Before creating a restaurant we must be clear about what type of restaurant we are going to open and what style or concept we are going to give it.
We should be clear if, for example, we are going to open a gourmet type of fine food, family type, fast food, etc.
And most importantly, we must determine what style or concept we are going to give it, which we must choose based on our personality and our tastes, without letting ourselves be influenced by other people, and making it a distinctive style or concept, Does not exist in other restaurants.
Investigate the market
As in any business, before opening a restaurant we must investigate the market well, seeking to know the preferences and tastes of consumers, and ensure that we will have sufficient demand to make our restaurant successful.
One way to do this is by conducting surveys of people who pass through the area where we will open the restaurant, where we consult them about their preferences and tastes, if they would go to a new restaurant of the type we are going to create, and how much they would be willing to spend on each visit.
Determine the target audience
Within the market research that we do, an important point is to clearly define what our target audience will be, i.e. what type of consumer we are going to target.
That way, we will be able to analyze its characteristics and focus our business and the strategies that we will use in this type of consumer. For example, we must analyze whether they are people in a hurry to eat or enjoy taking their time, if they are willing to travel a distance to go to a good restaurant, if they are willing to pay a good price for a good dish, etc.
Start with a small menu
If we just started in the restaurant business, it is advisable to start with a small menu so that we can specialize in a few dishes, but also so that we can reduce our operating costs.
Already later, as the business grows, we can increase the variety of our dishes, but always try to keep the same type of menu.
Visit the competition
Before opening a restaurant we should try to visit all the restaurants of the competition that exist.
This will allow us to observe their strengths and weaknesses (and thus to compete efficiently with them), observe their successes and mistakes (and thus learn from them), and observe the preferences, tastes and habits of consumers ( And, thus, orient our restaurant according to that information).
Work on the competition
A restaurant is a business in which a lot of work and discipline is needed.
If this will be our first experience in the restaurant business, a tip is to find a job in a restaurant so that we not only know the operation of the business well but also can be clear what it is That we are going to dedicate.
Avoid low prices
When it comes to determining the price of our dishes, we should not hesitate if we want to put some prices high.
When it comes to food, people are willing to pay well, as long as the dishes taste good, a presentation is good, there is total hygiene, and quality customer service is offered.
No matter that there are restaurants that use the same inputs and have prices well below our own, consumers will always choose us if we have these characteristics.
A determining factor in the success of a restaurant is its location, which is why we must take our time in choosing the location of ours.
We can choose a central location where we will have the advantage of being in sight of a greater number of consumers, but the disadvantages of high costs of the premises and having to deal with greater competition.
Or choose a place not so central where we will have the advantages of having low costs in the rent or purchase of the premises, and less competition near; But the disadvantage is that we will not be in sight of consumers, although if our advertising is good and we have a good product, this will not be a problem.
In addition to the dining room, where our customers should feel comfortable and at ease, we must not forget that the restaurant must have a good kitchen space, where cooks and kitchen staff can perform efficiently and without risk of accidents, and where there is a good space to store the inputs.
Similarly, when choosing the location of our restaurant, we must not forget that it must have enough parking for the number of customers that we estimate will visit us in their own vehicles.
As in every business, when opening a restaurant we should always try to reduce the investment, but without this, it means having to sacrifice quality.
In the case of restaurants, we can reduce investment in the decoration of the premises, which consumers usually do not take into account, as long as a good product is offered, there are a total hygiene and good attention.
Another way to reduce the investment in a restaurant is by starting to rent equipment and furniture, or looking for agreements with suppliers that provide us with these, for example, in exchange for advertising.
Do not skimp on expenses
When investing in the creation of a restaurant we should not skimp on expenses in terms of inputs or the variety of offers; But also in terms of design and furniture, for example, when buying second-hand furniture that is not in an appropriate state.
We must always keep in mind the saying that “the poor call the poor.”
If we want to sell quality products, our inputs must also be of good quality.
We must always use fresh products, which, in some cases like fish, must be bought the same day they will be used.
Also, we must select our suppliers well. In the case of restaurants, it is advisable to have several suppliers because some of these will not always have fresh products.
In the case of restaurants, there are many hidden costs, which causes that when starting with the investment it is common that in the end, it ends lacking money.
So when making our investment budget, we must take our time and well account our costs and, if possible, try to reserve a small budget that will help us in case we end up missing the money.
Another key factor for the success of a restaurant is hygiene.
It may be that our restaurant is small and does not have much decoration, but if we offer a good product, good attention and, above all, we show a total hygiene, it is very likely that the restaurant will succeed.
Hygiene must be based on an obsessive pursuit. This should be present on the floor, in the dining room, in the bathrooms, in the kitchen, in the staff (do not forget the short hair or tied), and in the uniform of the staff (do not forget the chef’s cap).
Select the cook well
Another important decision in the creation of a restaurant is the selection of the chef, who not only must have a good seasoning but also must have enough flexibility to adapt to the style of the menu that we want for our restaurant.
If the cook tells us that he has worked in luxury restaurants and that he is not willing to change his seasoning or style to fit the one we want to give to our menu, then we should look for another one.
Define functions well
In order for our restaurant to function efficiently, we must first clearly define what the roles and responsibilities of our staff will be.
Some of the functions and responsibilities of a cook are: to be responsible for any loss or deterioration of the equipment, not to allow the entry of non-kitchen personnel, to make the list of requirements for inputs, etc.
Some of the functions of the kitchen staff (kitchen assistant and cleaning) help in the decoration of dishes, cleaning, and maintenance of equipment, daily inventory, etc.
A good marketing strategy when starting a restaurant is to create expectations before opening it, which could be to design posters, announcements or flyers where we announce the early opening of our restaurant or send invitations to friends and acquaintances to attend this .
The idea is to create the expectation of tasting the flavor of a new restaurant.
Provide good customer service
Customer service is another of the factors determining the success of a restaurant.
We must train all our staff to offer a friendly treatment, to be helpful and solicitous, to attend quickly, to maintain a good presentation and personal hygiene, to show a sincere smile, to greet politely, to say “please” and “thank you”.
Patience and dedication
Setting up and running a restaurant is not an easy task. It is estimated that approximately one-third of new restaurants are closed or closed before the first year of operation.
It is also estimated that, in the case of restaurants, profits are only beginning to be earned as of the sixth month.
Added to this, we must take into account that the work in a restaurant begins in the early hours of the morning (where the inputs must be purchased), continues with the preparation of the dishes and the preparations for lunch, then with Cleaning and preparation for lunch or dinner, and ends late at night with cleaning and having to leave everything ready for the next day.
And we must also take into account that a restaurant not only works all day, but every day (including Saturdays and Sundays) and, in many cases, including holidays.
Creating and managing a restaurant is not an easy task, but if our passion is good food and service to people, then we should not hesitate to open one.
But we must bear in mind that in order to achieve success we will need a lot of patience and perseverance (to overcome the problems or difficulties that arise), and a lot of dedication and discipline (to cope with all the work involved in running a restaurant).