Opening a restaurant requires attention to several details. There are multiple aspects to take into account, from the menu to the kitchen gadgets, to the target customers, to employees. The list is endless and always remains this way. In fact, the list of things needing your attention may go up over time.
As daunting as it sounds when you’re passionate about providing quality food to your customers, worries take a backseat. Instead, the focus remains on how to be better as a restaurant. Assuming you already have cuisine and menu figured out, there still remain multiple aspects of the restaurant you must prepare for.
What to keep in mind when opening a restaurant?
- Assessing the Competition: Competitor research should be one of the first steps of any business venture. Having an idea of how your direct competitors create profits for their business will help you create a good blueprint for your own business and profit model. Through competitor research, you can discover what customers in the market you wish to enter are looking for. You can also decide on appropriate pricing for your food and make tweaks to your menu based on customer palettes.
- Aesthetics: Decide a theme for your restaurant to follow. In the age of social media, this is especially important. Aesthetics matter. They make people talk about your restaurant and post it on social media, hence improving your customer engagement. However, keep in mind that simply following trends that are popular doesn’t work. It is important to think about what your restaurant symbolizes and the kind of culture you want to reflect on to customers. Additionally, the theme should also match the kind of food and drinks you will be serving. Thoroughly map out these ideas and find a suitable aesthetic for your restaurant. Only then should you begin working on its interior.
- Kitchen: The kitchen is the heart of a restaurant. It is where all the magic happens. In order to have a smooth, functional kitchen it is necessary to fill it with all the right gadgets. For example, choosing and installing the best geyser in India in your restaurant kitchen will ensure that cooks and cleaners have regular access to hot water. Hot water is a necessity in the kitchen, as it is used for cooking, washing utensils, cleaning raw materials, etc. Other examples of gadgets that are important for a restaurant’s kitchen include ovens, water filters, mixer-grinders, precision scales, rice cookers, and blenders. You can easily find long checklists of every gadget you could possibly need for your restaurant online. However, remember to personalize this list on the basis of what will actually be needed in your restaurant.
- Finances: Perhaps the most difficult aspect of running a restaurant, understanding finances can be mind-boggling. Several factors must be considered when figuring out the financial aspects of your restaurant. Making a profit is the goal of any business. It is important to research what to expect when it comes to the breakeven point of your restaurant type and not be disheartened if you don’t immediately start making a profit. Additionally, you must keep track of your cash flow, maintaining labour costs, enforce payment deadlines and control your food costs. You can hire a separate manager for your financial issues so that you can relieve the stress of having to look at every big and small aspect of the finances.
- Licenses: Obtaining various government-mandated licenses can be hectic. It is good practice to research every license such as food and safety licenses, liquor licenses, etc. and ensuring you meet all the requirements to get approval before applying for them.
- Marketing the restaurant: While marketing is a field that is ever-changing, having a plan in place before you start your restaurant is a good idea. Using good marketing practices you can create awareness about your restaurant even before you begin. This can ensure you have a big opening and therefore a great start to your new endeavour.
- Name: This might seem like a small aspect, but it is incredibly important. The name of the restaurant must be catchy and shouldn’t deviate from what is actually available at the restaurant. A good way to choose the name is to keep it as close as possible to the cuisine and company culture. Furthermore, a name that is easy to say, or is quirky will work well. The name of your restaurant should make its food and culture recognizable to customers.
- Hours: Decide on the hours your restaurant shall run. Ensure that in the beginning this is flexible and changes according to when you get the most customer flow. You can also find inspiration for apt working hours based on where you’re set up. For example, if your restaurant is near offices, late opening hours may be a good idea as people tend to leave work late. Additionally, use your competitor research to see when restaurants of your genre tend to open and close.
- Target customers: Yet another important aspect for any business is the customers. Perhaps the most important. What your customers like and dislike should be the basis of all your decisions. Ensure that you maintain a certain level of flexibility, especially when it comes to decor and the menu. You can tweak these as per people’s interests.
These tips are just the basics. Restaurants have several aspects that must be considered. Ideally, have a soft opening, do a good amount of research, and jump right in to your restaurant dreams!