Opening your own restaurant is a dream many people have. It can be a great business or a dismal failure. Many things need to be considered before you open a restaurant. The first thing you need to consider is your menu. What type of restaurant will it be? Will it be a posh Bistro with patio tables and expensive foods?Or, will it be a burger shop or a pizza parlor? That is the first simple step before it gets tougher.
Location, Location, Location
Where will you locate your restaurant? How important is this? Well, look at it this way, do you want your customers sitting outside, on the patio, and then charge them exorbitant prices next door to a steel mill? A diner or burger shop may do very well in that location but your bistro would likely close up in a month or less. Just a silly example, but it does at least illustrate the need for research. Check out the competition, the neighborhood, the parking, and the activity,at least for the hours you plan to be open. And I recommend all hours of the day and night. You might find the area that bustles during the day is a hotbed of crime later in the evening. Location is the second most important thing to consider when opening a restaurant.
Decor is one of those often notconsidered details of having a successful restaurant. Again, that will follow what your menu will be. It may also be affected by your location. You may develop a great reputation for food but your decor must fit the food and the location as well. Certain colors have been determined to stimulate eating/hunger responses and affect the potential customers mood to purchase. Then, the question of how much of the budget is to be spent for decor. Can you do it yourself? Must you hire someone to get it done?
Suppliers and Back-up Suppliers
OK, you have your building all picked out and ready to decorate, now, where do you get your food?
You must research the best places to obtain supplies for your restaurant. Quality is important. You, of course, want the best but you have to consider the price. Do they deliver, or must you pick it up? Are they dependable? What happens if they run out of your featured item?Can you find it elsewhere?
You are going to need staffs such as waitpersons, kitchen staff, bussers, dishwashers, hostess,Maitre’ D, or cashiers.And, there will also be that extra three people you need on staff in case one other person gets sick. Someone, who in a pinch, can fill in whenever needed. Good luck with that… Your staff will be ever changing, trust me.
Other Little Annoyances
Don’t forget such things as utilities, very often requiring a deposit especially for a commercial venture or things like laundry supply for aprons, towels, tablecloths, napkins, or janitorial supplies, and then there are the Health Department inspections. Also, there will always be an irate customer who must be handled properly, and employees that don’t show up for their shift. All of these things must be taken into consideration and planned for in advance.
There are Benefits to Owning a Restaurant
First, I know it fulfills a dream.
It is a place where you can practice your craft and hear the pleasure from someone who may send their compliments to the Chef.
You get to eat for free. That’s right; remember it is your food. If you won’t eat it, then why would you think anyone else would? Besides, you paid for it. And if you have a Chef or Cook, you don’t even have to cook it.
You are for the most part, your own boss. You pull the strings. Of course, you must listen to and accept your customer’s criticisms and suggestions. You probably won’t get rich but you can make a decent living.
And best of all, you can order and eat whatever you want and someone else does the dishes.
I know there is some tongue in cheek in this article. In all seriousness though, running a restaurant is a tough but very rewarding business. It will likely require long hours unless you have someone else to run it for you. And like I said, you may get rich if you hit everything just right. But it is a challenge. I want to encourage you to get started if you want to open a restaurant. There is no better time than now. Just have the confidence to do it. It takes guts to do anything as risky as starting anybusiness. But if you don’t at least try, you will never know. And even if it fails, don’t give up. Failure is a learning experience. My first restaurant never even got off the ground but I learned, and after three tries, I got it right. After all, you have to learn to run a business.