Want to Open Your Own Restaurant? Heres How to Start

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According to Food Industry.com, the US food industry is worth a staggering $1.5 trillion. Despite its immense success, this market is not all saturated and consistently welcomes new establishments. But, with such a diverse and bustling landscape to play with, some restaurants struggle to compete, meaning that they get pushed to the sidelines or fall at the first hurdle. Luckily, due to the many advantageous consequences that this market provides, even the smallest food establishments can turn over exponential levels of profit. To discuss this further, this piece will note everything you need to know about opening a restaurant.

6 Elements to Consider When Opening a Restaurant

1. Find a Location and Get Insured

Though it’s very unlikely that new restaurant owners will be able to find a prime piece of real estate just outside the Eiffel Tower or right in the middle of Toyko’s dining district, they should always strive to find the best location possible for their establishment. As a result, regardless of where you live, you must ensure that your business is accessible to all different types of patrons. So, you may be required to move into a building that’s within close proximity to a local train station or is home to a wheelchair-accessible ramp. Owners should also decide how they want their restaurant to be perceived and whether it fits in with their target demographic. For example, if you reside in a city that’s bustling with foodies, you may be better off using a street food truck to prepare and serve your dishes. On the flip side, if you’re looking to adhere to a more up-market type of client, consider moving into a traditional building. As such, your target audience is more inclined to spend their disposable income at your establishment compared to a competitor’s.

Once you’ve purchased your dream location, it’s time to get insured. This includes getting an insurance policy for your building as well as your staff. Finding a secure business insurance policy is a great place to start as this helps to cover any unexpected events such as natural disasters, stock issues, and damages to your premises. In turn, you can rest assured that your new restaurant is safe and secure no matter the circumstances. It’s also good practice to provide your staff with an adequate health insurance policy, so they can receive effective medical attention if the worst were to happen. A local health insurance company can help you find the best plan for your business, but they usually recommend that you offer at least standard core coverage. This provides coverage for a range of medical help and testing including in-patient treatment, cancer support, and diagnostic results. Thus, your staff can continue to complete their daily tasks without having to constantly fret about the state of their health. People Keep notes that a typical group health plan for employees only tends to cost around $659 per month. Though this can seem like an extremely costly investment to some restaurant owners, it must be stated that across the majority of America, if a business owner has more than 50 employees, they’re required to cover a percentage of their staff’s medical bills. So, these plans may be a mandatory cost if you have a large workforce.

2. Get Yourself Covered Legally

Most small business owners are expected to have to deal with a selection of insurance policies, employment contracts, and financial assets, which may lead them to feel very overwhelmed and confused. In order to tackle these concerns effectively, you may benefit from working alongside a trained lawyer. A general business lawyer is equipped to guide companies of any size through a wealth of treacherous circumstances, ensuring that their rights and assets are protected at all times. Moreover, this type of lawyer has experience in just about every type of discipline, meaning that they can help you organize your transactions, protect your intellectual properties, and ensure that your tax statements are accurate and clear. Thus, restaurant owners now have the chance to focus on their true passions and don’t have to worry about sorting out admin or legal tasks. Advancepoint Capital states that the average cost of a general business lawyer is anywhere from $150 to $235 per hour, making them a very exuberant asset to small ventures. Yet, working with these types of lawyers ensures that your business is protected against false claims and accusations. Thus, your business can continue to be recognized and praised for its amazing selection of dishes, rather than a collection of local scandals.

3. Ensure You Have the Essential Facilities

You may have the best recipes in the land, but without the right resources, these dream dishes cannot be transformed into a reality any time soon. As such, you may need to invest in some suitable equipment to help your business get up and running. For example, you may need to purchase some high-end cash registers to ensure that you can start collecting revenue and accept a number of lucrative payment methods. Some restaurants take pride in their decor, so your staff may have to travel around the local thrift stores to find some pieces that can really help the place stand out from the crowd. If you’re eager to prepare food in a quick and easy manner, without losing any of its vivacious flavor, consider purchasing a propane gas tank. These tanks can be implemented into an array of grills, ovens, and cooktops, allowing your chefs to work on a number of dishes whilst still maintaining an essential source of heat. This helps your cooks save time waiting for the burners to heat up, ensuring that they can get started on preparing their next dish straight away. These tanks are available in a number of different sizes, all of which cost a different price. Home Guide discusses the nuances of these aspects below:

  • 100 Gallons: $400-$700
  • 500 Gallons Above Ground: $1,200-$1,800
  • 500 Gallons Underground: $1,600-$2,400
  • 1,000 Gallons Underground: $3,100-$4,500

Therefore, depending on the size of your establishment, you’re sure to find a propane gas tank that suits both your needs and budget.

