Where your restaurant is located is going to tell you what clients you’re going to have. Is it near a holiday resort, a top hotel, or maybe in a housing district? Make sure you realise that what kind of area you’re in affects the type clients you will attract.
For example, if you’re setting up a restaurant wanting to share your grandmother's tapa recipe with the world, then perhaps locating your restaurant near a school would be a great idea! However, if you’re opening up a restaurant specialising in fast food, try considering somewhere with a huge number of people passing by every day, for example, tourist attractions, cinemas or parks. Remember that customer satisfaction is key to running a successful business, so try to get ahead early by thinking what people there would be wishing they could eat!
Who your competition will be is also going to be very important to the future of your restaurant. Make sure to take a look around different areas and check out what's already there. If you have a specific theme or idea for your restaurant, make sure you’re the first one around to show it off! If there are only fine dining restaurants in the area, perhaps there is room for a korean or Japanese restaurant. Invest a little time and do your research as to what other restaurants are offering locally, and your business will be much more likely to succeed!
So now that you’ve settled on where you want your restaurant to be, how do you choose which building you would like to rent? Well, first consider how busy you’ll be expecting to be.
Perhaps visit other restaurants in the area and see how busy they are on Friday evenings, or Monday lunchtimes. What kind of customer service are they giving? Take it into account that if you’re expecting 20 or 400 customers a day, you will need a differently sized restaurant!
Remember that to satisfy customers you will need a separate bathroom and ample room for tables and chairs.
What type of restaurant are you looking to open? This question might seem hard at first, but answer yourself three questions.
With answers to these three questions, you can get better idea if you’re looking to open a fast food restaurant, a traditional restaurant, a family restaurant or even a specialty restaurant. Try to be clearer with yourself and write down the answers to these questions, then you can start thinking about what you should do in prioritizing your next steps.
Make sure you consider that the building has windows which the customers will be able to see through, as it will make the restaurant seem larger. Also as much as possible try that the kitchen is hidden from the client and that there are adequate bathroom facilities. Are you planning on having women's and men's bathrooms located separately or together? Are there facilities for disabled people? Where can customers wash their hands? Taking these things into account will leave all your future customers even more satisfied!
The great news is that by now you may already know what type of restaurant you’ll be opening, and you have an estimate of how busy your staff will be. You can then start thinking of what else you actually need! Be sure to consider if the kitchen will be large enough for you to fit everything you need in, and make sure you equip your kitchen cupboards with the right cleaning products that fit your needs. You can try and save yourself some time choosing (and hopefully save some money too) from experimenting with other dishwashing products and start using a trusted dishwashing liquid. We recommend you use Joy from the start because it cuts through grease effectively from plates, pots, pans and other utensils. Not only will it help you clean plates for your customers but it can also help you save. For your daily wash needs, you can also mix Joy with water in a bowl or sink and use the solution to wash your dishes but ensure to use it up within the day and do not leave it overnight to maximize hygiene.
Below are a list of items you can consider about before you equip your kitchen:
Perhaps you already have someone in mind for head chef, if so, great! But if not, after of course finding out if they can cook well, try to test what attributes the person has such as if he/she is a good leader. If you will be hiring multiple staff members, would your chef treat staff well as a manager in the kitchen? Is he/she resourceful? If the supplier had not delivered an essential ingredient for his recipe would he/she give up and go home, or will try to figure out another solution? Make sure you take your recruitment process seriously and give thorough interviews. As a new business owner, remember, it is your job to make good decisions, and this can start with hiring good staff!
Advertising will be a key part of opening your new restaurant, so we recommend you aside some of your budget for it.
Now that you know what kind of restaurant you want to open up, start thinking about where you want to advertise. If your clients are typically families, try advertising on a family-orientated local website or in a newspaper. If you’re thinking the under 30’s will be coming along more, think about social media like Facebook!
Make sure you leave space for the chef to give his own opinions as well as your own. Try making a list of 5 main dishes that you would like to have served to your clients. Do they have similar ingredients? If so great! That’s an easy way to make ordering from suppliers easier and will save you money by buying in bulk and managing only a few items for inventory.
Where do you want your business to be a month after opening day? How about a year? Further? Give yourself clear goals as to your business plan so that you always have something to aim for. Read our article on creating a successful business plan for a great way to plan the start of your restaurant career!
These ten things to consider are some examples you can use to kickstart running a successful restaurant. You can also read some of our other articles to gain more valuable tips on how to start a small business or look at other credible resources online and offline.
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