If you always wanted to open a restaurant, it might be time to draw up a plan, execute it and open your business. While the thought is fascinating, 60% of restaurants fail in their very first year.
So, what do you think can be the biggest reason for failure? Well, you might be shocked to hear, it is a lack of planning. Before you make food for a customer, you will spend a lot of time figuring out the various details of your restaurant.
From menus to floors to kitchen appliances and staff selection to choosing the right POS billing software, finalizing all these can lay grounds of success and failure.
So, we researched and have compiled a guide to make sure you have all the things and the technology support you need online billing software and hotel management systems to run your restaurant business.
1. Motto Behind Opening The Restaurant
If you want to open a restaurant, you need to be very clear on why you want to do it. You will need to invest in a good amount of time and money and even do odd jobs in the starting,
You cannot only depend on it to start making money one fine day.
Moreover, you will need to figure out how your restaurant would look.
Do you have some ideas about your restaurant’s aesthetics and what furniture you will need to purchase to match your theme? Well, before you move forward and make a business plan be 200% sure on these aspects!
2. Business Plan
Well, you cannot make a business plan on plain paper. You need one that can map out the path to success. You need to keep it simple yet comprehensive. Think of it as living documents. So, that you can tweak it, return to it, plan for growth and use it to measure your progress. But, what exactly should a business plan have?
It should include market research, competitor analysis, an outline of your marketing plan, target audience, and budget. As you continue to add/ remove things in this plan, you must not forget to keep a close eye on the industry trends.
Here are a few ideas you must try:
- Give out some food samples and take part in community events
- Offer attractive discounts to new customers
- Make sure to join the local business association
3. What Will Be The Restaurant’s Location?
For a restaurant, a location is everything. You need to find a place that attracts customers and is easily accessible, and of course, has the growth potential. But it must be within your budget. For this, you can use online billing software to make sure you don’t overspend.
Don’t rush, and take your time to look for the right space. You might even want to research startup incubator spaces for restaurants. These will let you keep initial costs low and even offer some great mentorship opportunities.
Be it renting a space or building from scratch, selecting a location will be one of the toughest decisions you will make as a restaurant owner.
4. Restaurant Menu
Now comes the exciting part. It is about deciding your menu. A way to do this is to approach it like an experiment. For example, have a dinner party with your decided menu and ask the guests to give their feedback.
But, don’t limit the guests to your family members and close friends. Ask them to get people who you probably don’t know that well. Always remember that while you might like the taste of a dish, your customers will not pay for it if they don’t find it appealing.
Use a feedback mechanism that lets you capture people’s honest reactions. You might even visit other restaurants to get the hang of pricing and your customer’s palette.
Well, now that you are clear in several aspects. It is time we talk about staffing. Some restaurant consultants will suggest hiring a manager before the opening day, but is it your biggest need? How many cooks do you need? Do you actually need a dishwashing machine? How many servers are required?
Take time, think about it, and then hire your staff. Consider starting slow and analyze how things are running with lesser staff.
You can easily manage your staff with online billing software. Also, make sure you have training materials ready. Create codes of conduct, job descriptions, and an employee handbook. You can also create document recipes for your chefs so that every meal is made perfectly.
As a restaurant owner, you need to keep your ego at bay. If your idea of having a restaurant is walking in a fancy dress and asking customers how the food is, you are in for a surprise. You have to be willing to do any job that comes. From seating customers to cleaning tables and chopping vegetables to washing utensils, you will need to don various hats from time to time.
6. Funding and Cash Flow
POS billing software can come in handy when it comes to generating startup capital and managing cash flow. It will help you calculate project costs and handle bill payments.
So, basically, you need three pools of money:
- One that covers equipment costs
- One for fulfilling expenses for a minimum of six months
- Cover your personal expenses for at least eight months
It is suggested that you have a buffer of six months. This is because your expenses may outweigh your revenue for that long.
Restaurants cannot generate profits overnight. It will take time to market, get customers and gain popularity. Moreover, it is possible to overshoot your budget. You can even think of a business line of credit and manage it with online billing software.
7. Marketing Initiatives
Word of mouth is one of the great methods to get more customers; you cannot solely depend on it. You need to have a good social media presence, participate in a local fair, put an ad in the local paper, and host a small event together to market your business.
These were some of the aspects you need to be clear on when starting a restaurant business. POS billing software, hotel management solutions, and time tracking software can help you stay organized and top of your restaurant management. Go ahead and use these tips to kickstart your business!