5 Things to Consider When Starting Up in the Restaurant Business

By Leanne White

It is perhaps every foodie’s dream to own a restaurant. It allows you the freedom to be your own boss, hire and lead your own team, and enjoy your passion for food and people. Owning a restaurant is a lot of work and the hours can be long, but for many people, it’s worth it. A successful restaurant owner needs to be patient, self-motivated, have some business sense and also possess good people skills.

Here are our top five things to consider when starting up a restaurant: 

1. Know Your Businesses Competitors  

New restauranteurs should stake out the competition to know what the local restaurant business landscape is like.

Food News Feed states that one of the first things you need to do when starting up in the restaurant business is construct a detailed business plan that charts the course of your success. You should check this document regularly to help you plan for growth and measure your progress.

Your business plan will need to include market research, and a thorough look at your competitors. Make sure that you carefully research popular restaurants in your area, try to figure out what appeals to customers and why people go there. You should then bring this to your own restaurant -- or go one better and do something unique that no one else offers. There is a lot of competition in the restaurant business, so standing out is a great way to bring in guests.

2. Know the Type of Cuisine that You are Offering

Choosing what goes on a new restaurant’s menu is vital to success.

Choosing the type of cuisine your restaurant will offer is one of the more important things to consider when starting up your own restaurant. The ideal restaurant menu offers a balance of unique dishes and old classics that never go out of style. You want to intrigue guests with new takes on food they are comfortable eating. This is why so many restaurants offer dishes like “loaded burgers” with a variety of different and often unusual toppings that customers can choose.

Conduct market research and find out what food is popular with the people in your local area. Food magazines and cooking channels are also a great source for finding out what dishes are popular. Also remember that there are a few menu must-haves that you should include, such as options for vegetarians and vegans, and children’s options so that families can dine at your restaurant.

3. Know the Location of Your Restaurant

New restaurant owners should make sure the location of their new restaurant suits their guests needs.

A restaurant’s location is as crucial to its success just as much as having great food and customer service. You need to do a lot of research to check that a particular location has the right requirements for your business.

Firstly, it is important to make sure that your restaurant can be easily spotted from the street and is easily accessible to guests. Parking availability is extremely important, as you will lose business if guests cannot find a place to park.  

You also need to look at the history of the site. Check whether any other restaurants have opened and closed in the same spot. If this is the case, then it may suggest that this is not an ideal location to set up your restaurant.

4. Know the Design & Atmosphere of Your Restaurant  

New restaurant owners will have to decide on the atmosphere and decor of their new restaurant.

One of the best parts of opening your own restaurant is the opportunity to let your creativity flow. You can design a unique restaurant and bring your vision to life. According to furniture experts ‘Eclipse’, creating a memorable experience (for all the right reasons) depends on a variety of factors, including food, décor and comfortable restaurant furniture. You want your guests to feel comfortable and enjoy their meals, along with the ambience of your restaurant.  

When designing your restaurant, you need to consider your target audience. What appeals to families with young children may not necessarily appeal to young, single office workers looking for dinner & a drink after work. Determining your target audience will help you decide things like seating arrangements, decor, furniture and so on.

5. Know the Price You are Retailing at

New restaurant owners will have to decide on the prices of their menu items.

When deciding on your retail price, you need to consider your target audience and the type of cuisine you are offering. Business News Daily explains how to reach the right target customer, and the importance of this. Guests eating in a high-end steakhouse will expect to pay much higher prices than they would in a fast-food style burger restaurant. Your guests want to feel that they have received good value for money. You should do research on local restaurants offering similar cuisine to make sure that your menu prices are competitive.

Final Thoughts 

Running your own restaurant can be a lucrative business, offering the freedom to be your own boss and enjoy your passion for food and people. However, it takes a lot of hard work and it is important that you consider all of the above and carefully plan your new business venture to ensure the highest chance of success.

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