What Should You Know About Starting a Restaurant?

6 months ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

You love food. You regularly cook for friends and family. You’re constantly seeking out new recipes and fresh ingredients and creating your own meals from ideas you have. Should you open a restaurant?

That’s a question people often ask themselves when they’re foodies or love to cook, but it’s not a move that’s necessarily right for everyone.

So what should you know and consider before opening a restaurant?

The Competition Level Is High

Even if you think you have an excellent, creative idea for opening a new restaurant, the competition in most places is intense. You’re going to have to think about how you’ll set yourself apart, and also whether or not you’re ready to dedicate yourself to the digital marketing and traditional advertising that will be required of you.

You’ll be doing everything from dealing with customer reviews on social media to designing restaurant signage templates, and just getting yourself out there and creating a distinctive brand is going to require a huge amount of work.

Before you ever get into the details of actually starting a business, you should start by researching your competition and seeing what they’re doing and how you’ll do it better.

You’ll also need to start thinking who you want to target and how you’re going to reach that audience.

The Business Aspect

Just because you’re a foodie or you love to cook and entertain doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily be successful at running a restaurant. A restaurant involves a lot of business-side work including not just marketing and advertising but also accounting, bookkeeping, and human resources.

When you’re just starting out as a restaurant owner, you’ll probably be the one responsible for all of this. As you get larger you might be able to outsource and delegate some of this work, but probably not in the first few years.

You Won’t Get Rich Fast

If you think you’re going to open a restaurant and be a millionaire in a few months, that’s more than likely not going to happen.

It’s going to take a lot of work for you to even break even in most cases, and even then you may not be very successful. You need a lot of patience and a lot of forward thinking to make a restaurant work.

Your Menu Won’t Be Static

If you love food, your menu might seem like the easy part of opening a restaurant, but you have to remember a few key things. First, your menu needs to be updated at least once a year, but a lot of the hottest restaurants right now do it at least on a seasonal basis, if not more.

You’ll also need to make sure that in addition to keeping patrons happy, your menus are set up to reflect food costs which change pretty often.

Finally, one more reason opening a restaurant is tough is because of the location and building requirements. You need a location that’s going to be convenient and appealing, draw in diners, but also not be too oversaturated with other restaurants.

You’ll also need to determine if you’re going to buy an existing restaurant building or build your own.

Building is expensive and time-consuming, but buying or renting means that you could have a property that people have negative connotations about, because of the business that was there before yours.

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