Starting a restaurant business isn’t only about building a store, hiring cooks, and serving meals. In reality, there are other things to do first to ensure a successful and sustainable business. If you’re looking for ideas, this article covers your search.

Below, you’ll find the first steps to starting a restaurant business and other related information.

Steps in starting a restaurant

1. Create a business plan

A business plan is a document that’s crucial not only for restaurants but also for almost all businesses. Creating one, an owner can then clearly define their business model, goals, expenses, marketing methods, operational matters, and much more. Without it, it’s easy to lose track of things when executing tasks. Above all, a well-devised business plan can get a higher chance of approval when pitching to investors.

2. Develop the restaurant’s concept and branding

Aside from the quality of meals and service, a restaurant’s branding and concept are also crucial. Given how many restaurants are already out there, it’s essential to differentiate and stand out from the rest. Accordingly, a restaurant can have a primary theme that goes with the meals, store decorations, and other things.

Apart from these reasons, customers can also easily recognize your brand and the products you offer. In the process, branding consists of things like having a logo, mascot (by preference), colour themes, signature phrases, and jingles. At the same time, a concept includes store structures, table and chair designs, lobby style, and much more.

3. Seek investors

If you don’t have enough funds to start a restaurant, you can seek an investor’s help. Aside from financing, an investor can also assist in market decisions and launching. However, before doing so, it’s best to prepare everything beforehand. As such, one must bring a solid business plan, concept, and other related documents. Also, enthusiasm, confidence and respect are ideal when pitching to get a higher chance of approval.

4. Find the best location

Yes, online orders are now a thing; however, in-house dining is also a significant part of a restaurant’s business. If you agree, then choosing the best location is a no-brainer. Select somewhere that has enough crowds; near workplaces, schools, or tourist spots. It’s also wise to situate yourself somewhere that doesn’t have that much competition.

5. Obtain a license

Like any other business, a restaurant can’t run legally without a license. Here is a general guide:

  1. Identify what business license or permit you need.
  2. Complete all the required documents for the applications.
  3. Submit documents and apply for the license.
  4. Receive the license and run the business.
  5. Learn and fulfil the license renewal processes and requirements.

6. Acquire restaurant equipment

After creating the concept of the restaurant, it’s now time to seek and acquire equipment. First, there are kitchen tools like ovens, stoves, utensils, cooking ware, tables, and many more. Next, there is dining equipment such as chairs, tables, and lights.

Lastly, utility equipment are cleaning tools, air conditioners/ heaters, and safety tools. Any other things are by choice or if needed by the store or owner. Finally, it would be best to consider your restaurant structure and select the most appropriate equipment regarding size, power, noise, and function.

7. Hire staff

Another essential part of a restaurant is the staff. Without them, no one will cook, serve, clean, maintain, and accommodate clients.

When starting a restaurant, you can hire staff from employment sites, list job openings, or get referrals from other owners. Lastly, hiring the best people would be beneficial in the long run when it comes to your business performance.

8. Advertise online

Before launching your business, it’s ideal to advertise online first. By making people aware of your upcoming company, they can familiarize themselves with the location, order in advance, or get to know the menu.

Today, advertising is more accessible and easier than ever. A restaurant can promote its menu, openings, and services through an official website, social media outreach, targeted ads, and many other forms of digital media.

9. Modernize restaurant reservations and payments

In the past, walk-in customers and phone call reservations were the only ways for restaurants to manage clients. However, with the advent of computers, phones, and the Internet, it’s now easier to book a seat, order online, and even pay digitally.

With this in mind, getting your restaurant technology ready is almost a necessity:

  1. Use a table management system like EatApp to accept online client bookings.
  2. Offer deliveries to serve those at home or work.
  3. Accept many payment methods such as Paypal, Apple Pay, and Android Pay.

Lastly, you can use tablets instead of printed paper to display menus and get orders from clients.

10. Consider online security

The steps outlined are almost all one needs to start a restaurant business. However, given how technologically evolved the world has become, consider the importance of online security. Start with these simple steps:

  • Avoid opening scam business emails.
  • Don’t open attached links from unknown emails and messages.
  • Avoid answering unknown calls to your business number as hackers can steal important company information.
  • Use reverse phone lookup tools like Spokeo to check a caller’s identity to avoid scams, false orders, and other harmful things.

Good luck with your restaurant business!

After reading our list of what a restaurant business needs, you now hopefully have a good idea of how to get started. If that’s the case, we couldn’t be happier! Should you need guidance, you can return to this article anytime.

Good luck with your new restaurant business!


About the Author

Maguire Haigh is a marketing manager for Spokeo. He is interested in the latest technology trends, marketing strategies and business development. He also prefers travelling, exploring the world and meeting new people. Maguire has great experience in creating and editing articles on different topics.