So You Want To Open A Restaurant

The restaurant industry is cutthroat, with an estimated failure rate of 66% for new establishments. If you’re considering going into the business and starting your restaurant, you must know what you’re getting into first. The restaurant business is highly competitive, and many potential pitfalls can be avoided if you do your research beforehand. This article covers some helpful advice before venturing into this field.

Research is key

The first and most important thing to do when trying to break into the restaurant business is to do a lot of research. You want to ensure demand for the type of restaurant you want to open. You want to see if there are any voids in the market that you can fill. You want to make sure that your concept is unique and has something that sets it apart from all other restaurants in the area. You also want to do market research to see who your potential customers are and what they’re looking for. A restaurant’s success largely depends on foot traffic; if there are too many restaurants in your area, you might find it more challenging to attract customers.

Other considerations include getting the correct permits and licenses for the type of restaurant you want to open and finding the best insurance for restaurants, so you know how much you can expect to pay out for coverage before you open the doors. Knowing your basic expenses will give you an idea of what profit you need to make.

Know your competition

Knowing your competition is just as important as knowing your market. You want to know what restaurants in your area are succeeding, what restaurants are failing, and why. You want to know what sets your competition apart from the rest. This will help you identify the areas where you can really make a mark and set your restaurant apart from the rest. At the same time, you want to ensure that you’re not trying to compete with the most prominent players in the industry. There’s a reason why chains like McDonald’s and Taco Bell are so successful. They know what they’re doing and do it exceptionally well.

Trying to compete with these restaurants will only set you up for failure. Instead, it’s better to find a niche not being served well by the competition.

Decide on a concept

Once you’ve done your research, you’ll start formulating an idea of what type of restaurant you want to open. At this point, you should have a pretty good idea of what kinds of restaurants are doing well in your area. You’ll also have a good idea of which restaurants are struggling.

You also want to make sure that your concept is sustainable. You don’t want to open a restaurant that you end up having to close in a year because it wasn’t patronized enough. You want to make sure that the concept is something people will want to return to. It should be unique but not so special that people won’t know what to expect when they come in. 

Hire a good chef

It’s essential to ensure that the food you serve in your restaurant is of high quality. There are a lot of factors that go into this, but the first one is the chef you hire. You want to make sure you hire a good chef. At the same time, you don’t want to overpay your chef. The average salary for a chef in the US is $48,000. The average salary for a head chef is $86,000. These salaries might seem a bit high, but it’s important to remember that a chef is responsible for the entire menu and has a lot of say in how the restaurant is run. Most chefs that are worth hiring will come with a hefty price tag. It’s essential to ensure you’re willing to budget for a good chef.

Don’t skimp on décor and amenities

One of the biggest mistakes new restaurant owners make is trying to save a few pennies by skimping on the décor and amenities of their establishment. People are likely to come back to your restaurant multiple times a month. You want your customers to feel welcome and comfortable in your restaurant. You want them to feel as if they’re in a place they can return to again and again. You don’t want to skimp on décor and amenities. This includes silverware, plates, and glasses, such as couches, chairs, and televisions. You want to ensure that your customers have a good experience dining in your restaurant.

Select the right location

Another big mistake restaurant owners often make is not choosing the right location for their restaurant. You want to ensure you’re not opening your restaurant in an area with low foot traffic. Instead, you want to find a location with enough traffic to sustain your restaurant. This might seem common sense, but it’s important to note that the most successful restaurant chains often choose their location wisely. As a result, many of the same restaurant chains pop up in multiple locations across the country. This is because these chains have found a place that works for them and can replicate it numerous times. Another idea is to enter the food truck business and move your food and restaurant around to different locations. In this case, you’re going to want to invest in renting refrigerated trailers. This will help you seamlessly transport food safely from one spot to the next.

Bottom line

The restaurant industry is highly competitive, and many potential pitfalls can be avoided if you research beforehand. This article covers some helpful advice before venturing into this field.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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