If you’re working in a well-established restaurant, but are forced to continue working with a selection of out-dated appliances, it may be time for a change. If your budget allows, you could purchase a wide variety of shiny new kitchen gadgets, ensuring that your staff has the prime opportunity to work with the finest equipment available on the market. But, if you’re strapped for cash or if you’re lucky enough to own a selection of vintage cookware, you may benefit by investing in a selection of appliance repairs. A regular handyman can help restore your decrepit appliances and give them a new lease on life, ensuring that you don’t have to cough up thousands of dollars for a new set of devices. Angi explains that a standard appliance repair service tends to cost anywhere between $107-$249. So, although this may not be the most cost-effective solution for cheap appliances like toasters or kettles, it can be a great resource for more expensive items like range cookers or industrial mixers.

4. Make Sure You Have Safety Measures in Place

Safety is a vital aspect of any business, but it’s especially imperative to the restaurant industry. Since your staff will be expected to work with a selection of potentially dangerous equipment, it’s vital that they know how to react if an accident were to occur. Thus, it might be a good idea to introduce your employees to a range of health and safety training. Not only will this help them cope with common incidents such as cuts, burns, or scalds, but it also teaches them how to complete essential kitchen practices such as cutting, slicing, and presenting food. Therefore, your restaurant has a better chance of serving elegant dishes night after night because your staff knows how to act in a cool and calm manner, even under immense pressure.

Alongside teaching your staff a number of key safety techniques, you should also ensure that your building is up to scratch. This means keeping an eye out for mold and pest infestations as these elements could transmit a number of harmful diseases onto your staff and customer base. You should also work to keep your restaurant safe from any potential fires, conducting frequent smoke alarms and fire extinguisher testing sessions. With regard to smoke alarms, establishments are legally required to test their devices once a week and are encouraged to have them serviced at least every six months. You should have your fire extinguishers serviced every 12 months, and they should be refilled every 5 years. America’s Fire Shield explains that a standard fire extinguisher inspection costs $40-$100 depending on the size of the business. As such, this is a reasonably affordable price to pay to help protect your restaurant and staff in the worst-case scenario.

5. Upgrade the Kitchen

Your staff are likely to spend the majority of their time in the confines of the kitchen, so it’s imperative that you help create the most productive and effective environment possible. If your kitchen is experiencing a number of irritating faults such as frequent blackouts or shocks, you should get in touch with some local electrical contractors as soon as possible. These issues signify that there is something seriously wrong with your electrical network, which if left unresolved, could lead to fires or complete power cuts. An electrician will begin by surveying your entire electrical network, assessing any glaring concerns or issues. Sometimes, they may be able to fix the problem by replacing a small part like a fuse. Yet, if your electrical system is completely unsalvagable, it may be best to rewire your entire kitchen. Fixr.com states that an electrician’s hourly rate is typically between $70 to $131, which may seem overly high, but they’re usually the best resource to help keep your restaurant up and running.

If your commercial kitchen is working perfectly, but you feel like it needs a bit of added flair, you may just need to re-decorate it. Commercial kitchens are usually fitted with an array of stainless steel countertops and units, making them appear very clinical and overly modern. In turn, you may need to add some decorative elements such as porcelain tiles to make it seem more attractive. Porcelain is a very popular material for kitchens as it’s very resistant to wear and tear, and is also very easy to clean. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about constantly cleaning or replacing them, even when the kitchen gets extremely hectic. Since this is a very highly sought-after material, Forbes notes that these tiles can cost $3-$40 per square foot. So, if you’re looking to really spoil your staff, consider using porcelain tiles to elevate your kitchen.

6. Start Marketing Your Business!

Even if you boast of having the finest food in the land, your business will likely not succeed unless you learn how to market it properly. For those who want to build a positive presence online, consider hiring a talented web design company to help you build an attractive platform. These companies can usually help build comprehensive and detailed websites, allowing your customers to read menus and reviews before they arrive at your restaurant. According to WebFX, these services tend to cost anywhere from $1,000 to $100,000. You could also work alongside social media influencers to help promote your restaurant. By sending out an array of gourmet gifts to a selection of content creators, you can help build your reputation on social media, without having to do any of the work yourself. This is particularly useful for business owners who don’t feel comfortable putting their employees’ faces all over the internet.

Opening a restaurant is a big step for any business owner, as it requires them to battle through a very competitive and dynamic market. However, with the right skills and resources, you can help your establishment climb to the top of the culinary ladder and defeat any competition that stands in its way. Thus, be sure to use some of the advice listed in this article when working to open a new dining establishment.

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