If you passion for all things culinary has taken you down the route of wanting to open your own restaurant then there is an awful lot you need to seriously consider before taking that big step, especially in today’s economic clime. A lot of this is common sense but other items you may not even have thought about will become very apparent once you see it written down. This is one of the hardest businesses to make a success of, so you need business acumen, sound advice and a healthy dose of luck.
The first rule is not to rush into things, if you are one of those people who makes knee jerk decisions this is one time you really need to curb your enthusiasm and take your time. As far as premises go, don’t rush into the first place you see all guns blazing, do your research. What competition do you have? Is it in an area where you will get passing trade? Restaurants can take some time to build up a reputation so that ‘perfect’ venue out in the sticks could result in a lot of time standing around making no money.
Another essential part of the planning process is deciding the cuisine you are going to serve, remember that if you have a passion for Italian food for example and think you are onto a winner how many other restaurants will have had the same idea. Look for a gap in the market that isn’t too outlandish, people like to try new taste experiences but having Mongolian Horhog as your signature dish may not prove to be too popular.
Buying in your equipment can be fun, and expensive, so think carefully about what you really need before laying out any cash. Have a look online for specialist catering equipment suppliers and compare the prices. Websites such as that belonging to Corr Chilled will have a wide choice of equipment both to buy and to lease, and the latter may be a good idea until you are on your feet and leaves a bit more spare cash in the kitty.
Decor is all important and this is very much a case of putting your own tastes to one side if they are somewhat garish and having consideration for your patrons. Try and keep with a theme rather than having a hot potch of bits and bobs that don’t really say anything but scream at you the minute you walk in the door as they are so mismatched. If you are a predominantly Greek restaurant then think taverna, as this will remind people of being on holiday there, and think along these lines whatever the cuisine may be.
You cannot advertise your new restaurant too much, so make the most of the social media sites and plug that restaurant. Organise a leaflet drop, make a call to the local paper, get the word out there is a new place in town and throw in a few special opening offers to entice customers in. There are no guarantees of success in any business, but by following these guidelines you are giving yourself the best possible chance.