How to Start a Restaurant

How to Start a Restaurant

datachannel.orgHow to Start a Restaurant. Entrepreneurs who are foodies often imagine opening the restaurant of their dreams and turning their love of food into money. Of course, that you’ll need to select an ideal location, design an appealing menu to attract clients, find the best employees and market your brand restaurant’s opening doors to the public. There are a lot of steps to follow before you dive into.

The process of opening a restaurant can bring with it a lot of responsibility, so before you start a restaurant it is important to make sure that you’re ready for each step. Industry veterans shared their best practices for managing the industry and opening the restaurant that is successful.

1. Do your homework.

In any business doing your research prior to starting your business is crucial to successful business. This is particularly true in the restaurant industry, where just knowing that food is good isn’t enough.

Joe Erickson, vice president of, said thousands of independent eateries fail every year because the owners aren’t aware or prepared of the things that need to be done.

“Thoroughly research the financial metrics of a profitable restaurant, the systems successful restaurant owners use to promote consistency and predictability, and the type of culture that will attract the best workers,” Erickson stated. “[Potential owners] need to understand the challenges of restaurant ownership before spending their life’s savings.”

If you’ve worked in the restaurant industry there are many legal, managerial and business lessons to be learned. A key area that many prospective restaurateurs fail to consider is local regulations regarding health and licensing. Michele Stumpe, an attorney in Georgia, specializing in licensing for alcohol and hospitality litigation She advised on the importance of understanding the laws that govern the location of your restaurant, particularly as state and even local laws can differ. Restaurant owners who are planning to open should consider how long approval and inspection procedures will take, according to Stumpe.

2. Gain as much experience in the industry that you are able to.

Learning to navigate the restaurant industry for the first time can be a challenge. If you do not have prior experience for yourself, it’s essential to work with someone who has.

In the time that Costanzo Astarita started his Atlanta restaurant Baraonda in December 2000 the couple were working on the management and food preparation aspects of the business, but he was not knowledgeable about commercial leases.

“I wish I had understood how to negotiate them when I started,” said the chef stated. “I think that any new restaurateur who is unfamiliar with commercial leases should hire a lawyer who specializes in that field.”

Tony Doyle, owner of HK Hospitality Group has been working in restaurants since the age of 12 and has started several successful restaurants but he had a lot of things to learn when he first opened his establishment.

“There were a lot of things I’d never dealt with before – employees, payroll, taxes, bank account management, etc.,” Doyle explained. “You must have an overview of the operations of your business prior to beginning. There are lots of problems that aren’t seen by the general public.”

3. Select the appropriate spot.

If you don’t have a great spot, your restaurant will be guaranteed to fail regardless of how good it may be. Over the 30-year period her business has been operational, Paola Bottero relocated her Manhattan restaurant three times before finding the location she’s currently in. Marco Pipolo, owner of the famous NYC restaurant Marcony Ristorante, has learned important lessons from all five restaurants he’s run however among the biggest lessons is the fact that location can be the deciding factor for your business.

Even when you have a mobile restaurant the location could be issues. Daniel Shemtob, co-founder and executive chef at the Los TLT Food, a restaurant in Los Angeles TLT Food, recalled a difficult first day at work with The Lime Truck.

“[My co-founder and I] were in the middle of nowhere – we didn’t have propane to cook, and the truck wouldn’t start,” said Shemtob. She recalls having to wire the truck before waiting for help to arrive them.

“Then there are other factors, like traffic,” said the expert.

4. Be flexible.

Although consistency in quality of service and food is essential to be successful however, the restaurant business isn’t static.

“I have found over the years that you constantly need to be updating, renovating and evolving with the ever-changing taste of the public to be successful,” Pipolo said.

Shemtob acknowledged the fact that his menus are always evolving to allow for more modern and more creative menus. When you are coming up with your menu or concept you should make it flexible enough to change when your customers demand something different.

5. Put your customer first.

Everybody knows that a successful restaurant has to provide tasty food, but there are many other elements that can contribute to an overall success for your business which largely is based on happy loyal customers. If there’s one thing that Bottero wish she had known when she first started her business is that building a following that’s loyal isn’t easy and requires time, even when your menu is excellent.

“Customers make the place,” she said to Business News Daily. “You must build trust with them by ensuring they’re taken care of and giving the highest quality service. In the current market there is no way to be successful with out social media. Food quality is essential however, so is great technology.”

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