Opening a restaurant mixes business and pleasure. You can earn money and your customers leave with a smile on their face and their stomachs full.
In order to achieve this winning combination, there are several things to keep in mind. From doing everything by the books to finding the right team of people to assist you, starting in the food-service industry requires planning and vision.
1. Write a business plan
A business plan is an absolute must before you start doing anything else, especially if you’re a newcomer to the world of restaurateurs. Above all things, it will provide you with an answer to what your strongest and weakest points are. By creating a plan, you create a map of your restaurant’s future development. You have to be informed about the basic components of the business plan, especially if you’re looking for the ways of finding the right investor or other means of financing.
From market analysis, management and ownership, to local competition and the final promotion, running a restaurant successfully will largely depend on a sound business plan.
2. Have a vision
This element is important because it will make your restaurant stand out. It includes everything from coming up with a unique and memorable logo to choosing the theme of the restaurant. The decision is usually based on the preferences of your customer base and your personal style. The perfect mixture of uniqueness, consistency, and reliability should be at the core of what you want to serve your customers with.
Your vision should be clear and you should stick to it all the way through. Don’t mix apples and pears and end up with having a fine dining restaurant which is also a seafood restaurant and a pizza shop. This will only confuse customers and earn you a bad reputation because there has to be something you are specialized at. Otherwise, it’s just one hot mess.
3. Bring it to light
The visual identity of your restaurant is as important as the dishes it serves. It is common knowledge how the colors and the lighting can affect our mood and consequently, our appetite.
Not only does a suitable light create an appealing atmosphere but it also perfectly complements the theme of the restaurant. While you can consult a professional interior designer on this matter, leave the technical part for someone who knows electricity. Not only will you ensure the safety of the installations but you will also learn how important it is to know an experienced emergency electrician in case something unexpected occurs.
After identifying what items or small equipment you need in order to get the food making process up and running, the next equally important point on the checklist is the point-of-sale system (POS). While processing payment is only one of its components, these systems help you to keep track of the inventory, analyze sales and data, and reduce costs. Depending on the scope of your business and the restaurant’s specific needs, you should make an informed decision on which one of these systems is the most suitable for you.
5. Let them know you are worth the visit
You don’t get a second chance to make the first impression. This is why you have to plan your grand opening carefully. It is not only who you invite but also when and where you advertise this event. Social media, magazines, or influential members of the online community are perfect for this initial promotion. You can also continue with this practice even after the restaurant is launched. Offline promotion is crucial, too. Create eye-catching leaflets and distribute them around the neighborhood. In a similar fashion, create a buzz by having newspapers write about the upcoming opening. The curiosity of your future customers will most likely make them want to attend the big day.
The bottom line is that quality service always sells best. Your job is to win and keep the customers satisfied. Do that and your restaurant is on the sure path to earn a great reputation.