyal to your business and are enthusiastic within their roles every day.
Another key element that you’ll want to get sorted before you open is your equipment. In the kitchen, you’ll need all the right tools to create delectable food each day – from pizza ovens to industrial ovens and all the cooking utensils.
Outside of the kitchen, you’ll not only want to invest in furniture as mentioned above, but you might want to consider buying a POS system to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that you can deliver exceptional customer service.
Another piece of equipment that deserves its own point is a reliable refrigeration system. Keeping all of your produce fresh, it’s vital when running a restaurant. As your restaurant starts to grow in success, you might want to consider purchasing additional cold room panels, or another refrigerator as the demand rises.
Next, you’ll want to consider creating your menu. You’ll want to impress each customer that walks in the doors, so it’s worth sourcing quality ingredients for your chefs to use. You want to be known for quality, not food that you can get anywhere.
You’ll also want to think long and hard about what you’ll put on it as you’ll want one that appeals to a variety of tastes – therefore, it’s worth offering both vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and meat options. Of course, if you’re thinking about setting up a restaurant that specializes in one type of food in particular, then you might not be able to do this. But if you want to extend the number of people that come to your restaurant, then it could be the right way to go.
However, when creating your menu, it’s important to not make this too extensive as it might put people off and cost you more – as you’ll have to have all of the ingredients in stock.
Killer marketing campaign
Once you have your menu, premise, staff and equipment sorted, it’s time to create a killer marketing campaign. Marketing is a crucial part of any type of restaurant business. An effective way of getting the word about what you have to offer, it needs to grab your customer’s attention from the start.
Consider the type of marketing that you want to do. Will you advertise solely on social media, or will you use a combination of print media and social media. It really depends on your budget and your personal preference, but if you create an effective marketing campaign, then you’ll start to experience success from the get-go.
Another important step that you might want to take at the start is to invest in bookkeeping services. This will ensure that you’re always up to date with your accounts, tax, etc.
Although you might want to do this yourself, with running a restaurant and getting the word out about it you simply might not have the time. Which is why it’s worth investing in professional services to do this for you.
Interested in food and drink industry? Check out these 7 Things You Must Know Before Launching A Food Or Drink Business.