Creating a business model, figuring out marketing and social media, setting a budget, negotiating a lease or loan, and coming to a decision about whether you want to go the brick and mortar or the rolling restaurant route are all crucial in the beginning.
Here are a few tips on how to start your own restaurant.
Create a Website That Works for You
Start by understanding the types of web hosting (personal or business) and the additional options under the business umbrella (shared, cloud-based, etc.). You’ll want to go the business route so that your website can withstand the traffic and site updates without crashing, but which specific plan you choose will need to be carefully considered.
Read through the different hosting options here before deciding. Ideally, you’ll have access to your site anytime you want in order to modify the menu, list daily or holiday specials, promote coupons, advertise special events, and stay in touch with your customers. This is a great way to market your business without spending a ton of money.
Know Your Target Audience
If you want a restaurant that caters specifically to a younger crowd, you’ll want to keep the space hip and fresh. Without those things, you may end up spending quite a bit of cash trying out new things each week to get people in the seats, and that can be costly when you’re just starting out.
It will also be crucial to do some analyzing before you make any major decisions. Scouting a location for your restaurant in person, for instance, is extremely important because it will help you take a look at foot traffic, competition, and any new construction that’s going on around the building you like.
Add Up the True Costs
You also have to think about deposits, utilities, health department fees, liquor licenses, and the cost of any remodeling or updating you need to do to get the place up and running, and that’s not even including the inventory and tools a business requires, like a computer system for keeping track of sales.
Knowing beforehand what the true cost of your business will be is essential in preventing nasty surprises down the road.
Know Your Responsibilities
Do some research to find out what sort of permits you need — especially if you’re going to do any renovations or construction, as this has to be cleared by the city — and speak with a lawyer who can help you ensure that your end is taken care of.
Starting a restaurant is often a big undertaking, whether you’ve had experience in the industry or not, but it can also be a very rewarding one that leads to other opportunities. As long as you are prepared and understand all the steps in running such a business, you’ll find success in no time.
Dean Burgess of excitepreneur.net