How to Open a Restaurant

If you’re thinking of opening a restaurant, before speaking to bank managers for loans or even meeting agents to find property, consider these…

5 Steps to Opening a Restaurant

Financial forecasting

The ability to look into the future is still a talent that none of us have. However, when opening a restaurant it is a very good idea to try and predict the financial targets for the business. These can be worked into a clever spreadsheet with algorithms galore or can be scribbled on the back of the proverbial “fag packet”. Either way, you need to know whether your revenue will out perform your costs and understand how many plates of food, cups of coffee and glasses of wine you need to sell to break even.

Get the right team around you

The team can be large or small depending upon the size of operation you are planning to open.  It could be a family member or an external consultant.  The team could include design specialists, PR experts, social media gurus, HR advisers, etc.  Ensuring you have the right team around you giving you the right advice will not only save time but it will most definitely save you money.

Understand the concept

This may seem obvious but so few people have really thought their concept through ahead of getting to the stage of realising the business.  Does the concept really allow for the revenue creation that is required to cover costs?  Has the guest flow been thought through?  How many staff members will you need to operate the business?  Is the business scalable?  So many elements need to be carefully thought through.

Are you prepared for the hard work

All of Harris Restaurant Consultants clients go into opening a food and beverage operation with their eyes fully open and aware of the dangers and the pitfalls that lie ahead.  Many think that serving food and drink is incredibly easy.  In fact nothing could be further from the truth.  You have to be prepared to spend long hours on your feet, working hard in the business as it gets off the ground.  You have to be prepared to finish the day looking after the public and then get into the office to ensure the food and wage costs for the day stack up and also that projections for the week ahead are looking reasonable to hit.  As well as all this you are also planning the strategy for business growth.  Add to all this the fact that staff can be unpredictable and unreliable and of course dealing with the public is never as easy as it seems, then there is a great deal of stress and hard work ahead.

Location, location, location . . . .

It may seem obvious, but location is vital to the success of any food service business.  Although you should not buy a property until a lot of the points above have been considered, having several locations in mind where your business may work is very important and will help you to select the right site when the time comes.  Footfall; transport connections; residential, tourist and business population splits; peaks and troughs in trade throughout the year; services to the building (gas, electric, water, extraction); ideal site footprint, etc. are all vital elements to have in your mind.

There is a great deal more to opening a restaurant or any food and beverage operation than just the 5 points above.  At Harris Restaurant Consultants, we specialise in assisting clients at every stage of opening a new restaurant.

For more information on opening restaurants and how Harris Restaurant Consultants can help please complete this contact form or call and we will happily have a chat through the process.

Share this article

For advice about your restaurant please contact Restaurant Consultant Mark Harris

Get in touch