Gourmet is undoubtedly one of the biggest industries any day. As per recent restaurant industry stats, 90 percent Americans prefer eating out. It all translates to a huge annual turnover for the restaurateurs. Are you too planning to start your own restaurant sometime soon? Well, that’s amazing as eatery is something that will never be out of fashion. However, opening a restaurant is one thing and transcending it to a popular hotspot is another. With new restaurants sprouting up every other week, the current gourmet industry poses a cut-throat competition. You have to be very meticulous with every aspect of your restaurant to make it a go-to favorite in your city. The post below shares the tips to take care of before starting a successful restaurant.
Focus on cuisine: It’s the first thing to consider as your specific cuisine will determine almost all the major aspects of your restaurant. From your chefs or staff to name of the restaurant to restaurant decor to location to even marketing campaign- everything will be themed on your cuisine. Choose a cuisine that you personally love and are passionate about. As a restaurateur, you have to undergo extensive research on the cuisine of your restaurant. If you don’t feel strongly for the cuisine, you won’t find that motivation to cultivate it.
Moreover, make sure the cuisine holds potential in respect to the social and cultural ambiance of your city.
Settle with a relevant and unique name: The name of the restaurant is the first thing that your guests will notice about your eatery. You have to make sure your chosen name does justice to your cuisine and the ambiance you are planning to create. Are you planning a fine dining destination? Or it would be a budget eatery for the masses? Do you have plans to experiment with food for a boho feel? Make sure your chosen name is able to convey your message.
Then, try to maintain exclusivity with the name. Check out whether any other restaurant in the city bears the same or closely similar name. If so, look for other options.
Location matters: After you decide on the cuisine and the name, look for a suitable location. The one you choose should promise demand for your cuisine. Besides, make sure the locality is a well-connected and safe neighborhood.
Chalk out a business plan: A reasonable business plan is a must before you start your venture and the same goes for a restaurant business. It will keep the whole process organized so that you are never lost midway. A smart business plan will help you to ensure right allocation of funds for each aspect of your business. It will also offer you alternatives to take to if your primary plans don’t work out. Put simply, your restaurant business plan will show you the right steps to follow to realize your objectives.
Locate reliable food vendors and suppliers: Food vendors are always a significant part of any restaurant business. You need to build rapport with several raw and processed food vendors to ensure an uninterrupted supply for your eatery. It’s a time-consuming process and the earlier you start, the better. Be prepared, you have to do a lot of bargaining. Some vendors might try to take advantage of newbies in the business. Thus, it’s important that you get updates on the current prices of the sauces, powders or raw food before you set out to negotiate.
Update yourself on your cuisine and restaurant management: Try to read books, articles or anything you might find on your chosen cuisine. You might find insightful documentaries as well. Make sure to go up to and learn from the big players of the cuisine, if you know any. Then, running a successful restaurant is not limited to gathering knowledge about the cuisine. You have to understand the nuances of managing staff, handling customer complaints and negotiating with vendors. So, hone up your base in restaurant management as well. Added to articles and other text-based resources, you can also check out restaurant management seminars.
Create an extensive and powerful marketing campaign: As mentioned earlier, the current restaurant industry poses fierce competition. There are several other restaurants vying for your crowd. A robust and influential marketing campaign is one of the best weapons you can use here. Remember, you have to create a sensation at least 3 months before opening your brick and mortar restaurant.
Take a comprehensive approach and use both print and digital marketing tools to spread your word.If you have already chosen your locality, you can send restaurant brochure and flyers to the local people. Invest in billboards, publish press releases about your upcoming launch and spread the word to everybody you meet. You must have a couple of sets of business cards handy beforehand.
In regards to digital marketing strategies, you can use social media to create a sensation. Request your friends to share your page for a viral promotion. But before everything, make sure to have a website in place. When people will visit your social media page, they would naturally look for your website link. Even if you don’t upload the menu immediately, you should at least offer an idea of the basic essence of your site. And yes, always remember local SEO is very important for a restaurant business.
Invest in networking: Join networking events to make your venture known to people around. Keep an eye on the upcoming hospitality events and food fairs around your locale. Make sure to sign up and participate in as many as possible to introduce your eatery to the local crowd. These networking events are also a great place to pass on your business cards to everybody you meet. One of the best aspects of a restaurant business is that it caters to almost everybody, regardless of age, sex, culture or profession. Thus, you can happily pass on your card to anybody you know or encounter.
Final words: It’s better to start small. Check how your guests are responding to your new endeavor. A quaint 30 seater eatery would be great to test the waters before you plan for further expansion.