Restaurants comprise a significant portion of the nation’s business sector. All humans need food, and the enjoyment of a meal not cooked by oneself, whether it be a cheap, convenient one or a pricier but higher quality one, is a universal pleasure.
As a result, the restaurant industry remains a billion-dollar one even with declines due to recent events. You may want to dip your toes into the waters of the dining world. If so, check out these four tips to help you start on your journey to joining the ranks of top eatery entrepreneurs like Bill Asher (Vivid), Gordon Ramsay and Guy Fieri.
1. Pick a Solid Theme
The very first step you should take is to narrow down your ideas to just one. With the many varieties of food available, it can be difficult to figure out what kind you want to serve. Pick something you know you can cook, perhaps something passed down in your family. Take into consideration location. Seafood may do better in some locales than others. Before you invest in a family-style, home country cooking venture, is there an excess of competition where you plan to place it?
It can also be hard to settle on an overarching style. When you’re competing with other restaurants, you need something to make yours stand out. You also need your theme to match what you serve. You don’t want to market yourself as a place for families if you want to serve expensive steaks to high-class couples.
2. Develop a Detailed Business Plan
This should include your primary objectives and how you plan to achieve them. Detail what services and goods you plan on providing, your financial outlook and your envisioned future. Operational and marketing aspects should also be included. Plan out your brand, what values it stands for and what it will be associated with (logo, mascot, etc.). Also, create a timeline to help you keep track of progress.
3. Obtain Funding
There are many options for prospective small business owners, from government loans to bank funding. You could also search for a private investor. The small business association has programs specifically geared towards helping small startups. Make sure you have your idea fully consolidated and ready to present with an elevator pitch to potential investors. Check your credit score as this can have a major impact on the funding you are able to acquire.
4. Handle the Technical Aspects
Establish a business structure. A sole proprietorship, partnership or Limited Liability Company are generally the best choices for a restaurant. Many small business owners go with the latter because of personal liability protection, tax perks, flexibility and less paperwork, but it is important to consider the options and pick the best one for you. You will also need to register your new business and obtain the necessary business licenses and permits.
Starting a restaurant can be a complex process. Many interconnecting factors can influence the success or failure of your business, but taking care of the basics from the start can provide a good foundation.