The constantly evolving nature of the food service sector may make it challenging for aspiring restaurateurs to keep up. However, although there are more and newer challenges facing restaurant entrepreneurs than in the past, there are some fundamental aspects of opening your restaurant that will never change.
So, after you've gone through all of the checkpoints of your restaurant business plan template, it's time to launch your new restaurant. However, it’s in your best interest to read our expert tips before you do that so that everything goes as smoothly as possible.
We've put up this comprehensive but digestible guide on starting your own food business to assist you in getting started.
Develop Your Menu
Developing your menu is a very inventive stage in the process of starting your restaurant. For any foodie, selecting the menu items to highlight should be fun, but proceed with caution. Your menu will determine the equipment you'll require, the qualities you should search for in a staff member, and the demographic you want to draw. For instance, you'll need a pastry chef and the appropriate equipment if your dessert menu includes a variety of delicate French pastries.
Think about your demographic as well. If you insist on creating an expensive menu, for instance, you must pick a region where higher price points may be supported by the median personal income. When you've decided on your menu options, use our resources for menu pricing and our menu design instructions to put together a tasty, lucrative menu.
Get Your Restaurant Equipment Sorted Out
The proper equipment needs to be installed in your kitchen before you can launch your new restaurant. Every restaurant requires certain equipment, such as cooking and refrigeration equipment. You can also want specific tools like pizza deck ovens or pasta cookers depending on your cuisine.
Some of your decisions, such as whether to pick narrow-depth equipment or double-stack units to maximize space, will depend on the size and configuration of your kitchen. Deciding whether to purchase used or new restaurant equipment is another factor to take into account.
Select the Right Personnel
The hiring phase of starting a new restaurant gives you the chance to establish an excellent workplace culture right away. When addressing the work/life balance of your prospective employees, it is crucial to give careful consideration to your employee perks, training programs, and incentives. You will have better success with staff retention if you give these things top consideration.
Make a list of all the positions in the restaurant that you'll need to fill to run it every day, and think about how many front and back-of-house shifts you'll run each day as well as how many days a week you'll be open.
Your new restaurant's particular requirements will determine your staffing needs, however, the following are some of the most typical jobs:
- The general manager, kitchen manager, and front-of-house manager comprise the management team.
- The head chef, sous chefs, prep cooks, line cooks, and dishwashers make up the kitchen staff.
- Servers, hosts, food runners, and bussers make up the front-of-house staff.
- Bar staff includes beverage servers, barbacks, and bartenders.
Additionally, you might need to employ professionals in accounting, public relations, and marketing.
Promotion Of Your Restaurant’s Opening
When opening a new restaurant, it's important to spread the word and draw in potential consumers. Basic information about your restaurant is provided in advertising so that potential consumers are aware of your location and the cuisine you serve. Additionally, effective advertising should generate excitement for your company.
Consider Organizing A Soft Restaurant Opening
A soft opening serves as a trial run to help you get ready for your new restaurant's official grand opening. Invite only a select group of people—typically the loved ones of your staff—to your soft opening. You may iron out any faults in your service using this tactic.
You may iron out any faults in your service using this tactic. Here are a few suggestions for a successful soft opening:
- Trial Menu - Provide a sample menu with just a few choices. It eases the strain on brand-new employees and entices clients to return to see the whole menu.
- Limited Schedule - Take into account working on a restricted schedule throughout your first few days of operation.
- Sneak Peek Event: Hold a "sneak peek" happy hour featuring special drinks and dishes from the menu.
- Invite your friends and family to your soft opening for an enjoyable, stress-free approach to getting ready for your grand opening.
- Neighboring Residences and Businesses: By inviting nearby residences and businesses to a soft opening, you can increase your local following and foster community pride.
The restaurant's grand opening is crucial for creating excitement about your establishment early on, which will keep customers talking – and returning — for the first month, year, and beyond. Consider it carefully, compare the acquisition cost to the lifetime worth of each customer, and, most importantly, start planning.