Top 5 Things to Know Before Opening a Restaurant

Opening a Restaurant

What is your business plan?

Any new business will require an operating plan. Commonly known as a business plan, it’s designed to offer you guidance as you plan to open your business. It’s also intended to give you a contingency plan for handling day-to-day operations, as well as providing you with a battle-plan for tackling unexpected problems that may arise.

Even more importantly, having a business plan in place for your establishment will be crucial if you don’t have enough capital to self-fund your business. Bank loan officers will certainly want to see a plan, and venture capitalists won’t feel secure about investing without one.

Where will your eatery be located?

There’s a reason for the axiom, “Location, location, location!” Too many brick and mortar establishments have shuttered down because they failed to take their location into account.

First, location is a crucial consideration because you’ll need to make sure that potential patrons are able to locate your eatery. Regardless of how fabulous the food is, and regardless if the most infamous food influencers are recommending it, if no one can find you, you won’t be able to turn a profit.

The second reasons why location is critical is that no one will want to visit your establishment if it’s not located in a desirable location. Sure, the real estate might be cheaper in less desirable locations, and you might honestly want to do your part to revitalize the neighborhood with your business. But public perception dictates, and you’ll need to keep that in mind if you hope to become successful.

And keep in mind that the inverse is true: If your eatery is located in an area that’s perceived to be too upscale for your concept, then your patrons will feel too intimidated or turned off to come back to eat.

What is your eatery’s theme concept?

Imagine walking into a restaurant with no idea of what type of food to expect to eat. You might think of cafeterias and buffets, but believe it or not, even these are themed culinary concepts. And even if the entire establishment isn’t themed, then patrons can bet on finding themed sections of food to enjoy.

In the same way, you’ve got to create expectation by creating a themed concept. Are you a casual dining establishment or a fine-dining experience, complete with silver and tablecloths? By the way, the concept of your establishment will also determine the type of POS system you should invest in.

Here’s why: If you’re operating a pub or a casual dining eatery, then it’s perfectly acceptable to place a mini POS system on each table – this will create table-turn efficiency. Or you could invest in a POS system that would allow your wait staff to collect cash and credit cards, tableside. On the other hand, both of these solutions would be tacky and gauche if you’re going for an upscale concept.

Will you operate out of one or multiple locations?

Do you have plans for future expansion at multiple locations? If so, then you should look for a point of sale solution that allows you to control inventory and gauge sales from all of your locations, all from your headquartered location. This cuts down on clerical and accounting errors. This also allows you to gauge and control your inventory in real time.

Do you plan on operating internationally?

Finally, if you hope to operate international eateries, then here’s something to consider: You can invest in point of sale software that’s equipped to accept foreign currency. There’s also software that can be set to operate in multiple languages, allowing your staff to perform cashiering tasks with ease.

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