Tips for Starting A New Restaurant

Business Posts November 4, 2013

Thinking about starting a new restaurant? You already have a great concept but you still have a lot of planning to do.

Use these tips as you are just starting off.

1. Identify a location. This is the first and most important step and you need to make sure the location suits your restaurant’s personality. Additional things to consider include:
a. Accessibility – On foot or from public transportation
b. Parking – Street or parking lot
c. Central location. Near downtown or on a main road.
d. Who are the neighbors? Unless you’re in Little Italy, I wouldn’t recommend opening an Italian restaurant next to another Italian restaurant. You put yourself in direct competition with your neighbors.
e. Is the building façade prominent or is the view from the street obscured.

2. Put a business plan in place. Securing a loan from the bank is no simple task. Looking professional can help save you money and ease the process.

3. Plan your budget. Where can you splurge and where can you save?
a. Supplies – Put a lot of time thought and energy into where you are purchasing your food and ingredients. Don’t think you can get away with buying canned food from the supermarket. People will notice and they won’t come back.
b. Equipment – Sometimes buying expensive new equipment just doesn’t make sense. Sure, having something brand new and shiny feels great but there is a lot of quality second hand goods out there that will save you a ton of money to invest in other aspects of your restaurant that will really enhance your guests’ experience.
i. Sites like will help you find great deals on property and equipment.
c. Software – POS systems and software keep track of inventory, handle payroll and records transactions. Organization and record keeping can be tedious but you need to stay on budget.
d. Chef – If you are opening a high-end restaurant a great chef is an investment and you need to make sure his/her personality fits yours.
e. Staff – Having a great hostess and wait staff can make or break your customers’ experience.

4. Décor – Music, lighting and ambience is essential to your customers’ overall experience. Make sure your interior design fits your location’s layout.

5. Licenses, Permits and Insurance. Don’t forget to get all of this squared away as it can be a headache if you leave it until the last second and your grand opening gets delayed.

For a more comprehensive and detailed list on starting your own restaurant check out this site:

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