Opening and running a restaurant is a dream that many people have, and not necessarily because they love to cook. Many people who aren’t chefs open restaurants because they want to run their own business in the hospitality industry or because they want to provide a cuisine or service where there is a gap in the market.
Starting your restaurant is going to involve making a lot of important decisions. If you need inspiration on some delicious dishes you can serve, check out the HelloFresh’s quick and easy recipes.
Starting a restaurant is a huge task that is going to take a lot of planning and hard work to succeed in. It’s important to note that a restaurant is one of the most difficult business enterprises to achieve success in, with around 60% of all new restaurants failing in their first year of operation. It’s important that when starting your own business you don’t become your own worst enemy by failing to adequately prepare for predictable challenges.
While you definitely have your work cut out for you, starting a successful restaurant is very possible if you take the right steps early on. Who knows, with some blood, sweat and tears you could even become one of your area’s best restaurants in a few years’ time.
Let’s take a look at 5 beginner tips for starting a successful restaurant!
- Make sure you’re doing it for the right reasons
If you want to be successful as a restaurant owner then you need to have your heart in it. You’re going to have to put a lot of effort into making your dream a reality and you need to make sure that you’re truly committed to the task before you begin.
You need to invest a huge amount of time and money into your restaurant to get it off the ground, so you need to be sure you have a genuine passion for it. People who go into the industry just to turn a profit can become disillusioned very quickly when the business requires them to make sacrifices just to keep it afloat.
- Start conceptualising
In these early stages it’s not a bad idea to start thinking about how your restaurant will look. Figure out what your restaurant’s aesthetic is going to be and what kind of furniture or decorations you’ll need to accomplish it.
It’s a good idea to figure out what kind of environment you want your restaurant to be as well. Are you going for something more family oriented or do you want something more sophisticated to cater to adult couples and dinner functions?
It’s a good idea to consult any people in your life you know have an eye for design and get their second opinion. They might have a great idea that you never even thought of before.
- Make sure you have a solid business plan
You won’t be able to get away with scribbling a basic outline onto a table napkin. You need to have a comprehensive business plan that details your course for the restaurant’s success.
If this is your first business, then it’s a good idea to start with a light plan that keeps things simple for you. As your business grows and develops you can then add more detail to your plan as appropriate.
It’s a good idea to think of your business plan as a living document that you’ll need to regularly consult to help measure your success and plan for future growth. Many businesses only develop large and intricate business plans once they grow enough to open a new location as they have experience in how to operate a restaurant already.
Your business plan needs to include research into the market, research into your competitors, research into your target audience, a marketing plan as well as a solid budgeting projection. This may sound daunting at first, but creating a business plan can be broken down into easy-to-follow templates that give you an idea of where to start.
It’s also a good idea to keep your eye on current trends in the industry to see if there are any opportunities for your business. As with any new business, timing is essential to success.
- Pick the right location
As with any other piece of commercial real estate, business location is incredibly important to ensuring success. You need to pick a spot that’s convenient and accessible to crowds but is also functional for your restaurant and fits within your budget.
It can take a lot of time to choose the right location, and that’s entirely normal. Whether you choose to rent a spot or build one from the ground up, the location of your restaurant is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
- Test out your menu
Building a good menu is a long process of trial and error. A good menu has a lot of variety, provides value to customers and is able to be prepared easily by your chefs.
If the menu has too many big ticket items on it, the chefs will be overwhelmed when they are stuck trying to prepare several different kinds of dish. It’s good to keep things simple when you first start out and focus on making sure you restaurant functions before making the menu more complicated.
Remember that you will likely deal with a fair few complaints from customers while you are still getting used to running the business. Don’t let these setbacks demotivate you, simply address them and move on with your new business.