How to Open a Restaurant — Ultimate guide

How to Open a Restaurant and run your business

Choose a segment or a niche in food industry

  • Fast food restaurants, which are usually franchises restaurants, can be a good optionif you know nothing or just a few things about the food business and have no idea about what exactly you need to open a restaurant.
  • The next option is a fast-casual establishment, similar to a fast food restaurant, with the difference that they usually serve fresh better quality food as well as offer non- disposable plates and utensils, which means their prices are higher. The cost of starting and running your own fast food establishment sometimes might exceed the franchise one.
  • Casual dining establishments offers, on the contrary are focused on full-service. Customers can come in and enjoy a sit-down meal time in a comfortable environment still at an affordable price, which also will positively affect the cost of running such a place.
  • Family dining restaurants are very similar to the previous with the exception that they do not serve alcohol or do it at a very reduced rate. Also, these establishments are open for longer hours as they usually serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner and also have a higher cost to build.
  • Fine dining restaurants are mostly an entertainment place rather than a necessity. Obviously their prices do not correspond to the real cost of their meals, but customers pay not only for the top quality food, but also for the experience itself. These places require a lot of care and creative attitude from the owner or co-owner, which will directly influence how much they have to invest to keep it up.

Write Your Business Plan

  1. What kind of restaurant do you want to run? The best way to define your product is to explain to your friends and relatives, landlord, investors or potential customers what are you going to do and how you want it to be. It may be just a couple of sentences, but they are the core of your business plan for the new place.
  2. Define your potential client portrait. Think who do you want to serve? What are these people tastes? How do you want to interact with them? Their social status, interest, role, even the car they drive — every single bit of information is a valuable piece to device your restaurant start up business plan.
  3. Not to overlook, after you include the purpose and the type of your dinning place into the business plan template, you should go around literally or virtually and study your competence. It will certainly help you to take some perspective on what you want to do in your business and refine your financial benchmarks.
  4. Location comes along with the type of the restaurant and your target audience plan, so, of course, it has to be a sensible choice for your business plan template. You will not put up an expensive steakhouse in a working class neighborhood.
  5. Here comes the flesh of your restaurant business plan — your value proposition. Basically, you have to answer what makes you different from the rest of the restaurants in the area? Or better, what makes you special? Ironically, it is the toughest part of any business plan strategy.
  6. Marketing strategy is another stone on the way to a successful business plan for restaurant industry. How will your customers find you? What ways of advertisement will you need: social media, paid advertisement, word-of-mouth? It is a good idea for your restaurant to be included into review apps like Yelp, OpenTable or Resy.
  7. At this point you have to ask yourself “what do I need to open a restaurant right now”. You do not need to answer right away, take your time, look around, read, gather information, but write it all in your business template plan. Because these things will define the cost of your start up business.
  8. Here we go into a deep finance and marketing, and maybe you will need external help to put it all together into a conceivable business model. At this stage you have to be able to determine how much you will spend on building o preparing the place, what is the cost of maintaining it, how to cover expenses, how to generate revenue and, eventually make more money on daily basis.
  9. Along with the previous point it is important to clearly understand how to make your business profitable in the shortest amount of time possible, it is to say, how to reach a turning point of positive income. For which concepts such as revenue forecast, initial investment and basic accountancy spreadsheet are essential if you want to run a successful business.
  10. After your financial and marketing plan template is sound and safe, you even can hire an external consultant to revise or to make it, you can go and relax for a while.Take this time to think about your values as business: what are things you are willing to compromise and which are non-negotiable for you as a person and as a business place. It is helpful to know where your area of comfort lays.
  11. When all tough planning and strategic work has been done and settled, with or without help of external consultancy, you can finally get to work and hire people. Staffing plan is no less of a puzzle than a financial budget spreadsheet, but necessary too. It will include all the people you can rely on, who will help you stand up your business.
  12. The ending point or your goal is the last step of the business consultancy or marketing plan, but it is the key. Many restaurant owners do not think about their endgame at the beginning, meaning their whole business is losing the opportunity of scaling or eventually selling for a much better price. That is why knowing what is your end game at the start of your business will help you make the right decisions along the way.

How to take care of your budget



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