Owning a restaurant can be a great experience, allowing people to come together over a love of great food, drinks, and a brilliant atmosphere. Everybody enjoys dining out, whether it’s grabbing a bite to eat after a shopping spree, trying to impress someone on a first date, taking clients out to lunch to discuss business, or celebrating a special occasion. Your restaurant could be the perfect place for all of these things to happen, but if you want to give yourself the best chance of success, remember the following three things.
The location of your restaurant is very important, as a lot of your business will come from foot traffic. Now, hiring a unit or building to open your restaurant in the city or town center will be expensive, so this might be something you should think about working towards in the future to help keep your overheads down in the early years while you establish your business. However, try to find somewhere to lease that isn’t too far from this area so that it is easy for your diners to find and you’ll still get a good number of people passing by throughout the day. Make sure you open your restaurant in a safe part of town, too, as otherwise, this could put people off coming to try out your menu. You should also make sure your restaurant is signposted and have your menu visible outside for people to look at. You could use outdoor digital signage for a modern look.
Another thing you must have if you want your restaurant to have the best chance of success is the correct licenses to serve alcohol on your premises if this is something you intend to do. The majority of restaurants choose to serve alcohol because it can boost their sales margins by a significant amount, many people choosing to enjoy a bottle of wine with dinner or perhaps aperitif cocktails. Others might simply choose to stop by just to enjoy a refreshing beer while they wait to catch a train or to meet a friend. However, it is illegal to serve alcohol at your restaurant without the proper licenses, so you must apply for these well in advance to make sure you have it approved before your opening date. In addition to alcohol licenses, you must also make sure you have passed all of the health and safety checks and received high hygiene ratings and certifications.
If you want to get customers through the door, you will need to make sure you’re promoting your new restaurant ahead of opening. You could organize a ‘soft open’ where you invite friends and family to try out the menu and give feedback on your service. Then hold a sneak peek preview for local food critics so that they can write up reviews for local and national publications, as well as food blogs. You might also want to consider offering special deals during your opening week to entice customers to try out your food and even get involved in local food markets, if possible, to reach more people.
Opening a restaurant can be stressful as there is a lot of pressure to get things right, and although there is a lot more that goes into it than the above points, they are still very important things that you need to remember if you’re going to give your business the best chance of success.