Points to note before opening a Restaurant
Opening a restaurant is never easy, more so if you open in one of the larger cities like Melbourne or Sydney where you will get fine dining experiences of every conceivable cuisine from around the world. The experience can be overwhelming but if you plan this right you will be on your way to a very successful business venture.
Here are a few steps that you will do well to follow.
Take it as a Job
You have to be mentally prepared to take it as a job and be away from home for most of the time, especially in the initial stages. You may have to skip Christmas or Valentine’s Day dinners because that is the time when your restaurant will be packed and your presence there will be necessary.
Have a well structured business plan
This is crucial for any business and should be for you too. A well structured business plan will guide you on most operational aspects, from financing to marketing, from sales to determining the breakeven point. You should plan for cash inflows and outflows so that you do not ever have to fall short on working capital requirements. While devising a business plan, you will also know about the statutory requirements and licensing procedures. If at any time you feel that the intricacies of the process are beyond your understanding, consult a business consultant to help you out.
Know the financing options
Understand the financing options before you take the plunge. If you have built up a nest of substantial savings you can invest that amount in your business. But you have to be careful before falling back on borrowings. Banks and lending institutions require collateral of fixed assets but think twice before signing away your home as mortgage for your business. Do so only if you have the confidence to be definitely successful. In restaurant business, unlike other types of ventures you cannot start small and expand as you go along. You have to open in a grand manner if you have to beat the competition from Day 1.
Evaluate the competition
Restaurant business is cut-throat competitive and hence you have to study the competition in detail. Pay frequent visits to your potential competitors – incognito of course – and study the layout, the menu and sample the dishes. Do not let personal prejudices cloud your judgements. You might not like the TV at the bar but there is obviously a point there if patrons are flocking to the bar and catching the latest games over drinks. Ask yourself why people come here and what is the appeal of this place. Once you have formed an opinion, try to go one better when you implement the ideas at your restaurant.
Decide on a concept
This is very important as customers should know in advance what they are getting into. An unclear restaurant concept can confuse clients. Should they walk in for a round of beers with friends or expect a fine dining experience? Is it Thai or Mexican or Continental cuisine that you are catering to or multi cuisine with focus on dishes of your country? It is not only the local population that you should keep in mind but visitors and tourists from abroad too. Once you have decided on the concept and the cuisine, finances required for setting up the required infrastructure as given in your business plan can be finalised.
Keep these guidelines in mind and you will surely increase the chances of grounding a successful restaurant business.