Are you thinking about starting up a restaurant business but don’t know how to go about, or sometimes you kind of feel discouraged?
Starting any kind of business can be risky, but when you have the right planning, financing and work hard, you can do it.
Owning a restaurant can be a great feeling, but before I advise you on how to start, let’s look at the different types of restaurants that are out there.
Types of restaurant
First, the idea of starting a restaurant just popped out of somewhere, then you thought about it over and over again, and now you seem; you really want to open a restaurant.
Good, but the question is what type of restaurant? There are different types of restaurants and they range from unpretentious family-run eateries for individuals who work close by with simple food that cost less, to high-priced places where foods and wine is served in a formal setting.
- Fast food
A fast food is a type of restaurant where customers eat a quick food. These foods are mainly steaks, burgers, French fries, hot dogs, pizzas, fried onion and sandwiches. They also use sauces like ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise.
Foods sold at fast food have a relatively modest cost and they have a wide distribution of outlets.
Fast food clientele features the younger age groups mainly, they also feature an increasing number of adults.
Fast food is often considered unhealthy food because of the poor quality and variety of ingredients used and because of the fried, fatty, salty and sugary items sold.
- Food truck
The food truck restaurant is a vehicle that is equipped with cooking appliances that offers different kinds of food ranging from ice-creams to pizzas and hamburgers.
Food trucks are particularly very popular in the US and they are starting to spread in the Europe.
- Cafeteria/staff canteen
They are small restaurants that are usually located within or close to a work place or a school. It is usually referred to as a dining hall in schools.
There is no table service here; customers take their preferred food and place it on a tray. They pay a flat rate or an amount for each item they choose.
Cafeterias or staff canteens are popular in the Southern and Midwestern United States.
- Pop up restaurants
Pop up restaurants usually spring up in unexpected places and for a limited time.
They usually serve different purposes like showcasing talents of up and coming cooks, chefs and restaurant owners. They could also serve as a charity purpose.
Pop up restaurants have no time limit and they are great for fundraisers. Pop ups can spring up in an existing restaurant.
- Popular restaurant
This restaurant is informal, yet hygienically kept. It is located in very busy areas such as train station, bus stands etc. It caters to the requirements of the middle class and people who are in a hurry.
The popular restaurant operates from 7am to 11pm. The meal is dished in the kitchen, carried to the table in a tray and then served to the customer. They have low and informal service standards.
- Barbecue restaurant
Barbecue restaurant specializes in barbecue-style cuisines and dishes. The marinated pieces of meat, vegetables, poultry, fish and so on are put into skewers and cooked over live charcoal or electric griller.
Barbecue restaurants are usually located near swimming pools, lawn, sea side, and so on. They are usually open in the evening.
The kiosk is a small permanent or temporary that is erected on a side walk. Items like coffee, pastries, chocolates, tea may be sold. Most kiosks do not provide where to seat for customers.
Here, customers drive in, park and wait to be served. The waiters will go to the customers with menu cards, take orders and deliver to them. The customers then eat their food in the car.
This type of restaurant serves different kinds of beer, draught beer especially and snacks.
The rotisserie specializes in all kinds of grilled or roasted fish, meat, poultry and they are prepared in the presence of the customers.
How to start a restaurant
It can be hard to decide which restaurant to open. You may be finding it hard deciding which concept is the right one for you.
Before you settle on one particular concept, first consider the following:
- The type of restaurant you would love to operate most
If you are contemplating opening a restaurant, chances are you love eating out. What type of restaurant do you love eating at?
The different types of restaurant need different types of management. For instance, formal restaurants require certain attentions that are not needed in the less formal ones.
- Is there demand for your concept
Once you have decided on the type of restaurant you want to open, it is important that you find out if there is a viable customer base. Is the population base for your idea big enough?
This is one thing you really have to consider, or else you find out all you work for is going down just like that.
When you have decided this, and you are sure that you are good to go, just follow these steps:
- Select your location
Location can break or make your restaurant. You need to be careful with your choice of location. Before you pay or sign a lease for your restaurant location, make sure you find out if the place is a busy place that would attract customers for you.
Also find out if restaurants have been there and moved out of there (this is a bad sign however).
- Choose a name for your restaurant
This step is fun. You need an enticing name for your restaurant. Choose a name that means something.
The name you choose should be a reflection of your theme or location.
- Write a business plan
You need to write out a business plan because it helps you to see the big problems your restaurant plan might have.
Also, without a business plan, no bank or anybody will be encouraged to finance you.
- Find financing
Financing has stopped so many people from opening their own restaurant. Although it may be harder getting this for a restaurant, it is still possible.
Financing is possible from banks, small business agencies and private investors. You need to be prepared and professional so that your investors will know that you know what you are doing.
- Hire help
Your restaurant needs staff to keep it running. Hire competent people to assist you. You need cooks, hostesses as well as a manager because you cannot do it alone.
Hire people with passion and who have experience in the field. Hire your manager at least one month before you start the restaurant so that he or she can plan with you.
Advertise or market your grand opening, and make sure you take note of, and correct any mistakes or problems that arise; this will help improve your service and become more efficient.
Also arrange flyers and stickers in order to spread the word about your restaurant.
Your restaurant needs marketing and advertising whether it is new or about to it its silver jubilee.
Only few restaurants can survive without advertising. Although the traditional advertising can be pretty expensive, but there are inexpensive ways to advertise and expensive.
New restaurants need to be advertised so as to get customers to the door. Some of these advertising methods are cheap or free.
- Social media
Right now, social media is the best way to let people know about your business. Create a page for your business on Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Twitter, e.t.c.
This offers your restaurant a way to build strong online presence, establishing loyalty with your existing customers and also attract potential customers.
- Season advertisement
You should advertise all the year round. Advertise your business during festive periods like Christmas, New year’s day, Valentine’s day, Easter, thanksgiving, and others.
Find many ideas to keep your business coming all year round.
- Have a website
Create a website for your restaurant and direct your customers to it via your social platforms. Make sure you get them to your website before they discover your competitors.
You can open a food blog and share recipes, healthy foods, daily specials that would make them visit your restaurant.
- Advertise via Online directories
Make sure your restaurant pops up online when people search online. Ensure that you list your restaurants on every online directories.
This would help your restaurant to show up in local searches.
- Flyers and billboard adverts
Distribute flyers to people around. Make sure you have one standard flyer that consists of your menu and prices. If you’re hosting one or two special events for the month, create a flyer that showcases just your event’s calendar.
- Offer delivery service
Offering a delivery service will help you advertise your restaurant. This does not mean you should do the delivery yourself. Simply partner with a delivery service.
- Send coupons via e-mails
You can send your coupons and menus through a direct marketing service to customers in your local area and around.
Opening a restaurant may not turn out to be as difficult as it seems, all that is required is a great planning.
Know the different types of restaurants that are, decide which one you wish to open, plan your business, get finance and you are good to go.