In the United States alone, there are over 30 million small business owners living out their dreams every single day. If you want to run your own business, you need to know that above all else, it’s very much possible to make it happen.
With that in mind, something like running a restaurant is probably going to be tougher than you even imagine it will be. But if you know what obstacles you need to plan ahead for, you can set yourself up for success from the beginning.
In this article, we’ll tell you about 7 things you need to consider before starting your own restaurant. That way you can make sure that you’re ready to go before you serve your first customer.
1. The Initial Setup Costs Are High
We get it. You’ve had dreams of owning your own restaurant for as long as you can remember. You’ve got a solid plan, and you’re ready to execute it, but you want to make sure you’re not forgetting anything important before doing so.
Well, if there’s one aspect of the process that you’re underestimating, it’s the initial setup costs. After all, everything from tabletop flatware to licenses and insurance costs money. And those initial expenses are going to add up rather fast.
2. You’re Going to Work a Lot
If you’re already working in the food industry, odds are you’re very much used to hard work and long hours. When you own a restaurant, you can expect that workload to increase, with 16-hour days becoming the norm.
On top of that, when you’re not at work, mentally you’re still going to be clocked in and thinking about what all needs to be done to be successful. This means that you never truly leave work, which can be quite exhausting, to say the least.
3. Making a Menu is Hard Work
When it comes to starting your own restaurant, creating a menu is one of, if not the most exciting parts of the process for most people. Having a few signature dishes and bringing something new to the neighborhood is a given.
But filling out an entire menu can be hard work, especially if you don’t have a good idea of what you want your restaurant to be food-wise.
A pro tip? Try to pick a theme and stick to it. Go out of your way to be different than every other restaurant in your area while still having a signature dish or two that your restaurant is known for.
4. Finding Good Help Can Be Tough
Regardless of what kind of business you own, finding good help to fill out your team can be quite tough. Having a few core team members, and then rotating in new employees, is usually the best-case-scenario for any restaurant owner.
While that may sound obvious, we bring up that point to say this: when you find good help, make sure that you do everything that you can to keep them around. From paying them well to making sure they get a day off when they need it, do everything that you can to prevent yourself from having to replace a key team member.
5. You Need to Be Good at Marketing
Restaurant owners have to wear a lot of hats and be good at a lot of different things. You need to know everything there is to know about the food that you plan on serving your customers. And having some basic business skills is a must, too.
What you probably haven’t thought about yet, but need to start considering ASAP, is how you plan on marketing your business.
Our advice? Make room in your budget to invest in the help of a professional advertising strategist. In the meantime, invest in low risk, high reward marketing strategies, like social media marketing, to grow your brand yourself.
6. Location is Everything
It goes without saying, but a restaurant in a popular downtown area is going to do much better than a restaurant that is located in the middle of nowhere. Location is everything, but for many new restaurant owners, it’s hard to afford prime real estate on a startup budget.
If you need to, shift some things around in your budget to ensure that you can get the best possible location for your restaurant. Remember, you can invest more money in other areas of your business later. But moving your restaurant to a new location without hurting your business is next to impossible.
7. It’s Going to Be Competitive
No matter where you plan on opening up your restaurant, or how many other places to eat are nearby, you need to expect that it’s going to be competitive from day one. When it comes to food, people have so many options to choose from. That includes eating at home, too, so you need to do everything you can to make your restaurant a can’t-miss spot.
Sometimes that means doing more than just serving delicious food. So, if you have to, get creative and find fun ways to bring new customers into your business.
Still Not Sure if Running a Restaurant Is Right for You?
To say that running a restaurant is hard work would be a massive understatement. But if you have a good plan in place, and you don’t mind working hard, you can turn your dreams of owning your own business into a reality.
Looking for more business tips and tricks? Check back with our blog often, as we’re always talking about useful advice that all business owners could benefit from knowing.