8 Things to consider before deciding to open a restaurant

8 Things to consider before deciding to open a restaurant

To the outside world, the restaurant business may look like a lot of fun, and it can be – but running a successful restaurant also involves a lot of hard work and responsibility. 

Opening a restaurant is a big risk, many new restaurants don’t last more than a year and this often comes down to a poor location and a poor business model. Passion for the business is of course essential, but combine that with careful planning, a professional fit out and an original concept and you’ll have a great starting point on the road to success.

 

Do you have a concept?

It’s important to have a clear idea of what kind of restaurant you want to open before you start thinking about anything else. When fitting out your restaurant, be sure to choose a professional team who understand your vision and are dedicated to making it a reality. Your decor and internal layout will not only set the atmosphere for diners but will also act as an important promotional tool for passers by.  An imaginative use of space, lighting and textures can help convey your brand values and get people through the door to taste your food for the first time.

Your concept should define your restaurant, including the name, the dishes on the menu, the design and decor and even the style of service. Lots of restaurant owners look to their own heritage, a particular style of food or their travel experiences when coming up with a concept.  

A restaurant’s identity should be consistent. For example making seasonal changes to the menu and updating the decor are necessary to keep things fresh but the overall tone and atmosphere  of the business should really stay the same so that your brand is recognisable and your customers know what to expect. 

Do you have a business plan?

If you’re new to the restaurant industry then a business plan will be extremely helpful, especially if you’re seeking some financial help. 

Your plan should include a clear and concise description of the business itself, research of the market and your competitors, a marketing strategy and a budget. 

     

    Can you afford to open a restaurant?

    There’s more to running a restaurant than just cooking food and making drinks. Running a restaurant is a big job, and the owner has a lot of responsibilities which include taking care of insurance and licenses. 

    There are a lot of unexpected costs that come with a restaurant. Fit out costs, employee salaries and the full cost of food may add up to more than you expect so be sure to do plenty of research and don’t be afraid to seek advice from other businesses. 

    How original is your restaurant name?

    To the outside world, the restaurant business may look like a lot of fun, and it can be – but running a successful restaurant also involves a lot of hard work and responsibility. 

    Opening a restaurant is a big risk, many new restaurants don’t last more than a year and this often comes down to a poor location and a poor business model. Passion for the business is of course essential, but combine that with careful planning, a professional fit out and an original concept and you’ll have a great starting point on the road to success.

     

    Have you studied your competition?

    There’s more to running a restaurant than just cooking food and making drinks. Running a restaurant is a big job, and the owner has a lot of responsibilities which include taking care of insurance and licenses. 

    There are a lot of unexpected costs that come with a restaurant. Fit out costs, employee salaries and the full cost of food may add up to more than you expect so be sure to do plenty of research and don’t be afraid to seek advice from other businesses. 

    Is your menu unique?

    Location, branding and ambiance are all important, but it’s ultimately the menu that’s going to win over customers. Creating a menu can be overwhelming. Ideally, a menu should feature some old favourite dishes that are already popular, and some that are different and unique and that some customers may not have heard of. 

    The menu prices and layout should reflect your restaurant and the concept. Include exciting descriptions of the dishes that will make the customer’s mouth water. If your restaurant concept and menu is based on or features dishes from a particular ethnicity, country or culture be sure to feature the traditional or ethnic names to add some authenticity. 

     

    Have you chosen the right location?

    Location is crucial to a restaurant’s success. You may want your location to influence many elements of your restaurant, for example, you often see seafood restaurants located near the water – it just makes sense. 

    How will you promote your restaurant?

    If you’re opening a new restaurant then advertising is absolutely vital to attract customers. Take time to think about your target customers, this should be clear in your restaurant concept. Do you want to attract families, couples, or students? Why not have certain kinds of promotions and deals to attract these customers, a student discount for example, a day where kids can get a free dessert, or perhaps a 2 for 1 cocktail night.
    After you’ve established your target audience you can start building a following on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. You may also want to invest money into a newspaper or radio advert.

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