Opening a restaurant is an exciting adventure, however, that does not mean it will always be easy. It takes meticulous planning, endless brainstorming and continuous learning to open and maintain a successful restaurant. If you are planning to open your own restaurant then you have come to the right place as here are some useful tips.
1. Apply For A Liquor License As Soon As Possible
Once you have secured your location and sorted out all the legal and financial business you should apply for a liquor license immediately. Otherwise, without it, you will not be able to serve any beer, wine or spirits. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can get away without having one and still selling alcohol because if you do this then you risk facing hefty fines or worse still, you risk your restaurant being forcibly closed. What’s more, an alcohol license can take several weeks to be approved, so do not wait until the last minute because you may end up not having it in time for your opening night.
2. Start Ordering Restaurant Equipment
A restaurant is no good without its necessary supplies and equipment, and so you should start ordering this early on. There are plenty of online stores for restaurant equipment and supplies and so you can easily order from the comfort of your own home. Take the time to look around and compare suppliers as you don’t want to pay extortionate amounts for equipment to later find out that it was half the price somewhere else.
3. Think Of An Original Name
A successful restaurant needs a unique and original name. You can decide on a name depending on the theme of your restaurant and the type of food that you will be selling. Do not spend money on a sign, logo and branding just to find out later that the name is already copyrighted because not only will you have wasted time, money and effort but you also run the risk of becoming involved in legal battles. So make sure that you do your research before investing in any branding materials. Try to keep the name short, sweet and memorable - the longer the name, the harder it will be to remember and it can make your shop front sign look crowded.
4. Be Consistent In Your Branding
Once you have your name, you need to think about your restaurant’s branding. If you are opening an Italian restaurant and you want it to be sophisticated and elegant, then your branding needs to be in line with this. There is no point in having a playful and goofy font on the sign if you then try and sell the restaurant off in a sleek and sophisticated style. The mismatch will be weird and people will not trust your restaurant. Whether you want to go for fun, easy and casual or simple, elegant and high end that is up to you, just make sure that you are consistent with it. This means having the same styles, images, fonts and logos across your menus, signs, business cards and social media platforms.
5. Consider Your Competition
One of the most important things you can do before opening your restaurant is by checking out the competition in the local area. What kinds of restaurants are around? What are their prices like? How busy are they? There is a lot to question and consider, and the more well researched you are the better idea you will have on how to construct your restaurant. For example, if you notice that there are five Italian restaurants in the area, realistically, another Italian restaurant is unlikely to thrive in that environment. Also, if your restaurant is selling food at a significantly higher rate than the other restaurants in the area this will put customers off and prevent your restaurant from reaching its full potential. You do not have to compromise on your dream restaurant, more that you need to be mindful of what is going on in the local area so that you can use it to your advantage.
6. Be True to Your dream
The most important thing you can do when opening your own restaurant is to be true to yourself and your dream. You will have a lot of people, whether that be friends, family, lawyers, other restaurant owners and so on telling you how to do things. However, too many cooks spoil the broth and you have to trust your instincts. It is not often that you get to open a restaurant and you do not want to have any regrets in this process. To avoid doubting yourself, make a strong and well-thought-out plan so that whenever someone tries to offer you their opinion you can explain exactly what you are doing and why you are doing it. Not that you owe anyone an explanation, but it might save you from having a few unhelpful conversations.
If you follow each of these six top tips you will be giving your restaurant its best chance at being as successful as possible.