If you have always dreamed of launching a restaurant, what is stopping you? What is holding you back from realizing your dream? To get your idea off the ground, you have to be practical, and you have to be realistic. With that in mind, here are some helpful and practical tips to help you get started.
Creating a Business Plan
To get things off to the best start, you are going to need to create a business plan. Knowing precisely what business you want to create and how is important. A business plan will give you a structure to work towards, and it will give you a blueprint that you can follow. Within a business plan, you can decide what you are going to offer in your restaurant. You can also look at what competition is around, and you will be able to start researching who your competitors are and what they are offering. A business plan will give you a good idea of what the next few years of your restaurant will look like.
Your new restaurant is going to have startup costs attached to it, and these must, of course, be factored in. Whether you are looking at raising finance or not, you must still know how much you will need to get your restaurant up and off the ground. When you are looking at startup costs, you will need to consider the cost of leasing or purchasing a site, the trading licenses you require, the decoration and furnishing of the site, as well as purchasing all the equipment you need for a fully functioning kitchen.
Choosing a Location and Site
Where your restaurant is located matters. If a restaurant is off the beaten track or difficult to access, you may find that customers avoid visiting. When you are looking at the location and site, look at the footfall around the area. Also, pay attention to the stores and buildings around where you want to start up. If the area is busy, you will pay more; however, you will potentially get more footfall, and this will bring in revenue. If you are leasing a site, make sure it can be run as a restaurant. Ensure there are no restrictions in the contract.
Having a Concept
When you start a restaurant from scratch, it is important to have a concept. What do you want to offer, and what do your customers and clients expect? When your restaurant has a concept, it has appeal as it is something different and a little unique. Without a concept, how are you going to stand out from the competition? What are you going to do to get customers through the door? To decide on a concept, look at what other restaurants are doing in the local area. What niche is missing or underfilled?
Look at What Your Competitors Are Doing
All restaurants will have some form of competition, whether this is direct or indirect. The more you know about the competition, the stronger position you will be in moving forwards. Conducting a competitor analysis will allow you to see who your competitors are and what they are offering. It will also allow you to see where there is room for niche development. Looking at the setup that the restaurant offers will allow you to see what customers appreciate and what they expect. You can learn a lot from your competitors, so always invest in competitor research and analysis regularly.
Focus on the Branding
As you are starting your restaurant from scratch, you will want to invest in branding your idea. Branding will help customers connect with your restaurant, and it will help them identify with what you and your concept are about. When it comes to branding, you need to ensure that everything runs smoothly and seamlessly. For instance, you need to have shirts made for chefs that have branding on them, and these have to match those that work in front of house. Everyone who works (or is connected) with your restaurant must be an ambassador for your brand. Branding has to be seen at multiple points for customers to build that connection.
Marketing and Promotion
Customers and clients are not just going to turn up to your restaurant on the launch day, and they will certainly not just happen to find you. As a new restaurant, you are going to have to invest heavily in marketing and promotion. Getting your name out there, known, and recognized is essential. Without cross-channel marketing and promotion, you will find that you will struggle to reach your market successfully. Creating and implementing a marketing and promotional plan will help you establish what marketing you will need and how much you will need to invest to see results.
Purchasing the Right Equipment and Appliances
Getting your restaurant out there, seen, and established is important. However, to make sure everything runs smoothly, you will need to invest in the right equipment and appliances. Your restaurant will only be as good as the service offered and the food created. To ensure that this is the best it can be at all times, you will need to fit your kitchen with professional equipment and appliances. These will be created for the industry, and they will not be ones you can purchase for home use. When you are running a restaurant, your equipment and appliances will get heavy usage, and they must be high quality.
Building a Strong and Supportive Team
There is only so much you can do by yourself when you are launching a restaurant and building a brand. To help you along the way, you are going to need to start building a strong and supportive team. Having others around you with a suitable skillset that complements your own is important. When you have the right people around you, you can do anything, and you can push your restaurant for success. Trying to do everything by yourself can be exhausting and counterproductive.