Opening Your Restaurant - Doing It Right
So you've decided to open your own restaurant? Congratulations, here are some topics you won't want to miss learning about, they will be the key to your success. Take your time to plan it all out and be ready for some curve balls along the way, but don't skip anything.
Research & Planning
Before everything else, you'll want to make sure you have done your research. From scouting your competition to making sure you know who your target market will be before making any decisions as to the design, menu or hiring decisions to researching the latest restaurant trends, don't skimp on the research needed to properly open and run a restaurant in the 21st century.
Management - Business & Finances
This includes payroll, order taking, order processing, bookkeeping, taxes, tips and basically all the finances. Don't forget to get yourself a great POS, point of sale system, to streamline everything and integrate it with a good food costing program to effectively price and organize your inventory. There are many good books on restaurant management, you may also want to pick up one or a few of these. Don't forget about proper time management, scheduling and expenses.
The menu! This is the heart of it all. If you have already decided to take the plunge and open your own restaurant, it's likely that you've already envisioned your menu. Well, you don't have to commit to a set menu for your restaurant's lifespan, but it's a good idea to know what the theme of your menu will be. Will it be French style, modern and trendy cuisine with local fresh ingredients or American style with big portions and a salad bar? Write it all down so you have the menu in mind when you make your other decisions.
Design & Decor
This covers everything from choosing your location to selecting the total design and decor for your restaurant, all the way down to the color of the carpet and color of your napkins. There are alot of decisions you will need to make. You may consider hiring a consultant or a decorator/designer to help you with these aspects. Don't forget to create the ambience you want with the right lighting.
You'll need to consider who you need to hire, when you need to hire them, how you will train them, what you will pay them and how you will manage them. Don't forget training and certification in food safety, alcohol service and the overall way your employees will interact with the customers. Will it be old fashioned, home style serving or modern service with a smile?
Marketing & Promotion
Aaah, marketing and promotion, this is the grease that will keep your restaurant business running for years to come, if done right. From yellow pages and newspaper ads to your grand opening to getting reviewers to come to your restaurant to creating excellent word of mouth, marketing and promotion of your restaurant will be an ongoing task for the life of your restaurant.
There are many other aspects and things to consider when opening your own restaurant, consider drawing up a full scale business and marketing plan so you know exactly what you need to do and there is no confusion.
Lydia Quinn writes for R & I Solutions, makers of Cost Genie restaurant costing software. Get a free demo at: http://www.costgenie.com