Restaurants took a big hit during the pandemic, but opening a restaurant is still a dream for many people. Everyone loves going out to eat, so it must be easy!
There’s a lot that goes into owning and running a restaurant, but if that’s your dream, you’ve come to the right place. Here are the basics of how to start your own restaurant business in 2021.
1. Decide on your restaurant’s concept
This is an important first step; however, you’ve likely already considered this a lot if you want to open your restaurant. You want to make sure that you have a clear idea of what kind of restaurant you want to have- fine dining, fast food, casual, etc.- and the type of cuisine you will serve. Be sure not to mix styles and stick to your clear plan.
2. Create a menu and business plan
Once you know what kind of restaurant you want to open, it’s time to do some planning. First, you need to develop a menu. Later on, your chef can tweak and improve this, but you should have an idea of the dishes you want to serve.
This will help you to find the right equipment down the line. Then, it would be best if you had a solid business plan. This will include details about the restaurant concept, menu, staff, and finances and an analysis of the market and competition.
3. Obtain funding
The next step may be one of the most difficult. Chances are, you don’t have the money to fund your restaurant right away. That is where the financial part of your business plan will come in handy, so you can get an idea of how much you need to spend. Some examples of funding include commercial loans, small business loans, crowdfunding, and business credit.
4. Get an online food ordering system
As you start to develop your restaurant business, you should also consider setting up an online food ordering system. This will allow customers to check out your menu, order, book tables, and more, making the process more streamlined and boosting the reputation of your business.
5. Find the right location and get licenses
We discussed the marketing analysis earlier, and this is especially where that will come in handy. Choosing the right location for your business has a lot to do with the market you want to appeal to. You should choose a location that has a lot of visibility and accessibility.
Also, consider the competition in the area- are there a lot of similar restaurants? Will your restaurant succeed? What’s the cost of living like in the area?
Finally, you must get proper licenses for maintaining a restaurant, including business licenses, employee identification number (EIN), food service licenses, and, if applicable, a liquor license.
6. Find a food supplier
You also need to find a supplier for your food. Take a look at your menu and decide what to deliver regularly. Remember, the key to having a successful restaurant is fresh, delicious food.
So it’s important to choose a reputable supplier. Some might offer discounts if you purchase in bulk. Be sure to check out membership benefits, too.
7. Buy the right equipment
Before opening, it’s important to set up your kitchen with the right equipment. The menu will help you to decide exactly what you need. Specialized equipment might also be necessary depending on what you have on the menu, such as pizza ovens.
A popular option for finding equipment is a wholesale supplier online. Those strapped for cash might also want to consider leasing equipment.
8. Design the restaurant
Now that you likely have the restaurant set up, it’s time to start designing! Determine what you want the interior design to look like and the seating capacity and decor. You want the restaurant to match the overall vibe that you’re going for.
9. Hire staff
Now that the basics are ready, you want to make sure that you hire the right staff. Consider what you want shifts to look like and how much you will be able to pay them.
Generally, restaurants will need general managers, kitchen managers, front-of-house managers, servers, hosts, bussers, a head chef, a sous chef, dishwasher, line cooks, and prep cooks, give or take a few depending on the individual needs of your restaurant. It is also a good idea to hire a marketing manager, accountant, and PR specialist.
10. Advertise your business
Finally, you want to make sure that you get the word out there! Make a website and plenty of social media pages. You should also create an account on Yelp and TripAdvisor. A grand opening will also spread the word locally to let people know about your new restaurant.