tips for opening a restaurant
Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Thinking about opening a restaurant? Make sure you’re doing and thinking about these following things to ensure you are on the right track!

It is essential to ask questions, seek advice from experienced professionals and ensure you understand the finer details and realities about ‘owning a restaurant’ life.

1. Formulate a restaurant concept that resonates

Make sure your concept is something that your target market can resonate with, without the need for expensive and lengthy advertising measures to get the idea across.

2. Do your research; are there people out there who want your food?

Observing the area that you are going to open in is very important. Suss out other restaurants and how busy they are on different times of the week/what type of food customers are drawn towards. It also helps to identify the demographic aspects of certain areas to ensure you are accessible to the people who are most likely to consume your food.

3. Develop a business plan

Running a restaurant successfully comes with greater ease if you know what the industry is like, i.e. if you have worked in a restaurant before. This is highly recommended to get a feel for what you’re in for. Plan and target and really understand your numbers. Being specific and realistic is very important. However, it is important to note, flexibility and adaptability is important to reflect trends and industry landscape changes.

4. The moola

You’re going to need a lot of capital, especially in the beginning. Fit outs can get expensive and profits may not appear for months. Plan everything and budget effectively. Question whether fit out elements are ‘really worth it’, will they lend to the intrinsic value of the space? Plan expenditure beforehand so you have specific targets you need to hit already set-up. That way, you can put measures in place that will allow you to reach those goals. Also, have realistic expectations, remember Rome wasn’t built in a day!

5. Where?

Will your restaurant be a destination spot or will you be targeting passers-by and take-out? Again, observsation is key to see what is already being done/habits of visiting customers/popularity etc. Your location needs to be accessible and preferably in a prominent place where all types of traffic are exposed to. Does your location match your offering? Does it match the area demographic? Is there a desire for your offering?

6. Utilities

Will you have enough access to utilities like gas, electricity and water to run a business. It is important to consult experienced persons to figure out what you will need to perform daily functions on the scale you are planning. Other things to note like waste management and loading docks etc need to be factored into consideration.

7. The stuff that will make the stuff you sell

It is essential to enlist a guide that will assist you through exactly what is required so you understand where the money is going and why and what regular maintenance they will require. All of these costs add up and need attention.

8. The boring stuff

Processing times on development applications from various councils, boards and authorities can be much longer than one may expect, which may slow down the project and delay target opening times. Plan in advance so you are on schedule.

9. Good staff is everything

Good staff make all the difference. Remember, your customers pay your wages and make your spot successful so good customer service is essential. It is important to obtain experienced staff or at least put in the ground work to properly train staff as to what kind of experience you wish to give your customers. It is also important to hire employees that have the right attitude and interest in the industry.

10. Marketing

Remember, the launch of the restaurant is not the only thing to think about. A promotional plan to keep people coming through the door is essential. Planning a calendar of specials  and momentous events like Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Christmas helps keep things interesting and appealing to customers. Capitalise by being on social media and digital platforms as they are a low-cost approach, but very effective in delivering your message and putting the information out there about your spot. A website is very important to have for restaurants.

Your local Countrywide Distributor can help you with your food and drink needs.

Good luck!

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