Things to focus on when planning a Restaurant Business

Things to focus on when planning a Restaurant Business

Setting up a Restaurant

Once you have thrashed out the details, it is time to start implementing the plan. This is the establishment phase wherein you actually set up the restaurant. With budget allocations there, it is time now to go about the following things.

1.    Property to house your restaurant

Finding a suitable property within your designated budgetary allocation can be quite a task, more so when you have to make sure that the property best serves your business needs. While hunting down a property for your restaurant, make sure you have taken care of the following:

  • Whether the property that you are acquiring is leased or freehold. Remember that freehold properties are far more expensive as compared to the leased ones.
  • Whether the property that you are acquiring is licensed. Licensed properties tend to have higher rents.
  • Rents go up or down according to the condition of the property. So you need to be knowledgeable about the condition of the property that you are acquiring. Moreover, you also need to see how much of money you will need to spend in case you decide to acquire a property which requires some work.
  • Equally importantly, you need to compare the cost of your chosen property with costs of other properties which are comparable to yours.

2.    Licenses and permits

Once you have acquired a property, you need to obtain the license to run your business. You also need to acquired permits for liquor.

3.    Insurance

It is important to note that buying a suitable insurance is a legal requirement. At the very minimum, you need to buy insurance which covers your employee liability. Looking for additional elements of benefit to your restaurant would be a wise decision.

4.    Staff

In this department, the first issue would be staff number .i.e., the minimum number of employees you would need to begin with. Too few or too many would negatively affect your business.

The second issue is staff pays. It is one of the biggest expenses of your restaurant. So naturally you would want to keep it as low as possible. However, exercise caution. Take care not to bump against the minimum wage limit prescribed under the law.

Finally, you would need to decide the staff composition. Would you hire a all-fresh team, a mix of experienced and inexperienced, or totally experienced team? The answer to this question would depend on your budget, the sort of start you would take and the amount of experience you yourself have.

Clearly think through these and then go for the hire.

5.    Restaurant Point of Sale (POS)

Modern restaurant business is unthinkable without technological assistance if you as a new restaurateur wish to survive and make profits in the fiercely competitive food business market. Study the success story of any business in the food business industry and you would notice that almost all of them are using restaurant POS systems. This is the system which is crucial to your existence and growth. From cash to personnel and customer management, it does them all. Not only that, it also ‘profiles’ customers and suggests sales promotion strategies through its comprehensive reports.

While buying a restaurant POS system, look for a POS system which 

  • caters to all or maximum business needs of your restaurant
  • runs on iPad (iPad POS system)
  • is cost-effective
  • is available on monthly installments

It would be lucky if you could find a restaurant POS system on special deal. Some ranking POS systems providers offer limited time off deals. Look for one. It could save you precious money. 

6.    Design and décor

The design of a restaurant’s interior forms a big part of the overall customer ‘experience’ for the impression that it leaves on their mind. It should therefore reflect not only the values that you as a business espouse but also the moods that would echo the diners’ feelings. Importantly, the colour scheme, interior design and decoration all should be mutually harmonious. They should ‘click’ with the target customers.

It may surprise you but it is true. Your washrooms are as important as the dining hall or the entrance passage. At the very minimum, they should be very clean. Beyond that, it would be a good idea to put some thought into their design. This would make the experience complete.

7.    Furniture and fittings

Here, you need to take care of the furniture, the kitchen and the building.

As regards the furniture, you need to decide on the following:

  • The number of tables and chairs
  • The arrangement of tables and chairs
  • Their design

You also need to make sure, if you wish to make a mark on the very first customer, that the furniture gels in with the overall interior design.

8.    Kitchen

If you are lucky to have found a building with a kitchen which is equipped somewhat, thank heavens. But if not, first decide the equipment your restaurant’s kitchen needs to be fitted with. Then go for the purchases. Auctions could be good places to start. You may get equipment in good condition on reasonable rates. But don’t be dragged into cheap purchases. Make sure that you have maximum details about the equipment which you are purchasing.

9.    Menu

Finally, design your menu. It should be based on market research and your own business goals. While finalizing the menu, focus on the following:

  • Items along with their prices
  • Quantity of each menu item
  • Popular items (‘hot’ in the market)
  • Your specialty (or specialties)
  • Profit on each menu item

Initially, you will have to do that all by yourself based on your market research and business plans. But once the restaurant becomes operational, this could be done using iPad POS system which generates excellent reports on menu items which sell more, less, or lie unsold. This system also reports on which items yield more profit and which items yield less.

Checklist complete? Congratulations! Your restaurant is on ground. Ready to take off!


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