Did you know that launching or to open a restaurant is one of the most common routes to entrepreneurship in the US? At the moment, there are more than one million restaurants and 15.1 million restaurant industry employees in the country. In addition, the restaurant workforce makes up 10% of the overall US workforce and it is expected that by 2028, 1.6 million new restaurant jobs will be created.
Sounds like a great time to open your very own restaurant. In this post, we will show you how to open a restaurant and avoid the common pitfalls that most new restaurateurs face.
Table of Contents
1.Create a Business Plan
A restaurant business plan will serve as a framework that guides you to forecast and plan every element of restaurant operations and management, including financials, location, employee training, menu design, etc.
Your business plan should have an executive summary, company description, target market analysis, industry analysis, management strategy, sample menu, food safety plan, financial plan, and marketing plan.
2. Obtain the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There is lots of paperwork that needs to be filed before you open the doors of your restaurant, specifically, all the permits and licenses you will need for your new business.
Besides the standard business permits and licenses required to open up a shop, you will also need a liquor license and food handler’s permit that might vary depending on the state. Make sure to conduct research on food safety regulations and see what standards you need to be in compliance with.
3. Get Restaurant Insurance Coverage
If you are a restaurant owner, you are going to need restaurant insurance coverage. Being in the food and beverage industry can come with great risks but having insurance will make sure that you are protected against lawsuits and damages of any kind.
Because all business owners have unique needs, you can opt for tailored restaurant insurance coverage that will protect the business you have worked hard to build, while helping keep it moving forward.
4. Choose the Location
Selecting the right restaurant location is one of the most important decisions you will make when opening your restaurant. Foot traffic and visibility are two key factors to take into consideration when choosing where your restaurant will be located.
You’ll also want to evaluate the interior shape and size to see if the space is a good fit for your floor plan, check zoning laws to see if you will be allowed to serve alcohol on the site, see if there is any competition in the vicinity, and, of course, consider your target customers.
5. Hire the Right Staff
Hiring can be one of the most frustrating aspects of any business, and figuring out how to hire restaurant staff can be even more challenging. There’s a labor shortage impacting the restaurant industry and you will probably need to hire servers, delivery packers, chefs, restaurant managers.
Start by making a list of how many employees you need in order to run the front and the back of the restaurant efficiently. Writing a good job description can help you attract solid candidates, but you can also use job boards like HigherMe and Poached.
6. Design Your Menu
Having a well-planned menu is a must in the restaurant industry. Your menu will be the main tool that drives customers and sales to your business. In fact, studies have shown that a well-designed menu including affordable sushi in Cincinnati can boost your profits by 10 to 15%.
Take some time to create descriptions that are concise but appeal to your target audience. Your dishes should be categorized into sections like starters, soups and salads, entrees, desserts, beverages, etc. You should also consider food allergies and dietary restrictions and set reasonable price points. Finally, make sure that your menu reflects your brand and concept and that it is visually attractive.
Opening a restaurant can be exciting but owning a restaurant is a 24/7 adventure filled with questions and challenges. However, if this is your dream, the 6 tips listed in this article can offer a good start toward making that dream a reality and make sure that your unique restaurant concept is successfully executed. As you get into the day-to-day of running a restaurant, be sure to keep an eye on your performance, solicit feedback from customers, and find opportunities to stand out from the competition.