Every budding restaurateur must be filled with passion, excitement, and determination if they want to make it in such a competitive industry. Of course, anything worth having is worth working hard for, so you can guarantee all the blood, sweat and tears will be worth it once your customers start walking through your doors. To make the process run a little smoother, learn about the five big steps to take to open your first restaurant.
1. Pick the Right Restaurant Concept
Before you do anything, you will need to identify the type of restaurant you want to open to the public. For example, you can choose to launch a fine dining restaurant or a casual eatery. You will also need to select a cuisine to serve to your customers, such as French, Italian, American, Vietnamese, or Indian. The location and brand name must also be a factor when choosing a restaurant concept, as this will determine your image to potential customers and critics. Try to find a restaurant location that provides plenty of foot traffic with adequate parking nearby.
2. Write a Business Plan
Once you understand the type of restaurant you want to create, you should then write a business plan for your new restaurant. If you don’t have a business plan, no bank or private investor will be willing to finance your concept. Once you have created your business plan and have the financing in place, you should apply for licenses and permits, such as liquor licenses and sign permits.
3. Source the Finest Suppliers
Once you have secured financing and have your permits in place, your next step must be to source an excellent supplier. The quality of your food will determine your customers’ enjoyment and satisfaction, so you should aim to work with the best suppliers possible to ensure you never disappoint your patrons. For example, if you are looking for high-quality fresh or packaged meat for your restaurant, you should look no further than Smithfield Foods.
4. Design the Restaurant
It’s important to find the right balance between seating capacity and aesthetics when designing your restaurant. Functionality should be at the forefront of every design decision you make, which will allow both customers and employees to move throughout the restaurant with ease. Also, remember to choose the right color scheme to create a comfortable, stylish, and welcoming environment for your customers, which should also complement your branding.
5. Hire the Best Employees
The staff you choose can make or break the success of your restaurant – so pick your team wisely. You will want to hire a chef you can happily work alongside day after day and can effectively run a service. Preferably, pick a talented chef with extensive experience within the industry, as they can help you to choose the right kitchen equipment and can plan the perfect menu for your customers. It is also important to hire hard-working, dedicated, and friendly waiting staff, bartenders, and managers, as they will shape the customer experience.