Having your own restaurant is one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable business ventures. Food is a renewable commodity. This means that people won’t stop looking for different sources of food because dining out is entertaining as well as functional.
Many people dream of owning their own restaurants, whether it is fast food, coffee shops or gourmet. In reality, many people fail to sustain their restaurants and most of them die during their first year of operation. This is due to the lack of preparation and dedication on the part of the owner. Many people jump into the industry too fast without really weighing the pros and cons of the project or having the necessary expertise.
However, there is a way to lessen the risk that is associated with new ventures such as restaurants. Preventive planning and proper management are keys towards success but there are also small things which count in the whole process of owning a restaurant.
Every business needs a business plan. Business plans are meant to lay down the different conditions and characteristics that should be inherent in the business. The availability of a good business plan which has been carefully formulated is a step towards success. You will find information about creating a business plan in an upcoming chapter, however, some points to consider are:
● Crystal clear description of the concept of the restaurant
The objective and the general description of the concept of the restaurant need to be specific. This will give a general overview of what the restaurant intends to do and for whom it intends to do it. The concept of the restaurant needs to be established because it is the core idea by which everything else will follow.
There are many things to be considered in designing the overall concept of the restaurant (excluding food) such as:
● What type of restaurant do you want?
● What special features would it have which would set it aside from all the other similar restaurants in town?
● What’s the overall selling factor of the restaurant?
● Target market
The restaurant’s target market needs to be identified. No single restaurant should try to aim at targeting all kinds of people. Even fast food restaurants have a specific target market, even though it may seem at first that it caters to people of all walks of life.
The concept of the restaurant needs to be aligned with the target market. The target market will depend on the owner of the restaurant, and the selection can be based on the type of food or even the personal preference of the owner.
● Food category, food items and their prices
Before starting a restaurant or even before entertaining the thought of opening up a restaurant, the kind of food to be served is usually identified first.
Most owners put up restaurants according to their favorite kind of food. There are also restaurants which are inspired by one-time experiences such as eating excellent foreign foods.
There are many choices that are available for aspiring restaurant owners. The details of the food category should be identified next. The specific items in the menu should also be identified. Of course, the pricing of these items is very important for it will determine the feasibility of the business.
● Financial evaluation
After the prices of the food items have been determined, it’s time to develop the financials of the project. You can hire a professional consultant in determining the financial viability of the restaurant. All the project costs and risks should be included in the business plan.
An enthusiast may consider creating a small corporation or a partnership or a single proprietorship to be able to give the restaurant a legal entity. You should check the local requirements for creating such institutions
● Marketing plan
Include a marketing plan because it is integral to the success of the restaurant.
There are so many other things that should be considered before entering into the restaurant business. The ones listed above are only part of the whole scheme of restaurant creation. The most important thing is that the restaurant should reflect the preferences of the owner so as to make it enjoyable. However, a lot of thought should be given to the way it’s going to generate money because this is the only way that the restaurant will become sustainable.
We have covered some of the important information about having a business plan. This subject, as well as other relevant planning information is covered in depth in upcoming chapters.
Entrepreneurs who are thinking about starting their own restaurants should realize that restaurants are generally seen as good business ventures. Why? Because people are always looking for food.
There are different types of restaurants that businessmen can look into starting up and the decision regarding what type of restaurant or what style to put up is based on different factors.
The decision regarding the general concept of a restaurant business will be dependent on different major things. Listed below are some of these factors:
The style of the restaurant will be dependent on the location. For example, if someone is thinking about putting up a Chinese-style restaurant in a place where there are many types of Chinese Restaurants, he might want to tweak some details about his restaurant to be able to have a competitive advantage against the other Chinese restaurants in the area. Perhaps he would stick with the general concept of having a Chinese restaurant because the place is popular for this type of food but he might want to add different types of cuisine as well, perhaps go into fusion cooking.
The target market is very important in determining what style of restaurant to put up. A busy place where class B society thrives may be an optimum location to put up a mid-scale fast food restaurant.
Different restaurants cater to different types of people and no one restaurant aims at capturing the whole of the market because it would just end up in confusion.
Availability of Materials
The budding restaurateur might want to look closely at the availability of the materials in the area. For example, a seafood restaurant will depend greatly on the availability of fresh ingredients and seafood in the local market. If not, the owner will have to look for other alternatives which can cost him additional money.
Availability of good cooks
There are more than enough restaurants in many areas today. The only thing that separates the good ones from the average is the type of cooks. The style of the restaurant should match the skills of the hired chef. There are good chefs who can easily adjust to styles which they aren't really accommodated with but these chefs are very hard to find and perhaps, they will ask for a very hefty salary.
Of course, every business is built upon vision and the personal preference of the owner will ultimately determine the style of restaurant that he will start. There are ways to beat the normal odds which go against the success of new restaurants.
There are a lot of different styles of restaurants which one can choose from. These are:
These restaurants usually cater to the middle and upper class markets. These are also usually oriented towards families and have a very relaxed and homey atmosphere. The meals in steakhouses are usually deemed as good buys. There are also the high-end steakhouses which concentrate more on the quality of the meat which they serve.
There are different types of seafood restaurants. There are the quick-service ones, the ones which cater to the middle class and the higher-end ones which cater to the upper class. The quick service seafood restaurants are very much similar to fast-food restaurants. Generally, seafood restaurants offer a wide variety of seafood and they serve it in different fashions.
This type of restaurant caters to almost all kinds of people. People go here to be able to have a lot of food choices and enjoy the relaxed kind of atmosphere. The prices in casual dining restaurants are usually not that high.
There are basically two choices in creating a pizzeria. The first one is to construct a full-blown restaurant which doesn't only serve pizza but many different kinds of Italian food as well. The other choice is to specialize in pizzas and a few other items such as beer.
More and more people are being enticed to go to coffeehouses. These coffeehouses offer the coziest atmospheres for small talk and coffee conversations.
These are only a few of the choices that you have in developing a concept for your restaurant. Explore other choices and stick with the one which satisfies the heart most.