So you want to open your own restaurant. It’s a more popular field than ever before because less people are taking time to cook. Maybe you’ve seen that perfect old building being remodeled in town, and envisioned it fully of happy diners expounding on your brilliance. Seems like a good place to start? Wrong answer! There’s a logical process to opening your own restaurant, and it doesn’t start with the cutest old building you’ve ever seen.
Begin with your smallest, but most important piece of restaurant equipment…the menu . If you don’t know what you’re going to cook, you’re not going to know what sort of equipment you need to cook it. (If you can afford one of everything, you may skip the rest of this blog and call us immediately.) If you only want to start out with the equipment you need, write down a menu.
After your menu’s completed, seriously, this would be a good time to contact J.E.S Restaurant Equipment . because the next thing you need to plan is purchasing equipment. Once you know what you need to prepare the dishes on your menu, you can plan a lay-out (flow) for your kitchen which will allow for cooking in a time and cost efficient manner. You’ll need to decide whether this will be a full-service restaurant, a take-out restaurant, or a counter service sandwich or coffee shop. All these decisions will help determine your need for square footage.
Knowing what sort of equipment, how the flow works, and how much square footage is needed, NOW you can consider that cute old building. Simply put, will it work? Also, you might want a traffic study. How much traffic will be passing? Is it the sort of traffic that’s stopping to eat? Can you offer easily accessed parking? Answering these questions can be vital to the health of your business, and need to be a part of the decision for your location.
Having chosen your location, contact your local Health Department with your plans for approval. (It’s wise to keep them updated throughout the steps of your process from this point forward so you won’t be surprised by delays due to unmet requirements.) Begin choosing décor. Furniture , lighting and front-of-the-house flow can now be wisely planned and chosen.
As you’re getting closer to opening, marketing becomes important. If you’ve chosen your location wisely, people already see that something’s happening, which means you’re generating curiosity. It’s time to choose a marketing strategy so people know when you’re opening, what you’re serving, and what sort of environment to expect. Introduce yourself.
A “soft opening” before your Grand Opening is helpful. This can last a few days or a few weeks. You’ll want to hire staff prior to your soft opening, and it’s a good idea to hire about 50% more people than you need, because one thing the soft opening will reveal is which of them will stay. Those first days of serving family and friends provide an opportunity for working out any glitches.
If you follow these steps in order, and you follow sound business logic as well as your heart, the Grand Opening of that cute old building will be the start of something big!