In the current economic climate, restaurants remain a sound investment, but they require extensive planning and foresight in order to become profitable. Those considering opening a new restaurant should formulate a precise budget that accounts for all expenses associated with the food service industry. These expenditures include payroll, legal fees, taxes, insurance, and food costs, which continue to steadily rise due to increases in oil prices. Restaurateurs must also budget for kitchen equipment, décor, flatware, dinnerware, and other necessities. After the creation of a comprehensive financial outline, the entrepreneur should formulate a sound business plan that he or she will follow in order to achieve profitability. Those planning on securing a loan from a bank or other lender, as well as those seeking the assistance of investors, must demonstrate that they understand the demands of owning a restaurant and the requirements for success.
In order to attract customers, restaurants should have a clear theme or motif. The name, décor, and food must all reflect the restaurant’s primary focus, creating a unique and engaging experience for the diner. Great care must go into choosing the restaurant’s name, which customers should be able to easily recall and spell. Creating an appealing logo further brands the restaurant and ingrains it in customer’s memories, making the name more recognizable. In terms of decoration, elegance and simplicity often impress more than clutter or extravagance. Menus should present food options in an appealing manner and restaurant owners must ensure that all offerings meet the highest standards possible.
Before deciding on a location for the restaurant, entrepreneurs should conduct research about demographics, guaranteeing that a market for their business exists in the area. The best locations lie in highly populated neighborhoods or those that receive considerable traffic. If a new restaurant requires that diners travel long distances or navigate through questionable or confusing areas, they will likely choose a different, more familiar option. After finding an ideal location, restaurateurs must verify that they can secure necessary permits, including a zoning license, building permits, health permits, and alcohol licensure.
About the Author
Joe Quattrocchi holds degrees from the State University of New York and Stony Brook University and additionally studied business at New York University. After establishing a career in the finance industry, he turned to entrepreneurship and established several successful restaurants in Boston. Joe Quattrocchi’s most popular establishments included the Back Bay Brewing Company and Vox Populi, which earned accolades from Boston Magazine and the Improper Bostonian.