This is a guest post by Faith McGregor.
Opening your own restaurant is one of the most exciting things for any entrepreneur! And if you’re already coming from the world of high-class cooking, things are even more interesting. Which is why lots of great chefs decide to go into the restaurant business and trade their chef uniform for a business suit.
However, no matter how amazing this entire experience is, it’s just as hard as well. There are lots of things you need to take into consideration. Here are five of the most important details you must never forget when you’re opening a restaurant.
1. Service style.
First, you need to make a couple of important decisions: where you’re going to locate your restaurant, how big it’s going to be, what kind of food will it offer and what’s the atmosphere you’re going to try to achieve.
These are the basic things that will determine what your restaurant is going to look like and that will ultimately make or break it. After that, you should spend some time thinking about the service style you prefer.
Most restaurants can be divided into three categories, based on their service style – upscale, midscale and quick-service. There are a couple of difference between them.
Upscale restaurants offer great food, quality service and high prices. While quick-service places are often described as fast-food joints: everything from pizza to ethnic food, but at low prices and only a partial service. Midscale restaurants are somewhere between these two, giving the people a limited offer of amazing meals at good prices.
2. Include a bar.
Not every bar offers tasty food, but every restaurant should definitely offer a selection of amazing drinks. Although including a bar into your restaurant makes things seemingly more complicated, it’s still much better than not to have something to offer all those thirsty customers who just want something to drink while waiting for their food.
Moreover, if you manage to combine certain dishes with certain kinds of wine, for example, you’ll be able to charge much more. This simple trick can make you a considerable amount of money quite easily.
3. Proper equipment.
You can’t satisfy your customers without serving them amazing food, and you can’t expect to make such food without proper equipment. Again, whether you have some experience in cooking or not, you surely understand and appreciate the value of amazing fridges, ovens, countertops, fryers, grills, steamers, dishwashers and other necessary equipment you can’t run a restaurant without.
It’s important not to have just any equipment, but the right one, so pay attention to the brand. For instance, Electrolux refrigerators will give you everything you need from day one and prove to be a much better choice than some unknown brands.
When picking equipment, be sure to take energy-efficiency into consideration as well.
Since our planet is quite close to a natural disaster, it’s up to every one of us to do something about it. And a new entrepreneur like yourself can make a real difference if you opt for equipment with an Energy Star logo. This guarantees that your restaurant is sustainable and using an optimal amount of energy, and adopting a green image is quite important for a new business.
4. Business plan.
If you have no experience in business and economy, writing a viable business plan might be a problem to you, so don’t be afraid to consult someone with more experience. Having a business plan helps you start your business, but also lets it run smoothly afterwards, while also allowing you to keep track of the finances.
Besides being hard, starting a restaurant is also quite expensive. So you need to find a way to finance it all – from banks and business agencies to your own money and private investors, you need to get enough cash to get things up and running.
Once you start making money, it’s up to your business plan to keep you afloat.
5. Marketing, marketing, marketing.
If you want people to know about your place, you need to get the word out, especially since you’re a new restaurant that’s eager for customers. Make sure you start a website and specify all items on your menu, but don’t forget to advertise in your local newspapers and on the radio.
Social media is gaining more and more importance when it comes to marketing new eating spots, particularly for the Millennials. So be sure to open a Facebook page and an Instagram account. This is where you can post images of your interior and show people how cozy it is. Also show your food and get your followers interested in tasting it for themselves.
Even though it’s a challenge, opening and running a restaurant is still an adventure of a lifetime – it can turn you into a millionaire or make you broke, but it’s definitely a ride you’ll enjoy.