Restaurateurs own and manage restaurants. You may have recently discovered your love of fine cuisine and want to combine your entrepreneurial skills with your passion for food and launch a restaurant. It’s also possible you’ve had a lifelong dream of launching your restaurant.
No matter what’s inspired your journey, restaurateurs must take several steps to prepare to launch their restaurant. Using the tips outlined here ensures you’re ready for opening day.
Invest time in your industry research.
Every business needs a business plan. Your business plan outlines the critical information you need to launch your business successfully. The first stage of your business plan involves research. Learn about the restaurant industry and familiarize yourself with local competitors. Whether you’re launching a restaurant in New York City or the city of Seattle, you’ll face competition from established restaurants. Use this information to develop ways to distinguish your restaurant from other establishments in your area. Distinguishing your restaurant from the competition can help you attract customers.
It’s also crucial you serve your clientele’s needs. If you plan to open a fine dining establishment, you may be targeting affluent customers who can afford your entrees. Your location may need critical features, such as plenty of parking spaces or easy access to public transit. Choosing the right location can make the difference between success and failure, and ensuring you have suitable amenities can help you attract influential people to your restaurant.
A comprehensive business plan with thorough research increases your chances of securing the financial resources you need to start your company. It also ensures you’re prepared for all aspects of business management.
Research possible suppliers.
Your startup budget and operating budget are crucial components of your business plan. Take the time to research restaurant equipment suppliers to ensure you find the right company to supply you with the appliances and dishes you need to launch your company. Google “restaurant equipment Seattle” to locate suppliers in the city of Seattle. You can use direct financing options from a restaurant supply store to purchase large equipment, such as a refrigerator, oven, or freezer. Restaurant equipment suppliers also sell food prep tables, ice machines, deep fryers, mixers, and dishwashers. Whether you want to lease equipment or buy new restaurant supplies and equipment, you can apply for direct financing and make monthly payments, enabling you to start generating revenue before you incur the total equipment costs.
You’ll also need restaurant supplies for your dining room, including small wares such as glassware, pots, cutlery, pans, and bar supplies. Taking time to research suppliers will ensure you find quality products at affordable prices, which can help you manage your startup costs without compromising service quality.
Store equipment while your venue’s being renovated.
It’s rare to find an ideal location for your restaurant that suits your needs perfectly. You may need to move walls and add electrical outlets to create an excellent restaurant. You may also need to paint walls, install new flooring, replace fixtures, and install lighting before you’re ready to open your doors.
Google “storage unit prices Brooklyn” to find a Brooklyn storage facility close to your location. You can use self storage locator tools to find a storage unit wherever you are—New York, Seattle, or anywhere in between—where you can store restaurant equipment and furniture until you’re ready to move these items into your restaurant. Whether you need a large storage space or a small storage unit, the U.S. Storage Units website can help you find the perfect storage unit for your needs so that you have all your belongings at your disposal. You’ll be able to start buying the items you need to set up your commercial kitchen and dining room without losing time waiting until after renovations are complete.
Strengthen your financial situation.
Turn to the Influential Times for tips on how to improve your financial situation. The site features informative articles, such as the ideal credit score needed to buy a car and how to strengthen your credit score. Building good credit can make the difference between qualifying for direct financing or conventional loans or being forced to use high-interest loans, such as hard money loans, to secure the funds required to launch your restaurant.
Work with the Small Business Administration.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a government organization that helps entrepreneurs and small business owners. The SBA offers information about developing your business plan and preparing to launch a business for the first time. Referring to their articles ensures you’ve considered all the steps you need to take to be ready to open your restaurant. The SBA also helps qualified applicants secure affordable business loans by guaranteeing a portion of the loan. Microloans offer applicants up to $50,000 in funds that can be used to purchase equipment or pay salaries. 504 loans and 7(a) loans offer up to $5 million in funds.
Identify your staffing needs and take time to interview and research candidates to ensure you hire the best employees for your establishment. You may also opt to work with a human resources expert who can screen applicants to ensure you get excellent chefs, cooks, and food service professionals.
Promote your restaurant before you open.
Hire a marketing team to promote your restaurant before you open your doors. Advance promotion can help build interest in your restaurant and attract customers on opening night. Marketing experts can develop a campaign using current marketing techniques, such as search engine optimization (SEO) marketing and social media promotion campaigns. They may also use traditional marketing methods, such as creating radio and billboard ads. To be ready to launch your restaurant, you must have customers eager to check out your establishment when you open your doors.
Launching a restaurant is a lengthy and time-consuming process, but taking the time to research your industry, find reputable suppliers, and hire professionals ensures you’re ready to launch your restaurant. You’ll also ensure you have the financial resources you need by taking time to strengthen your credit score and applying for SBA loans. Promoting your restaurant before you open ensures you’ll have customers on opening night.