Opening a new restaurant is no small feat—it requires detailed planning, tons of research and skillful procurement, hiring and marketing. If you’re new to the restaurant business, here are four things to get right when opening your first restaurant.
Decide on a concept and find a great location
To begin with, do your research (and a little introspection) on the type of eatery that would be profitable and that you would enjoy running. A pub, a food truck, a formal dining place, a fast food joint or a street-side stall—pick the one that will bring something unique to your target customers and then find a great location to set it up.
In fact, you could also go the other way round. Find a viable location and then come up with an eatery, truck or full-fledged restaurant that the area does not have already. Take either route, but do ample research before making a decision.
Hire the best chef in town
The experience, skills and attitude of your main chef can make or break the future of your business. You can have the best decor and ambience, but without great food, people will not want to return or recommend. So create a unique menu that will be your USP and find a chef with superlative culinary skills and a reputation to boot.
All the magic in a successful restaurant begins in the kitchen, so do your best to find the best chef you can afford.
Finalize a theme
This is important once you’ve done the basic work. Without a clear theme in mind, you won’t be able to proceed with designing your restaurant. Even if you already know what you want, browse online for inspiration and ideas you may not have thought of.
If setting up an upscale restaurant, inn or hotel, hire a professional interior designer with relevant experience. Macy Hooper from Vega Direct (https://www.vegadirect.ca) says that hotel furniture should look nice and still be functional. So choose furniture that’s unique yet comfortable and décor that’s welcoming, cheerful and in line with your chosen cuisine.
In addition, invest in quality restaurant supplies and cooking equipment regardless of the size or scale of your restaurant. The better the quality of these items, the longer they will last, thus saving you repair and replacement costs in the long run.
Get the operational essentials in order
Opening a restaurant involves quite a lot of work, especially if it’s your first one. Once the basics are in place, get to the stuff that will determine the day-to-day efficiency of your restaurant. Invest in online and offline marketing to get the word out at least a couple of months before launch, set up the payment system, get the supply chain in order and complete hiring at least two weeks before you plan to go live.
Test and retest everything from cooking equipment to POS system to avoid glitches on your opening day. Last but not least, implement SOPs for every activity from greeting customers to cleaning up the kitchen as the day ends.