By | Amy Sloane | Freelance Writer
If you are looking to open a restaurant, then you will want to make sure that you are properly prepared. Here is a look at five steps that you should take before you open your restaurant. By following each step carefully, you will be well-positioned to have a great opening.
1. Have Your Paperwork In Order
Opening a restaurant is going to require lots of paperwork. However, all of that paperwork doesn’t have to be intimidating if you are properly organized. The first type of paperwork that you will have to deal with has to do with your loan application. In order to get your loan from the bank, you will need to have at least three years of tax returns, your most recent payment stubs, a personal financial statement, and any other supporting paperwork.
Besides the paperwork needed for your loan, you will need to have all the government applications that you will need to open your restaurant. That will include your food and possible liquor license. Be sure to have all of your paperwork in order before you need it.
2. Find the Ideal Restaurant Location
The right location is critical to a restaurant’s success. Now, some people think that placing a restaurant in a place where there are no other eating establishments is a smart idea. However, the exact opposite is true. In your city, you will notice that many restaurants are bunched together in a “restaurant row.” That’s because the majority of people who go out to eat don’t usually make reservations. Lots of people will simply go to where the restaurants are and simply decide “on the spot” where to eat. By placing your restaurant in a district where most eateries are located, you will be better posited to get lots of “walk-in traffic.”
Once you have found the right location, you will now have to consider which space to rent out. You will want to figure out how many tables you will want to have in the dining area. Also, you will need to decide how big a kitchen you will need. Another factor you will need to consider is your lease, rent, or mortgage budget.
3. Write a Business Plan
When you are starting a restaurant, you are starting a business. Therefore, you will need to create a business plan to ensure that you are perfectly positioned to succeed. Some of the information that you will want to put in your business plan is the type of food that you want to serve, the type of customers that you want to serve, the menu, the prices, etc. The business plan can be used to attract investors, whether public or private. Here is some other information that you will want to include in your business plan:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Start-up budget
If you have never written a business planning before, you should hire someone who helps you. A business plan is especially important if you are looking to attract outside investors.
4. Finding the Right Vendors
When you are starting a restaurant, you will need to find vendors who are reliable and are within your budget. For instance, you will need to find the right vendors to bring you high-quality food. You will also need to find the right vendors to provide laundry service for your table clothes and other washable items. So how do you find the right vendor? You can start by doing an internet search for the service and your city location. For instance, you can do a search for “commercial grease trap cleaning in Birmingham AL.” From there, check the reviews of the top vendors, interview them, and make your final decision. The right vendors will keep your operations running smoothly.
5. Decide on a Marketing Approach
When you are finally ready to open, you will need to have a marketing plan in place to get people in the door. That includes everything from passing out flyers to running Facebook and Google ads to outdoor store signage. Make sure that the theme of your restaurant is clear. This will help attract the right diners.
Getting Your Restaurant Off to the Right Start
Your restaurant has a great chance of succeeding with the right planning. Be sure to spend more time planning so you can concentrate on giving your diners a top meal experience when you open.