The pandemic is finally over and many people are looking to start a new business and the restaurant sector has always been highly competitive; if you can create a winning formula with the right location, you have every reason to expect a level of success.
We asked a seasoned restaurant owner for a few tips.
- Create a business plan – Just like any business, your eatery needs to have a good plan of action that covers everything from start-up capital to digital marketing. The plan should include interior décor, menus, organisation flow chart and a forecast for the first 3 years; a good business plan would be at least 15 pages in length and would answer any question that a potential investor might ask.
- Business registration and licences – Of course, you have to register your business with the state government and pass the health & safety inspection and apply for a licence to sell alcohol. You should enlist the help of a business lawyer to oversee the setting up of the company, which ensures that you are compliant.
- Quality equipment – Yes, it is expensive to set up a restaurant kitchen; we recommend you buy brand name appliances such as commercial glass washers, grills, ovens and freezers. Kitchen equipment might look great when new, but how will it stand up to heavy and continued use? Buying brand-name appliances ensures longevity and using Google can help you locate the cheapest supplier of the best brands.
- Location – Of course, your location is critical and you need to do some serious research and locate all eateries within a 15-mile radius of your intended location. If you are close to a major road, you should receive a lot of passing travellers, plus you should have residential areas nearby.
- Staff – Your waiting staff must be presentable and have a ‘can do’ attitude; if you need staff, use a local recruitment agency, as they screen applicants and present you with a shortlist of candidates to interview. If you are managing the business, it is a full-time job; if you have a manager, it is vital that you keep your eye on things. Staff morale is important and there should be some form of recognition for good performance. Employee of the month is a great way to motivate and reward staff and creating a family atmosphere ensures a good vibe within the restaurant. Consuming healthy food is on everyone’s mind these days, so bear that in mind when setting the menu.
- Feedback – It is vital that you receive genuine feedback from your diners, which enables you to jump on any issues as soon as they arise. Make good use of social media; hooking up with a digital marketing agency is advised, as they create a strong online presence.
- Create a concept – Dining at your establishment should be a unique experience; create a concept to build around – it might be the 1970s, or an old-world look, with mahogany and leather; a specialised menu should reflect your concept.
If you have done your homework, registered the business and you have the necessary funding, there is every reason to expect a degree of success.