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10 Business Tips for Starting a Restaurant

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10 Business Tips for Starting a Restaurant

The restaurant business is a hard one to get into. Tapping into a local customer base takes planning, creativity and determination. If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant, consider these business tips.

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1) Check out the Competition

Knowing what’s already popular in an area can help you create a restaurant that stands out from the crowd. Develop an understanding of why the locals enjoy existing establishments and apply what you learn to your own business.

2) Choose an Appropriate Location

Once you know what you’re up against, you can scope out the best location for your restaurant. Look for a build with an appealing storefront and accessible parking in a high-traffic area. Make sure that everything is in working order so that you won’t have to invest a lot of money bringing things up to code or fixing problems before opening day.

3) Understand the Legalities

Restaurant insurance is a must when opening an eating establishment. Find out the types of insurance you need to cover general liabilities, employees and property. Insurance providers such as Aon provide insurance especially for those who need to insure licensed premises. If you’re going to be selling alcohol, you’ll need a valid liquor license as well.

4) Overestimate Costs

Everything in business costs more than you think it will. As you sit down to work out a budget for establishing your restaurant and keeping it up and running, work in a margin of error. You never know what problems or setbacks you may encounter during start-up. Try to have at least six months’ worth of capital on hand to keep yourself in business.

5) Invest in Quality

Cheap equipment and cheap food are a recipe for restaurant disaster. Don’t short change your customers by settling for less than the best. When you purchase high-quality tools and ingredients, you’ll be able to wow people every time with dishes that look and taste amazing.

6) Hire Experienced Staff

Serving good food requires a talented chef and kitchen staff. Hunt around for capable people who can create dishes that fit the vision you have for your restaurant. Verify their experience and choose a team that will help you create a positive, inviting image for your business.

7) Keep the Menu Simple

Avoid putting too many complex and unrelated dishes on your menu. Instead, focus on a core list of staples that customers enjoy and create variety with daily specials.

8) Minimise Waste

Wasted food is one of the biggest financial drains in the restaurant business. If you find that certain ingredients are always going bad before you can use them, consider removing them from the menu.

9) Stay Organised

Your restaurant will run more smoothly if you create standard operating procedures that are easy to follow. Make sure that you and everyone on staff knows where to find kitchen tools, ingredients and recipes. Keep the kitchen clean and orderly to ensure fast service and minimise mistakes.

10) Be Open to Change

Not all of your ideas are going to work out in your favour. Pay attention to customer response, keep track of what dishes are the most popular and be flexible in your plans. Make changes as necessary to draw customers in and focus on quality that will entice them to return in the future.

For more information on setting up a restaurant business, Gordon Ramsey shared some top tips on Channel 4 which you can read here.

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I am the founder of Startup Today. I am the main writer and have put in many hours of work into creating this blog. If you want to find out more about me then lets get in contact.

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