Business & Marketing

What You Need to Know Before Opening a Restaurant

Opening a restaurant is a monumental undertaking. You need to research the industry to make sure you know what you’re getting into. Just as importantly, you need to plan everything in advance to prepare for opening day. 

If you’re a natural leader, are motivated, and ready to put in the work, there’s no reason you can’t establish a thriving restaurant in your community. However, it takes more than a good work ethic to create a successful business. 

We can help. Keep reading for a quick guide on everything you need to know before starting a restaurant.

What is Your Specialty or Angle?

First, you need to identify your niche in the restaurant industry. What are you bringing to the table that customers can’t get anywhere else? What type of food or theme will you specialize in?

This is an essential step in opening a restaurant. You must learn how to separate yourself from the competition.

Do you have any unique restaurant ideas? Will you also offer event catering?

How Much Money Do You Need to Get Started?

Next, you need to think about your finances. We recommend starting small and expanding your restaurant based on your success. 

What is the bare minimum amount of money you need to get started? Just as importantly, can you get approved for a small business loan? If not what are your other investor options?

What is Your Local Competition?

One of the most important things to think about when opening a restaurant is your competition. For example, if you want to open a pizza place and there are already dozens of pizza joints in the area, you need to change your angle. You can either change your location or pick a different food specialty. 

Don’t throw your hat into the ring of an oversaturated market. You might get some initial business from curious diners, but you’ll likely get lost in the crowd after the first few months. 

What Materials, Staffing, and Equipment Do You Need for Opening Day?

Once you get the financing you need, it’s time to start planning for opening day. What kind of restaurant equipment do you need to operate at full capacity? Do you have restaurant management experience or do you need to hire a manager?

What about food storage? Do you have big enough refrigerators and freezers? Click here to learn more about commercial catering equipment and food storage.

What Kind of Insurance and Licensing Do You Need?

Finally, you need to make sure you and your business are protected when opening a restaurant. For example, do you know what types of insurance you need? Typically, restaurant insurance includes liability insurance, property insurance, spoilage protection, worker’s compensation insurance, etc. 

Lastly, make sure you go through the proper avenues to license your restaurant. You’ll likely need a food service license, food handler’s license, business license, and more. If you’re planning on serving alcohol, you’ll also need a liquor license. 

Planning on Opening a Restaurant

If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant, make sure you have everything in order before you get started. It’s important to do research so you know exactly what restaurant ownership entails. And remember, it’s always better to start small and grow into your success, rather than starting with too much overhead and scrambling to make ends meet. 

And if you’re looking for more valuable insight, check out some of our other business articles before you go. Our blog was created to help entrepreneurs like you find success. 


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