This post is also available in: French
Starting a restaurant is a dream for many people. There’s a lot of variety in the food out there, as well as different ways to provide it to customers. But it can be a difficult industry to set up a business, and making sure you have everything you need takes a lot of time and effort. For that reason, not every restaurant, cafe, or other type of eatery makes it. To help make your venture a successful one, start off on the right foot. Put a plan together for a restaurant opening.
Follow your passion
If you think it’s worth it, and you’ve got the idea for a restaurant, then it’s time to put a proper plan together. When you know what you’re doing and what you need to put together before you open the doors and unveil it to the public, then you’re more likely to be successful.
The points below cover the essential parts of putting a restaurant business plan together to help make sure you don’t forget the most important things. So try to keep them in mind moving forward.
If you want your restaurant to be popular and busy, then make sure you know what makes a restaurant plan a good one!
You’ve got to have a USP
Not sure what a USP is? It stands for “unique selling point.”
You must have a unique selling point for your restaurant. There’s no doubt about that given the amount of competition in the industry.
You’ll be able to find a lot of restaurants in your neighborhood or in the downtown area already. How many of them look the same or offer the same food options?
How many would you look past as you go about your day, and not look twice at them or remember their names when you are in the mood to eat out? Make sure you don’t fall into that pack of forgettable businesses. To do that, you need to give future customers something unique to focus on.
But how do you go about making sure your restaurant looks different and offers something new? It’s all about thinking over what’s currently available, and what you can do differently, or how you can fill the gap.
Most of all, your restaurant needs a lot of personality to carry it through. Have something eye catching about it, that a customer notices and likes when they first enter the building. They’re going to be having a meal for a good hour or so every time they visit your restaurant, and you need to ensure your restaurant has the atmosphere that makes them want to stick around!
Think about the people you want to feed. Consider what’s missing in their day-to-day lives and what you can do to bridge the gap.
Once you’ve got these fundamentals to work off of, you’ll be able to spin a unique selling point in no time at all. Be sure to refine it as much as possible, and use any constructive criticism you get from friends, family, and those who you trust in the industry.
Do thorough research before the restaurant opening
Following on the point above, if you want to come up with a USP that will draw the attention and spread like wildfire, you’re going to need to make ample use of market research. Learn as much as possible about your competition so that you know exactly what you’re up against, from the moment you first open the business doors.
First of all, ensure you have a market to target, and make sure you know who’s in it. You need to be able to market effectively towards a certain portion of people, rather than try to appeal to everyone.
Don’t worry, you can always expand later on. It’s all about putting a plan together right now, and ensuring there’s a good foundation for your restaurant to begin to thrive on.
The process involves looking at the typical customer in your local area, as well as nearby competition within your same food group. In addition, resarch funding options available to local businesses, and where would be the best location.
It might be a lengthy process to look into each and every one of these options, but they’re all equally important to coming up with a noteworthy USP. They are important for creating a proper plan for you to follow as you set up.
You’ll need the right team
If you want to open up a restaurant, you’re going to need to have the right people at your side too. Look for hardworking and reliable people to be a part of your team, with the right skills under their belt to ensure they’re going to be an asset to your team for as long as they’re a part of it.
Of course, managing a restaurant is all to do with who you have working for and with you. Sure, you’re going to need a chef, and you’re going to need waiters to serve your customers, but who else is an essential part of your team?
It’s highly unlikely that you’ll be able to run the restaurant alone. So, an assistant manager will be another person to hire.
This individual can share the workload at the top and be on-site when you are not able to do so. Similarly, depending on the size and scope of your restaurant, you may also want to bring hosting staff onto your team. That way you make sure there’s always someone behind the till and another person available to greet customers at the door.
Let’s talk finances. Where do you look for funding for the business?
You’ll have to find some capital you can rely on, as you’re probably not in a position to totoally fund things yourself. So, find out where the investors are, and take time to learn what government grants or schemes are available to someone in your position.
Finding out this kind of information can be difficult, but as long as you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to get some good basics. From there you can make phone calls and network with others in the industry to learn how they got funding. Check your local council or government website for plenty of more information on the services available for businesses in the area, specifically hospitality businesses like yours.
Another idea is to look at Trust websites to see if any charities or trust funds are also in place for people with a restaurant business plan. You may have to interview, and go through a lengthy networking process here, but it’s much better to have these funds to back you up as early as possible.
You can also simply ask for loans from friends and family, and even from your bank manager or another credit lender. If you’ve got a detailed business plan to bring to the meeting with you, and you’ve got a stellar credit score to help inform the decision, more likely than not, there will be a loan option available for you.
Do you have a plan for your restaurant opening?
If the answer is no, then it’s time to put one together. That’s the way to make your dream of opening up shop one day to the hungry public become a reality!
There’s a lot of work that goes into opening a restaurant, and much of it happens behind the scenes. But as long as you know where to go next and what to do while you’re there, you’ll be able to get up and running as quickly as possible.
This post is also available in: French