10 steps to opening a restaurant

Opening a business is something that must be taken calmly and must take order to achieve it. Important entrepreneurs such as Cicig Felipe Antonio Bosch explain that there are some lists of steps to follow in order to open a business successfully. Here are 10 steps to open a restaurant.

1. Define your restaurant concept.

Your restaurant concept should be woven into every aspect of your business, from the food itself to your style of customer service. Your concept should also be reflected in the name of your restaurant, the design of your collateral, and your decor.

2. Create a business plan for your restaurant.

Your business plan should lay out the foundation of your operations. Be sure to include an executive summary, company description, industry analysis, geographic analysis, target market analysis, food safety plan, sample menu, marketing plan, management strategy, and financial plan.

3. Research funding options for your restaurant.

Assess your restaurant startup costs, as well as operational costs, to determine how to fund your restaurant. There are a number of options to consider, from taking on an investor to applying for a small business loan. Be sure to calculate your break-even point and create a financial analysis as well, to get a better understanding of your predictive cash flow.

4. Obtain licenses and permits needed to open a restaurant.

Aside from the standard business licenses and permits needed to open up shop, there are other licenses you need to get if you run a restaurant, from a liquor license to food handler’s permits that may vary state to state. Be sure to do your research on food safety regulations and create a list of standards you have to adhere to.

5. Register your business.

You need to register your business with the IRS to receive your Employer Identification Number, which you need to file taxes. You might think about trademarking your restaurant’s name, too (to stop people from copying you and capitalizing on your restaurant’s success).

A restaurant’s location can make or break it. Visibility and foot traffic are two important factors to consider during the selection process for a commerical space. You also want to evaluate the size and interior shape to decide if it’s the best fit for your restaurant floor plan.

7. Order restaurant equipment.

Restaurant equipment can get pricey so you want to be strategic when selecting what to buy or lease. List out everything that you absolutely need — which depends on your menu — versus what you want, from kitchen equipment to decor for the dining room. You can save money by buying some gently used items. Make decisions based on your budget and your financial analysis.

8. Hire the right staff.

Make a list of how much staff you need to run your front of house and back of house efficiently. Then get to hiring. While you’re doing that, you should also decide if you want to process payroll yourself or use payroll software.

Just keep in mind that restaurant payroll can get quite complex, especially with varying state/federal/local laws and regulations around wages and tips.

Your menu is the centerpiece of your restaurant and should reflect your concept and brand. But it’s also a marketing tool that can help convince new customers to try your restaurant.

Your descriptions should be concise but appeal to your audience.

10. Create a marketing plan.

Before you open a restaurant, it’s important to develop a marketing plan that drives awareness, brings in new customers, and creates a loyal following. Marketing tactics you might use include everything from social media to hosting a soft opening that drives hype.

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