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Steps To Become a Restaurant Business

With the rapid growth happening within the food industry, the restaurant business is one of the fast growing businesses in this our present generation. This is because restaurant business, though quite a common business venture to get into but it is tough breaking even. The reality is that many restaurants fail within the first year of business.

But that shouldn’t bother you, because this article will equip you with tips that will help you avoid the risk associated with starting a restaurant business that is bound to fail. So without wasting your time, below is a step by step guide to starting your own restaurant business.

Starting a Restaurant – Sample Business Plan Template

1. Get in the right mindset
One true fact about the restaurant business is that it is more of a service business that product based business. Satisfying customers is your ultimate task and utmost priority.
Now from experience, i want to say that dealing with humans is one of the most challenging aspect of business and when it comes to running a restaurant business, you can shy away from this responsibility. So you must brace up for the task. Running a restaurant business is tough, are you really prepared to face the challenges?
2. Learn everything you can about the food industry
In business, knowledge is power and the application of knowledge is advantage. To start a restaurant business and succeed, you need to know everything about running a restaurant business and the entire food industry.
3. Write a business plan for your restaurant business
Just like every other business, a restaurant needs a business plan in order to achieve success. As the traditional restaurateurs in the industry say, planning goes a long way in starting a restaurant.
And of course, to get your investors to give you a go signal, the plan you will present must be logical, practical, and realistic. However, you cannot create an excellent professional proposal without knowing the components of a restaurant business plan first. Here’s a sample restaurant business plan template you can use for FREE.
  • Your Background
To make sure that your restaurant business plan will be able to convince its readers or investors, you must include your professional background on it. This is very important because people who will read the plan will look for details about the person or group behind the proposal.
What skills do you possess? Who are your team mates? What experience do you have in the food industry? If you got an excellent background related to restaurants, you might get lucky.
Now your business plan has to do with the overall goal of your restaurant; a description of your target market; financial information and projections; your menu and pricing. Then the last but not the least is your advertising and marketing plan.
4. Start with the big three
No restaurant can succeed without a great location, a great chef and a great concept. Accessibility matters a lot in terms of location, this is because the more accessible your restaurant is, the more success you stand to achieve. Talking about concept, you also have to select your food concept and your service style. You have to decide on the specific service style you are interested in.
5. Choose a primary location
A restaurant business plan must contain the prospective location where you will build your business establishment. The location must be void of competitors, and filled with people who usually visit other areas just to eat. The perfect sources of information you can use to find the excellent spot for your business are restaurant review websites and local newspapers.
  • Alternative Prospect Location
On the other hand, it is also recommended to have more than one location in prospect when starting a restaurant business. This will help you cross check the advantages and disadvantages of each location and help you avoid carrying all your eggs in one basket.
However, you must never forget to include a photo and a brief description on every location you take account of in your proposal. In addition, you must also take note of the things you believe that will contribute to the success of the restaurant you will build.
6. Create the restaurant menu
Of course, you should never forget to write down the menu of your restaurant in while writing your business plan. It is advisable that you should create a menu that you can surely serve once you launch your business.
Also, the menu should include the special dishes your chefs and kitchen personnel can provide to your potential consumer. Together with the specialty dishes, you must include some national or local dishes in your menu to attract customers immediately.
Now you must bear in mind that the menu of a restaurant can either make or break the restaurant. The menu of a restaurant should be in accordance with the overall concept of the restaurant. After creating your restaurant menu, revisit your business plan to make sure the menu is attractive to your business plan.
7. Get a List of Restaurant Suppliers
When developing your restaurant business plan, a list of ingredient or food suppliers must be included. You must compile the name and location of those suppliers together with the prices of their supplies, and discounts that they can offer. On the other hand, you can include the potential supplier of your restaurant’s furniture sets and equipment on the list.
8. Do your Financial estimates and projections
You must never forget to include the projection of the possible profit of your venture in yourrestaurant business plan. In your estimates, you must state the operation cost, anticipated income, and overhead costs that your restaurant will have quarterly in the next five years. Moreover, it is recommendable that you use line charts to display your data, for your audience to have a clear view on your projection.
9. Raise the needed capital
In the course of writing your business plan, you will be able to recognize how much you will be needing to start up your restaurant business. If you are not really sure of the cost of setting up a restaurant business, i suggest you visit other restaurant owners.
Talking to them can help you project your expected start-up cost. There are so many ways restaurateurs raise capitals to start up their restaurant business. It can be either by liquidating assets or using them for loans, taking advantage of government programs that concerns small business owners, etc.
10. Employ people
Lack of qualified or experience work personnel is one of the greatest challenge restaurants face. When advertising for employees, make sure your advert clearly states the exact character, qualities or skills you are looking for in an employee.
This strategy will help you to get and retain qualified employees. Specifically state the job duties and responsibilities of an employee when caring out your adverts. Also, try to find out what other restaurant are paying their employees.

