How to start a restaurant business

Do you have an idea to try foodservice business? Are you thinking about opening a restaurant? In this article, you will find information on what to start with, what requirements are necessary to fulfill, what has to be done to prepare for your restaurant’s grand opening.

The right idea is the most important thing. It is also crucial to analyze the market and the competition around the location of your future restaurant.

A business plan – plan everything right!

The fundamental step of starting a new business is to prepare a business plan. It is nothing more than a precise estimate of what you expect from your business and the work necessary to achieve your goal, in a step-by-step fashion. A business plan should include both long term and the short-term goals, the services provided, and the analysis of the potential of the market your business is to thrive in.

Writing down all the steps of running a business will provide you with invaluable information necessary to make informed decisions and how even to begin the whole process. It also prepares you for possible difficulties that might be waiting for you in the future and how to be ready for them.

 A good business plan should include:

·         An idea and the direction of a restaurant- what kind of a restaurant do you want to start and what will separate it from the rest?

·         A market research and analysis. What do people want? It is necessary not to get you customers’ preferences confused!

·         Competition analysis- who is a threat, and why? Where should we look for inspiration? 

·         a summary of your target group- it is necessary to create a consumer profile for your restaurant.

It is a good idea to prepare the SWOT analysis at this stage. Listing all the strengths and weaknesses, as well as opportunities and threats of your business, is a good start.

Where do I get the money for all this? 

Your business plan tells you exactly what expenses you will have to deal with. It is a bad idea to try to open a restaurant without a sufficient financial base. Even with the best business plan in hand, you will get surprised with an unexpected expense or obstacle. For that reason, a substantial starting capital is a foundation for your future success.

Fundraising is a complicated issue, and there are plenty of strategies out there. We can help you by pointing out tips on how to receive financial aid through a solid business plan.

The project and the equipment

Depending on the food you want to serve (the menu is planned before the equipment and furnishing of the restaurant) you will have to plan out workstations and make a list of equipment necessary for the kitchen.

You can hire someone to plan out the optimal technological concept of your kitchen based on the food you will serve. A project like that will increase the functionality of your restaurant for both the staff and the guests, all within the regulations of food safety and sanitary requirements. A good project designer can also help in choosing the right kitchen equipment. For instance, if you wish to run a fried chicken restaurant, and you have the help of an experienced professional who understands what equipment is necessary and where it should be placed within the premises, it is a good beginning.

If you wish to undertake this task on your own, remember that drawing up a restaurant project requires a lot of planning of even the smallest details. Your job is to ensure maximum comfort for your customers and fulfill all the sanitary requirements at the same time.

Take care of the necessary red tape.

Ah, the formalities! If you are not self-employed, you will have to get registered first. Analyze the legal routes of the registration process and choose the best option for you. You will have to consider the form of bookkeeping and how to stay current with your taxes.

The next important tax issue to consider is the value-added tax (VAT). Should a restaurant owner be a VAT payer all depends on the fiscal year of the restaurant. You have to look up your current tax rules and regulations. Remember to pay your local government dues from the start of your business. To top things up, you will have to get the approval of the local sanitary inspector.

Getting through all the red tape will be one of the toughest stages of running your restaurant business.

Wholesalers, suppliers, partners

The right restaurant suppliers are very important. Choose the right suppliers from the start. You will need quality food, maintain your menu and control your costs.

How to get valuable business connections? Begin with your local market research. It is a good idea to attend food and beverage trades fares. Let’s go back to our fried chicken restaurant example. Say you are the owner of one of those restaurants, it is in your interest to attend the trade shows and visit all the food suppliers that can help you improve your business. You will find fried chicken breading suppliers there that might have the right solution for you! Many companies offer the proper buns for fried chicken burgers or tortilla wraps. You can also take advantage of blogs or foodservice magazines.

Remember first to try the chosen supplier’s products and negotiate your terms of cooperation.

The right personnel

Starting a restaurant will require the right employees. It is difficult to say who is more critical, the chef or your customer service personnel. It would be best if you took your time and carefully select the optimal staff for your business.

Delicious, unforgettable food and excellent customer service are necessary for a restaurant to succeed.

As you can see, having a plan is the most important thing to consider before opening a restaurant business. Try to foresee some of the problems that may come up and have a solution for hem ready and waiting. Good luck!

The article has been written in collaboration with Fried Chicken Breading/Coating/Batter Supplier Holly Powder.

Kelly Tate