Are you one of those people that have dreamed about owning their own restaurant? If you are, you have a lot of work ahead of you, but you’ll reap the rewards!According to New Century Financial (www.newcenturyfinancial.com), there is a great deal of research, planning, licenses, capital, insurance, employees, marketing and good old fashioned business sense needed for success. Use these tips to get started on a new restaurant adventure.
To be successful, you should know what type of food you’re going to prepare and sell, the type of service you want to offer, the location and what age group you’re serving.
Your menu should revolve around the restaurant location and type of service you wish to provide. For example, fast-food service might sell well in a retail mall and steak may be perfect for upscale dining. Specialty foods such as Mexican food or seafood may do better in a family style or casual-dining setting.
What age group are you selling to? Will it be seniors, baby boomers, empty nesters or younger folks? You want to create a menu with all kinds of tasty delights that appeal to one or more age groups.
According to New Century Financial, a company that has small business solutions, you need to come up with a business plan, which is the key ingredient to having a successful restaurant. It describes the entire restaurant concept from every angle. The plan satisfies two important points. It paints a clear picture of how you will start and run the restaurant. And, it is the perfect tool for getting your working capital from a bank.
Business plans may include your marketing goals, prices and menus. It should list startup capital costs and long-term goals for income. Some people also include forecasts and employee costs. In addition, it may include building and insurance costs. Yes, it takes a while to come up with a good business plan, but you’ll be glad you did once you get the business going.
Next, you need to shop around for a great location. Although, you may have the very best menu and the tastiest food, location is critical when setting up your business. The bottom line for determining a location may be the amount of income you can collect and how much your rent costs.
Look for locations near other retail businesses that attract customers. These people are more than likely hungry! Consider places that may generate large amounts of foot traffic and a place that has easy access to a large parking lot for all your customers. Above all, check the zoning laws before buying a building or signing a lease.
Unfortunately, there is no way to get around licenses and insurance. So, you might as well roll your sleeves up and get it done! Decide on what kind of business you want to run. Do you want to run your business as a sole proprietorship, LLC or some type of corporation? It’s not a bad idea to do a bit of research on business structures before getting any licenses.
Now comes the fun part. Think up a fantastic name that is catchy and customers can remember. After naming the business, you need a federal tax number and you must register the business with the state.
In addition, your new restaurant may need food service permits, general business licensing and an alcohol beverage license.
After you have paid for a building or leased one, you can meet with an insurance agent to get business coverage. At a bare minimum, you should think about buying general liability, property insurance, workers compensation and possibly liquor liability.
Hiring for and Advertising Your New Business
Decide how many employees the business needs to run efficiently and what job functions need filling. Hiring employees is a lengthy process, but it is worth it to find the most qualified candidates. Hire the very best manager you can find, and make sure you get along really well with this person.
You should set aside some money for a great marketing campaign. Tell the world, or at least your community, about your new restaurant. Consider handing out cleaver gift certificates and dining club cards, advertise in the local newspaper, start up a website or spread the word with a radio commercial. Social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook are all the rage these days, so give them a try for usually cost-effective and easy advertising.
You’ll get the hang of opening a restaurant, but for now, take it slow and focus on important things like working capital through small business solutions. Once you have money secured, you’re ready to tackle business licenses, insurance and all the other details that make a restaurant come together. Now you’re ready for business and lots of hungry customers.