Things to Put in Place Prior to Opening a Restaurant

So you’ve decided to fulfill your dream and open a restaurant. Before you head into it with two left feet, it’s best to have a clear and concise plan in place that includes more than just the menu. It doesn’t matter whether you are opening an established franchise or your own, you’ll need to having all areas covered.

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Location

The location you select can literally make or break a fragile business like a restaurant within the first two years. Here’s an area where you want to take your time and search out a place that’s easy to get to, in a busy area and that offers plenty of parking for your patrons. If you simply select the first place for rent without any regard for convenience you may end up with a closed for business sign long before you get the chance to become established.

Inspections

Unlike depictions often portrayed in the cinema, officials from the health department can be very helpful in the early stages of preparing your space. There are two inspections that occur when you first find your place and then one right before your grand opening If you’ve never run a restaurant before it would also help to take a class or two on food prepping and storage. The inspector will meet with you and offer advice on not only what equipment to purchase or rent, but also where to place important items like hand washing sinks. After the first inspection takes place the fire department then visits and provides a certificate of occupancy.

Overhead

Before securing a location, it’s important to find out the cost of your electric, gas, and water. With many states deregulated, it’s also important to shop around and compare rates with companies like Alberta Energy. Click here for more information before simply selecting the closest one.

Add your personal touch to the decor

There’s something special about a place that’s unique. Whether it’s a warm and cozy feeling you get from one step inside the front door or a dynamic landscape that catches and holds the eyes until you leave. Come up with a design that’s yours, that immediately sets your restaurant apart from the rest. Some people choose nostalgia by incorporating famous photos, landmarks or even a collection of lunch boxes from the 50s and 60s. Whatever you decide, try and make your place a memorable experience from the food to the decor.

Hire a stellar staff

When you first open for business chances are you won’t see much of your family and friends for a while. During the first few months, you’ll be helping in the kitchen, crunching numbers, advertising and training staff members to your code of ethics. It’s important to take your time with the interviews and hire people with both experience in the restaurant industry and excellent customer service skills. First impressions matter and having a qualified staff in place at the onset will make handling the other 500 jobs that much easier.

Budgeting

While you may have the funds approved and secured, a lot of money continues to change hands in the restaurant industry. There’s inventory to maintain, rental equipment, utilities and a full staff to pay weekly. Have a true accounting of all your expenses upfront and place that against projected income. During the first year, it’s best to take a minimal salary and let the rest remain available in your account so that if something comes along unexpectedly you have the money to cover it.

Advertising

You can put the best staff on and to die-for-food on the menu, but if you don’t advertise only those who pass by will know you’re open for business. Use technology to your advantage and advertise on social media and well as the local paper. Also, make sure to promote the grand opening date at least a week out so that people can plan for it.

Opening a restaurant can create a mixed set of emotions from excited to overwhelmed. With a little planning, you can open on time and create a place that leaves a lasting impression, that’s sure to get you repeat sales.

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