Are you planning to open a small restaurant? It is one of the most viable business ideas that you can imagine. People will always continue to feel hungry and have the urge of eating. The most important thing is to make sure that you open your business in a strategic location.
Besides, you have to make sure that you have the right menu for your target audience. With the right strategies in place, your small restaurant business will definitely grow within no time. This article will give you some advice on how to start a small restaurant.
How To Open A Small Restaurant?
Most aspiring entrepreneurs dream of owning a restaurant. However, with the current pandemic, most restaurants closed down because of the restrictions of only serving takeaway food. It is something that could have put your dream to hold.
Most restaurant owners are still feeling the effects of the coronavirus. However, the industry has adopted new trends that still make restaurants a viable business. Here are some of the tips that will help you in opening a small restaurant business.
1. Choose A Concept And Brand For Your Restaurant
To open a small restaurant, you should think about the concept of your business. Choosing a concept for your restaurant is a fun part of the planning process. At this point, you need to allow your imagination to go wild.
The concept includes the type of restaurant that you would like to open, service style, and even style of cuisine. The restaurants’ interior should blend with the concept.
The brand of the restaurant is more specific and it is the way of communicating your identity and mission to the general public. The merchandise, menu design, logo, and name of the restaurant should collectively present your brand image. The brand identity also defines the advertising channels as they influence the method and style.
As you choose your business location, the areas’ demographic should shape your concept. In case you are starting with the concept, the location you choose should have a demographic that can support it.
2. Create Your Brand
As you plan to open your small restaurant, the next creative step is to build your menu. Make careful decisions as you choose an enjoyable menu for food lovers. The menu dictates the kind of equipment that your restaurant will need.
The menu also defines the type of customers that you will attract and the skills that your staff should possess. The demographic also defines the menu that you should serve. For instance, what you serve to college students is different from an area that is full of industrial workers. Therefore, make sure that you are choosing your menu carefully.
3. Write A Plan For Your Restaurant Business
Like any other new business, you need a solid business plan for your small restaurant. However, most people don’t know how to write business plans hence get stuck here. The plan helps in finding the fine details of the business and summarizing it to your potential clients.
In case you need a loan for your small restaurant, the plan will show the lender the potential of your business idea. The principal components of a good restaurant business plan include:
- Executive summary
- Company description and overview
- Menu and concept
- Ownership and management structure
- Staffing and employees needs
- Competitor and market analysis
- Marketing and advertising strategies
- Financial projection & summary
Make sure you understand what should be written under each category. If you are not sure how to do this, it is good to seek advice from business consultants.
4. Obtain Funding For Your Restaurant
You cannot start a small restaurant business without finances. If you have not saved for the same, you can look for external sources of funds. You need enough money to run your business comfortably if you want to succeed.
Creating a budget will help you forecast the total cost of running the business. Don’t forget to include the cost of employee salaries, building repairs, equipment, licenses, and stock in the budget.
Some of the common sources of funds include traditional commercial loans, business lines of credit, small business loans, investors, and crowdfunding. You are free to choose one that suits your needs best.
5. Choose The Location And Lease A Commercial Space
You need to consider several factors as you select a location for your business. These include visibility and accessibility, demographics, labor costs, and local competition. It is better to lease as you shop for a business space. It gives you more flexibility if you need to expand and make other changes in your business.
6. Permits And Licenses For Your Restaurant
You need several local, state, and federal licenses and permits to start a small restaurant business. It is illegal to run a business without the right permits. Some of these licenses include a business license, staff identification number, food service license, liquor license, and an alcohol server training certificate among others. You don’t want to find yourself on the wrong side of the law as you run your small-batch restaurant.
7. Design Your Space And Layout
As you design the layout of your small restaurant, there are two components that you need to address. These include the back of house space and your front of house space. You need to create a custom design layout that will perfectly meet your needs.
Things to look at include the seating capacity, dining room furniture, ambiance and décor, and the element of cleanability. For the kitchen layout, you need enough space for ware washing, cold and dry storage, meal cooking, food preparation, and service.
8. Find A Food And Equipment Supplier
Before you open a restaurant, you need to get a reliable partner to supply the foodstuff and equipment. You don’t want to disappoint your clients because you have enough food for them. To avoid such instances, make sure you start on the right footing by having the right suppliers.
9. Hire The Right Staff
To attract and retain customers to your restaurant from the first day that you open your doors, make sure you are hiring the right team. You need employees who have the right training and experience in various tasks.
This needs cuts across the management team, kitchen staff, front-of-house staff, and bar staff. The right staff pays their salaries by attracting and retaining clients hence increased productivity.
10. Advertise The Restaurant
There are various channels that you can use to advertise your small restaurant including social media advertisements. Look for one that will help you to get to your target audience faster. Make sure you build the advertisement around your brand. With the right advertisement strategy, you will not struggle with creating your brand awareness.
Once you go through all the above steps on how to open a small restaurant, you can now host a soft opening for your business. It can include a trial menu, limited schedule, sneak peek even, family and friend’s night. It will not be hard for your small restaurant to succeed as long as you meet the needs of your customers.