10 Creative Ideas for Marketing a Restaurant Business

What are the best creative marketing ideas for a restaurant business? How do i promote my restaurant or fast food business? How do i find customers and increase my brand awareness? Well, i advice you read on.
As technology and trends varies and changes, your marketing tactics should adapt to it too. While many of the traditional techniques still stick true today, new strategies, like environmental and internet marketing are coming up as key components of any successful restaurant marketing campaign.
So without wasting your time, below are the top ten ideas or tips for marketing your restaurant business. However, i want you to bear in mind that preparing a marketing plan for your restaurant is vital to the successful execution of your marketing strategies.
  • Get good press publicity
  • Develop a website to promote your restaurant
  • Re-design your restaurant menu
  • Implement frequency marketing
  • Host events
  • Try up-selling your customers
  • Market your take-out and delivery services
  • Promote your restaurant through email
  • Commit to going green
  • Dress your employees in smart uniforms
  • Get testimonials from your loyal customers
  • Start a Google Adword Campaign
  • Promote your business on social media
  • Network with other restauranteurs and customers
  • Involve customers in a competition
For more marketing ideas and tactics, i recommend you check out the more in-depth creative marketing ideas for your restaurant. But bear it in mind that just reading this article will have no effect on your business; implementation will make the big difference and improve your restaurant business.

10 Challenges of Running a Restaurant Business

Are you interested in starting a restaurant business? Or you want to buy a restaurant franchise? Do you want to know the challenges of running a restaurant business? Then read on.
If your are thinking of owning a restaurant, there are quite a number of challenges and obstacle that you have to overcome before you can be a successful restaurateur. People who are already into the business know that it requires a lot of hard work and commitment to get a restaurant up and running smoothly.
So as a novice venturing into the food industry, you have to be aware of the challenges to expect and also how to avoid them or counter them. So without wasting your time, below are ten challenges of running a successful restaurant business.
a. Hiring good employees
One of the challenges of managing a restaurant business successfully is hiring capable and dedicated staff. As a restaurant owner or manager, you are expected to employ skilled and experienced staffs, especially in the area of cooks and servers.
When employing a server, you have to go for individuals that are not highly temperamental, an individual who is always smiling. The appearance of a server matters lot because they send a massage to the customers. Now how do you know a person with good character? The answer is simple: put them to test.
b. Retaining Skilled staff
The next challenge most businesses face is retaining skilled and experience staff. When a staff works in your company for at least three years, that individual must have grown in skill and job experience.
Now when that individual leaves, he or she does not leave behind the experience gained over the years; thereby leaving a huge vacuum in your firm. Well, it is not their fault. Big companies are always in the habit of poaching experience staff from smaller companies.
So as a restaurant owner, you are expected to offer certain benefits to your staffs to keep them loyal to your organization. Benefits such as: vacation pay, sick time, health insurance etc.
c. Cost control
When it comes to running a restaurant business, you need to maintain an eagle eye on your cost and finances because your expenses can skyrocket without warning; as price of food stuffs change constantly. To be not just a good restaurateur but a good business person, you must learn to control costs. This implies you have to be wise when spending both money and time.
To achieve effective cost control, you make sure you examine every business related expenses and look for how you can save. Avoid waste in the kitchen, avoid serving spoiled food or poor preparation of food, etc because these things bring about unnecessary cost and reduced earnings.
d. Lack of experienced employees
Employees in the quick service restaurant business are often young and mostly inexperienced. When you hire a new employee, not only does the employee need to learn all about the restaurant skills, but also needs to adapt to a restaurant work environment in general. Therefore, it is your duty to give sufficient time, energy and orientation to the employee and this cost money, time, effort and resources..
e. Maintaining good customer service
A need for food brings customers into your restaurant but good food and excellent customer service keeps them coming back at all times. How you handle customers complaints and how you appreciate your customers matters a lot. If you want to build a good clientele in you restaurant, then you must ensure you create a very good customer service and be prepared to handle bad or rude customers effectively.
f. Competition
The food industry is strictly regulated and saturated. In this industry, i have witnessed a lot of restaurants fold up because they couldn’t keep up with competition. There are chances that other restaurants exist in the same location where your own restaurant is located. So it is always important that you maintain strong, distinguishing characteristics that will separate your restaurant from every other restaurant within your vicinity.
g. Maintaining a strong management team
Management is a very significant ingredient in a restaurant’s success. Frequent change in management can lead to change in vision and leadership method and this can lead to disorientation of employees. The presence of a committed, experienced and passionate manager will go a long way to bring success to you restaurant.
h. Risk management
Running a restaurant has to do with dealing with all sort of potential hazards; starting from minor employee training issues to major liabilities. Even little problems can be of disastrous financial repercussions. Managing risks in the restaurant can be achieved by incorporating safety procedures into all operational tasks and processes, as well as by securing your establishment with insurance against injuries, damages and accidents.
i. Constant menu change
If you want to run a restaurant, you have to always be on board with constant menu change. As a restaurateur, you have to take a periodical review of which items are selling very well and which aren’t; and always update your menu with new dishes. This can pose quite a challenge especially when your business is still young and you lack adequate manpower.
j. Marketing
The last but not the least challenge is marketing your restaurant business. Marketing will always be a challenge to every business, not just the restaurant business alone. The type of marketing strategy you employ in running your restaurant will greatly determine the number of customers you will get and how popular you restaurant will be. The most advisable and easier way of marketing is the internet marketing. You can get a good web designer to design a web site for your restaurant and you can market your business online.
But i want you to know that the best form of marketing for a restaurant business is word-of-mouth marketing. It is the cheapest and most effective form of marketing but you need to be creative, innovative and customer service oriented to be able to generate it.
In conclusion, i want to clearly state that owning and managing a restaurant is not for everyone. The reason is say this is because there is a lot of work involved. But i believe that with adequate industry knowledge, a good business plan and the information provided above, you are off to a good start to becoming a successful restaurateur.

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