How To Start Up Your Restaurant After Purchase
Congratulations! You’ve purchased yourself a brand new restaurant from a restaurant brokerage, but now you have no idea where to begin. Will you succeed or will you fail? First things first its important to know the main reason why most restaurants fail is due to lack of proper planning when starting and managing the enterprise. To help you successfully plan, manage and fund your new restaurant, we asked for some advice from three successful restaurant businessmen.
The three restaurant owners are Kim Strengari who owns three successful restaurants in Philadelphia, Yuen Yung who is an owner of fast sushi restaurants in USA and Lambrine Macejewski who is a co-founder of Cocina 214 found in Winter Park, Florida.
The following are some of the tips they gave:
This is the first step of setting up a successful business venture.
- Having the right intentions – To become successful, you will have to invest a lot of time and money to make sure that starting a restaurant is due to the passion you’ve and not because you need to earn money. One of the best ideas here is figuring out how you need your restaurant to look like. This makes your restaurant unique and outstanding from others which offer similar services or foods. Some of the things you need to put into consideration include the themes you’re going to follow, furniture you will buy to fit with the topic and your restaurant layout. You need to be very passionate and creative to have the right intentions for your restaurant.
- Have a business plan in place – To have a working business plan, you need to have enough knowledge of the business you’re about to invest in because you need to have a step-wise plan of the business progress. In your business plan, include market research to be knowing how to manage the business in different market situations, have an idea about your competitors, marketing strategies and sources of products if you need supplies. Without a working business plan in place, your venture can’t last long enough to get profits.
- Location – This is the most important factor to look at. You should choose a location which is easily accessible, attracts customers and is potential for future growth. When looking for a perfect place, you should put the budget into consideration since ideal locations are not only hard to find but also costly according to Yung.
- Test your menu – According to Yung, it is tricky to have the first menu after starting a restaurant. The best approach here is having a small party with invited people who can give you honest opinions on the location, taste, and prices of foods and drinks. This could help you scrap items from your menu or adding some more which were suggested by your guests. This is the best method of knowing if you’re right rather than gambling unknowingly.
- Hire essential help needed – Yung explains that before hiring chefs, waiters and waitresses, you need to have another manager to assist you in running the venture. Managing a restaurant is quite demanding, and hence you cannot do it alone. You, therefore, need the help of a professional manager who is passionate and experienced to run the business successfully.
- Create a business marketing plan – To have a constant number of customers streaming into your restaurant, you need to have a good marketing strategy other than word of mouth.
The following are some of the suggestions you can use:
- Use social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts, etc.).
- Offering discounts to new customers.
- Participating in local community events and giving out food samples to participants.
- Join local business associations to be known.
- Use billboards and another type of advertisement strategies available.
After the above planning strategies, you need to fund your project to start it off and get revenues.
This is how you should fund your venture:
- Generate the required capital required during start up – This is essential in every business to start it off. You need three types of cash pool to jet off your business for a foreseeable future. The first pool of money needed is to buy one-time cost equipment and cash flow system needed help start up your restaurant. Therefore, you need enough money to cover the restaurant expenses for about six months to help it stabilize, and lastly, “you need money to pay your bills for at least six months after the restaurant starts its operations.” says Victor Petersburg, one of the few great Restaurant Brokers Vancouver have.
- Plan on losing money for the first half – According to Yung, you should plan on losing your money for the first six months after investing in a restaurant. The reason behind this is because you need to market your business, attract new customers, satisfy your customers and get them to come back another time. This needs time, and hence you should have at least six months to cater for bills without making enough profits.
- Plan for future problems – Businesses sometimes goes overboard and needs some additional money to cover unexpected bills. If you’ve no cash, you can get a credit program from banks or leasers to get required money to run your business.
- Possess employee materials – Having skilled and professional workers not only ease how you will manage them but also attracts more customers because they offer quality services. Also, you should have job descriptions, an employee handbook, and codes of conduct to be able to control your workforce professionally.
- Be willing to chip in when needed – ‘As the owner, you should not have an ego,’ Strengari says. From the time you need to fill in when needed to satisfy your customers and maybe cover for an ill or absent staff. Therefore, you may find yourself seating customers, asking whether your clients are satisfied, taking orders or even chopping vegetables. To do all these, you need to be passionate and committed to the hotel industry.
- Manage your labor costs – You need to consider the profits you’re getting and the expenses on labor. To avoid using a lot of money on wages while your business has not picked yet, you only need to hire vital posts only and then make a working schedule to have shifted to using staff services efficiently.
- Manage food costs – This is an area which can get you lose a lot of money if you’re not cautious. To manage your food costs, Yung explains that you should keep a good inventory record, prepare food well to avoid wastages and keep the prices competitive with other restaurants. This would ensure that you’ve higher returns from food sale and fewer wastage’s.
- Continue marketing your business- Even after your restaurant have started making profits, your still required to make advertisements, treat your customers with etiquette to guarantee their return and referrals. This provides a continuity which offers you regular customers which support your business to grow.
While this guide provides you with tips required when starting a restaurant, there are other factors which might play a huge part in your investment. State laws, preferences, and tastes of inhabitants could also determine the revenue you might get from your restaurant.