10 Things to Consider When Opening a Restaurant

#1 You may not be cut out to be a restaurant manager

Yes. It may pinch, but it COULD be the truth. You may love to cook, serve and eat, but being an owner of a restaurant entails a lot of things. Firstly, you need to understand that people are becoming very choosy about food. So you may require a professional culinary certification if you want to serve toothsome food. A certification is always like an icing on the cake for your culinary skills. Secondly, you might have to work long hours and go without a paycheck. So ask yourself if you are ready to go through the test before you invest all you have into it.

#2: You Need to Research Your Target Market-

A clear picture of your target market helps you plan every part of your restaurant from the menu to the décor to your location, to the staffing, and the ambiance.

#3: You Need to Create a Concept-

You must decide how you’ll set yourself apart from the competition, and what you’ll do to attract diners.

First, ask yourself why you want to open a restaurant. Is it because you want to serve the food you like to cook, or is it because you are an entrepreneur?

#4: You Need to Pick the Best Location-

According to CNBC, 60% of businesses fail in the first year due to one common problem.

The biggest issue for failing restaurants is their location. Quite simply, if you’re in the wrong place, no one can find you. The consequence is no diners and no revenue.

This is why choosing the absolute best spot for your restaurant is a must.

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#5: You Need to Review the Competition-

Another important thing for you to know is what your competition is doing.

In your early phases, visit your competition. Eat at their restaurants. Take notes on their service. Know how you’ll differentiate yourself from them.

Then, take it a step further. Visit their website. See how it works. Look at their imagery. Make note of whether they offer online ordering, coupons, and reservations.

Your next step is to head over to their social media pages. How active are they? Do people seem engaged?

You can also join their email list. See how many emails they send each month. Make note of the messages they’re sending.

Above all, when looking at your competition, ask yourself why customers visit their restaurant. What’s their concept? What’s their appeal?

Then, once you’ve done all of this, decide if you can do it better or in a more unique way.

#6 You Need to Set Your Culture-

When opening a restaurant, you need to know that it’s better to set your company culture from the onset than to let it evolve over time.

For example, if you want to instill a culture of customer service, this needs to come from you in the very beginning. You don’t want a few employees to dictate this for you.

You also want to decide how you’ll treat your staff. This is important because how you treat your staff trickles down into how they treat your customers.

#7 You Need to Get the Proper Licenses-

You need to know that your restaurant needs licenses. These may include state and local licenses, a business license, and liquor license as well as insurance, safety management, and liquor liability.

You’ll need some time to attend to all of your licensing needs. In addition, you’ll need some money to purchase many of them.

#8 You Need a POS System-

Gone are the days of taking orders with a paper and pen. You need a point of sale system (POS) to run your restaurant properly.

The best systems take orders, track sales, manage and analyze labor, take payments and more. In some instances, you can even use these systems at your tables to make things easier on your customers and your servers.

You can also usually access all of your POS system from the cloud, making it easy to manage.

#9 You Need to Have a Great Menu-

Crafting your menu takes time and forethought. If you’ve been dreaming about opening a restaurant, you may already know what you want to do.

Consider bringing in focus groups (or friends and family) to help you taste the items on your menu. They can help you ensure it’s not only tasty but well-rounded.

#10 You Need a Marketing Plan

Finally, you need a marketing plan that includes your website, social media, email marketing, blog writing, video production, menu design, business cards, and any other print collateral you might need.