Perhaps you have always dreamt of opening your own eatery, but until recently never had the funds to do so. Now that you have the cash, it’s time to start building up your new business.
Like any new venture, making a success out of your new restaurant will take time, effort and hard work. But, once you have it up and running, you will see that every ounce of effort you put into it was more than worthwhile.
To help you create a successful business, we have put together a simple guide containing some of our best tips.
Choose a good location
Whilst searching for the ideal restaurant premise, make sure that you take into account the location, not just the building itself. Although an out-of-town location may be cheaper, there is no point investing in a premise that is away from the main high street.
Look for a restaurant premise that is easily accessible from the town or city center. As well as being in a location that will allow passing trade.
Consider what size restaurant you need
Although your budget will play a part in what size property you can afford, consider what your ideal restaurant size would be. Make sure to take into account room for the kitchen, preparation room, stock room, and toilets. As well as for the customer seating area.
If like many new restaurant owners, you are planning on starting off with a small restaurant. Ensure you also consider your businesses future needs. Try to buy a property that has the potential for your business to expand into if necessary. For instance, you could invest in a two floored establishment and start off only seating guests on the bottom floor. Then, as your business builds up you would have the option of opening up a second-floor seating area. Instead of having to move your business to a bigger building.
Choose your decor
Once you have chosen your restaurant premise, it is important that you start thinking about what you want to do with it.
Begin by thinking about your businesses branding and how you would like your restaurant to look. If you are unsure what style of decor you want, it might be a good idea to consult an interior designer or design specialist for some help. Choose a designer who specialises in commercial design, instead of domestic design.
Have a think about what kind of style you want your restaurant to be. Are you hoping to give it an ultra modern look, a retro look, or perhaps you fancy a rustic look? Maybe you are hoping to have a themed restaurant? Whatever look you’re after, make sure to take your ideas through with an experienced designer first.
Think about your restaurant equipment
Whilst it is nice to be able to buy brand new equipment, it isn’t always an affordable move. If you have a tight budget to stick to, it may be worth considering investing in second-hand restaurant equipment.
You can find low cost, used cooking equipment in excellent condition if you know where to look. For the best deals, use online selling sites and discount stores. Before purchasing any piece of equipment, make sure to visit the seller and inspect it for yourself to make sure it is suitable.
Think about your basic needs
For instance, it is a good idea to decide between a regular cash register and a POS system. Although a POS payment system will initially cost more than a basic cash register, it will help to make your restaurant run more efficiently. Unlike a standard payment till, a POS system can be used to find menu items, track sales and take table reservations. Although it may cost more initially, a POS system is worth the investment.
Apply for your alcohol license
If you are aiming to have a bar in your restaurant, it is a good idea to apply for your alcohol license as early as possible. Once you send the application off, it can take up to two months for it to be approved and sent back. If you don’t apply for your license early enough, it may stop you from launching your business as planned.
Be selective when hiring staff
Don’t just hire anyone to help you run your new business. You need professional, experienced and well-mannered people to be interacting with your customers. Remember, how you and your staff act and treat customers, will set the tone for your restaurant. Make sure you are selective when choosing who to employee.
Good waiters and waitresses are clean, well-dressed and always arrive on time. Choose polite and friendly individuals, who are experienced and seem hard working.
An excellent barman will not only be experienced and hardworking, but also a friendly and polite individual. You need a barman who will make customers feel comfortable and well-looked after.
Ensure you buy only commercial supplies
Make sure you buy serving dishes, cutlery and glasses made for a commercial environment, not a domestic one. Commercial dishes may be more pricey than regular plates, but that is because they are much stronger and sturdier. Domestic plates are not made for a busy restaurant as they wear out incredibly quickly compared to commercial ones.
Consider what external services to hire
For instance, if you are planning on having white table clothes on each table, you may need to hire an external linen company to clean and deliver them to you. Choose a reliable company like Stalbridge linen hire, and negotiate the best rates.
If you will need regular food deliveries each week, it may save you time and effort to hire an external company to deliver your stock to you. By hiring a commercial food delivery company to deliver your stock to you, you will save yourself the time and hassle of going to the cash and carry.
Think about what services you need to help you run your business more efficiently, and invest in them. To run a successful business, you need an efficient and well run restaurant.
Select a unique business name
Don’t be tempted to call your restaurant after an already established brand, it will just cause a lot of confusion. Try to think of an original and unique restaurant name that says something about your business.
If you struggle to come up with a suitable idea, ask your friends and family members for some ideas. You could even run a local competition allowing people to suggest a name for your restaurant. This would also be an excellent way to advertise your new venture.
Think outside the box and choose a unique and original name.
Choose your menu carefully
Start off with a small, simple menu. Obviously it is important that your food is unique and well-cooked, but there is no need to complicate things. Sometimes the best restaurants are the ones with the simplest menus.
If you have chosen to open a specialized restaurant, such as an Italian, then make sure you employee chefs who are familiar with this type of cuisine. The last thing you want is to be serving bland, boring food on your opening night. So, ensure you employ the best and most experienced chefs available.