Did you know that the food service industry is predicted to reach $898 billion in sales by the end of 2022? But that’s not to say that opening a restaurant is without challenges. With so many new restaurants coming up every day, how can you make your place stand out? In this guide, we will walk you through the answer for you question, ‘How to open a restaurant?’. This will also help you avoid the common pitfalls that will boost your chances of success.
How to open a restaurant?
1. Decide a concept for your restaurant
The first thing to consider before opening a restaurant is the concept. Do you want to open a pizza shop, a café, or an exquisite fine-dining restaurant? Also, what theme and cuisine do you prefer?
Conduct market research and brainstorm ideas to come up with a unique concept. A lot of your future success will depend on a winning restaurant concept that is different from your competitors.
2. Write a business plan
A business plan is like a roadmap that will ultimately guide your business to success. Besides, if you require funding from an investor, you will need a detailed business plan to present your idea to potential investors.
Make your business plan as thorough as possible by mentioning everything about the market you will operate in, the viability of your overall plan, the challenges you might face, your business operational plan, and much more.
3. Evaluate all restaurant costs involved
The restaurant start-up cost is a crucial factor that you must plan and evaluate carefully. Below are some significant costs involved in opening a restaurant business.
- Food costs: This is the cost of raw materials needed to prepare a dish. Ideally, food costs should make up around 30% of your total menu price.
- Labor costs: This will be the cost of manpower needed to start a restaurant.
- Overhead costs: These are miscellaneous expenses that typically include rent, the cost of furnishing the space, kitchen equipment, licenses, and marketing costs.
4. Decide the location for your restaurant
Location is another crucial factor that you must pay attention to. To select the best location, you can research the market, demographics, and competition level in different locations. Once you evaluate the competition in a specific area, you can get a sense of the types of customers who are frequent in that area, what they’re looking for, and how much they’re willing to spend.
5. Get all the important licenses
This is one of the most exhausting and time-consuming steps in this restaurant opening checklist. You need to acquire all the necessary permits and licenses which may involve a lot of paperwork.
Typically, you will require food licenses, health department permits, and various insurances for your restaurant.
6. Invest in the right tools
Managing a restaurant is no easy task. There are a million things to keep track of, from food inventory to employee schedules. It can be tough to stay on top of everything – an easy-to-use restaurant management software can help.
Restaurant management software is designed to streamline all of the different aspects of running a restaurant, from keeping track of daily operations to managing employee shifts. It can help you save time and money, and ultimately make your business more efficient.
7. Get manpower for your restaurant
When staffing a restaurant, you’ll need to consider employees for the kitchens, front-of-house, and managerial positions. The key to a successful business is hiring the right people for each role. Additionally, make sure to schedule regular training so that all team members are up to speed and meet expectations.
8. Design a compelling menu
The next step to opening a restaurant is designing a great menu. A well-planned menu is one that can have a significant impact on your restaurant’s costs. Include food items that can be prepared with readily available ingredients. Also, serve dishes that use similar ingredients to bring down the overall costs.
Lastly, your menu must be such that it entices the customers to spend more. They must feel lured to order various dishes from the menu.
The next step in starting a successful restaurant is creating an amazing menu. A well-crafted menu can have a big impact on your bottom line — include dishes that can be made with easily sourced ingredients to keep costs down. Also, consider using common ingredients in multiple dishes to further reduce expenses.
But don’t skimp on flavor! Your menu should be enticing, making diners want to try everything. By offering a mix of delicious and affordable options, you’ll set your new restaurant up for success.
9. Have a soft opening party
A soft launch is a great way to make sure your restaurant is ready before you open its doors to the public. You don’t want to throw open your doors to a long line of customers and have the chefs scrambling trying to serve the food.
A soft launch is when you invite close family and friends to come and test out your menu. When planning your guest list, keep in mind how easy they’ll be to accommodate, but also aim for a diverse range of opinions. The best thing you can do is to work out any kinks before throwing open the doors.
How Can KNOW Help?
Running a thriving restaurant is like tightrope walking; one misstep can mean disaster. There’s always something that needs your attention, from managing everyday operations to running hygiene checks to solving recurrent issues like broken equipment.
At KNOW, we get how crucial it is to have a well-oiled machine. That’s why we have a digital solution to help you take care of your day-to-day restaurant operations. With our mobile app, you can do everything from tracking employees’ hours to scheduling shifts, conducting audits, managing staff training and SOPs, and more — without lifting a finger.