The restaurant business holds a special appeal to many budding entrepreneurs, especially those who consider themselves foodies. If you’re thinking about starting your own restaurant, you probably meet those criteria. Here are four things you should be sure you have in place before you venture into the restaurant business.
At first glance, a restaurant seems like a pretty straightforward enterprise. You get some recipes, buy ingredients, create a trendy location, and the customers come rolling in. Of course, it’s not really that easy. Many restaurants come and go every year because their owners had no idea what they were getting into. If you want to own a restaurant, spend some time working in a restaurant.
Your home kitchen equipment will not translate into hours and hours of heavy use every day. You’ll need all kinds of equipment to make your restaurant effective and compliant, so while you’re sourcing meats and vegetables, you also need to find a stainless steel mesh supplier, a source for utensils, and all kinds of other equipment, as well as people who can repair, service, and maintain everything.
Most of us eat at least three meals a day, so it would seem the market for a restaurant would be limitless. Don’t forget that nobody is going without one of those meals for lack of restaurants. In other words, every diner you serve must be taken away from some other restaurant, so your idea must present something so appealing to them that they are willing to depart from a favorite establishment.
Part of what will make you competitive is knowledge. What segments of the market are already saturated? What is the per capita income in your area? How is traffic on a Friday night? What events and attractions will draw people into or away from your area? How much do your inputs cost? Pulling together the facts and figures that will drive your business is essential to establishing a successful restaurant.
Everybody loves to eat, and many of us love to cook. If you want to take it to the next level and start your own restaurant, you can create a fun and successful enterprise. Of course, you can also struggle and even fail. Doing what it takes to end up on the positive side of the equation means knowing what your concept, product, market, and management will involve.