Are you bored with your daily routine job? Always had a zeal to open a food service business & become an entrepreneur? Always wanted to quit your job and do something that satisfies your soul? As with any business, opening a restaurant, bar or a cafe is no easy task. It comes with a lot of responsibilities and requires you to manage a team. Running a food service business can be stressful and demanding – from hiring and managing a team to negotiating with suppliers. Do not be afraid of working hard, whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur or a chef with years of experience in the food industry. Do not expect Christmas holidays or any kind of time off but sooner or later, these sacrifices will pay off.
The opening of the restaurant is actually the last step. There are a lot of things which needs to be taken care of before the opening of the restaurant. You will need to come up with a unique theme for your restaurant and then find a suitable place which can complement your theme. You would need to arrange the best restaurant supplies at a reasonable price. Give yourself easily 12 – 18 months to get the construction going and the furniture to be set up. It approximately takes three months for the permit to come through. Here is a list of things to do before the official opening of the restaurant –
Hiring & Training of Staff
Decide on early how many staff members you will need. You would probably need to hire chefs, waiters, cleaners and a manager who will vouch for your business on a daily basis. Recruit professionals to train your staff if you need to as they will be the link between your business and your customers. Try to hire employees who are trustworthy and dedicated towards their job. Employees who are smart can tackle emergency situations quite well.
Find Restaurant Equipment Supplier
The quality of food and service provided to the customers can hugely depend on the efficiency of the restaurant’s equipment tools. Restaurant equipment just does not add style to the kitchen but can also save labor and energy costs. Never allow the restaurant equipment to affect your business. Dinnerware & Glassware are most prone to breakage so make sure to purchase quality restaurant supplies from a reputable supplier such as VEGA Direct. You can directly visit VegaDirect.ca who not only offer the finest dinnerware, cutlery, flatware but also stylish furniture, menu boards & much more.
Tackle Legal Issues
As with any business, there are a huge number of risks associated while opening a restaurant. It is best recommended to hire a qualified lawyer to deal with all the legal formalities and different types of insurances. An insurance can not only protect you from theft or an inevitable accident but also against any unforeseen event. Your lawyer can suggest you the general liability policy that suits your business. It can cover many accidents on the premises such as someone falling or be slipping, a customer getting hurt ‘from broken glass or even someone becoming gravely ill from the restaurant’s food.
You also might want to consider property coverage. This will ensure that your furniture and everything of importance, from stoves to glassware, is fully covered in case of any fire or theft. If your restaurant provides food delivery or outside catering, make sure to have a vehicle insurance as well. You might also need a chartered accountant to handle your tax related issues.
SEO & Marketing
It is never too early for a business to start marketing. Every business needs a competitive marketing plan, and a restaurant business is no exception. TV or billboard advertisements are a viable source but can put a big hole in your pocket. You probably have spent enough on the construction and furniture so it is best recommended to market your business online. You can hire a freelance digital marketer or simply contact a digital marketing firm.
A digital marketing firm can help you create a website if you are not familiar with making one. A marketing team can help you promote your website and increase its traffic. A well-built website showcases your online presence and can increase your revenue. Remember to make it easy for your potential customers to find your contact info and location on your website easily. Here are some online marketing tips you can follow if you don’t intend to spend too many dollars –
- Take support of the Internet and try to get backlinks to your website from other local business.
- Sign up for various food review sites as well as social media.
- Use Instagram, Twitter & Facebook to place inexpensive ads.
- Ask your customers how they found out about you, so you may know where your advertising and marketing dollars are best spent.
Provide Unique Dishes
You can get a headstart in your food service business if you can provide your customers with a unique and unexpected experience. This can give your business a much needed positive word of mouth. You can offer a brand new dish or a unique decorative design. Homemade desserts or drinks might sound delicious but is not a new concept. Give something which the customers can crave and will come back for. Try to specialize in a service which is nowhere found in your area, it could be pastries, drinks or maybe Italian food. There are surely much more ideas to explore.
Promote your opening
When it’s almost time to open your restaurant officially, try to spread as much positive word of mouth as you can. Here are some tips to get your business’s name in the headlines –
- Send a tray of samples to famous food critics & bloggers in your city.
- You can have your chef prepare one of your unique food items on live local news.
- Team up with your staff and provide free samples to people in your nearby shopping malls or any event.
- You can also do a local radio interview and talk about your journey of setting the restaurant up.