You love food; even better, you love to cook. In your head, it makes sense for you to open a restaurant, right? Not quite. Putting up your own food business isn’t the easiest to do. A large number of restaurants fail at an alarming rate. Look around your neighborhood: notice that newly opened restaurant? Check back again in a year or two and see what it has become.
This is because it’s not easy to succeed in the food business. It takes a lot of hard work, patience, and some luck. So if you still want to push through with your plans of opening your own little joint, here are some ideas to get you on the right path.
Create a Business Plan
Before anything else, you need a plan. Start planning how your business should run and your long-term vision of it. Are you opening a restaurant or a small eatery? Is it going to be an original concept or are you franchising? What’s the business entity going to be like—is it sole ownership or will you have partners?
You’ll need to take into consideration what kind of cuisine is missing in your area and what people are eating. Doing market research on the demographics of the area will help you decide on what kind of food can tickle your community’s palate.
If you want to open an original concept, you’ll have to decide on the name, the target market, the brand logo, and marketing. Customers should be able to identify your food concept. If you do decide to franchise an existing food concept, this will be a bit easier. There are various opportunities for restaurant franchises, and all you need to do is to inquire how to begin.
Finally, think about logistics. Where do you intend to put up the restaurant? How much budget are you allocating for this venture? And what’s the structure going to look like? There are so many factors to include in this plan, so you’ll need to be organized from the outset.
Acquire Your Equipment
Now that you have your plan prepared, it’s time to get your equipment. After all, how are you going to cook with your tools of the trade? You’ll need to invest in cooking ware like stoves and ovens, down to the utensils. Some equipment that you’ll need to secure are appliances, storage appliances like freezers and refrigerators, work surfaces like tables, pots and pans, glassware, and even furnishings.
The equipment you need will heavily depend on the restaurant concept. In general, the fancier the restaurant, the more expensive it will likely be.
Build Your Team
Next, it’s time to find people to help you run your business. The number of people you need to hire will depend on what kind of restaurant you want to put up. For food trucks, you’ll probably need one or two people, including yourself. Restaurants may need more people, like servers, cooks, a complete kitchen staff, busboys, and other support staff.
Put up hiring ads on local bulletins or online job posting sites. When hiring employees, make sure that they have relevant experience, not just the heart to learn. Remember that it’s not just the taste that kills off restaurant business; bad customer service, poor management, and lack of teamwork are even bigger culprits.
Acquire Permits and Licenses
And now to the most paperwork-heavy task: getting permits and licenses. These licenses allow your establishment to be put up in the first place. These permits will tell customers that your establishment has passed the local and national standards and that your food is safe to eat. Make sure your staff is also trained in sanitary practices.
Promote Your Business
Now that your food venture is ready, it’s time to start promoting your business! You can choose to spread the word via word-of-mouth, but you can also take advantage of social media and other available marketing tools. Remember to keep your target market in mind when crafting marketing collaterals.
While breaking into the food business takes a lot of work, with a little bit of luck and patience, you can serve up good food. Follow these tips to make it easier for you.