So, you’ve decided to try your luck in the world of entrepreneurs and open up a small restaurant business? That’s great! Starting a small restaurant is very interesting indeed, but it can also be quite difficult and tricky to maintain if you don’t prepare well in advance. It’s important to understand that about 60% of newly opened restaurants fail within the first year, but don’t let the stats discourage you. Here, we’ll discuss all the things you need to take care of in order to avoid suffering the same fate. Check it out.
Table of Contents
Research the market
Just like with any other offline or online business, you should first conduct thorough market research before you set off on your business adventure. This will allow you to determine if there’s room for your business on the market in the first place, find out who your competitors are and identify your target audience. Once you collect this data, use it to craft a solid business plan.
Find the right location
The second most important thing is your location. Finding the right location for your business – somewhere where there’s enough crowd but it’s not too crowded; somewhere where there’s not a lot of competition close by; somewhere easily reachable – is of the utmost importance.
No matter how good the services you are offering and no matter how tasty your dishes are, if people can’t reach you easily, the sad truth is that they won’t even bother. Therefore, spend some time browsing various locations and even try to find out if there already were similar businesses in that area and how successful they were.
Define your market
Now, provided that everything went well, and that you have all the necessary data, as well as a good location, you should move onto defining your market. Here, you’ll need to determine what kind of food you will be serving, to which demographics, what you want to accomplish with your business and what your business goal is. Also, you should come up with a USP (unique selling proposition) that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Your USP can be literally anything – you can choose to open a themed restaurant, serve signature cocktails, offer free delivery or anything else that will make your business significantly different – and thus more appealing – than the rest of similar businesses.
Invest in proper equipment
Next, you need to make sure that you obtain all the necessary equipment. Now, since you’re planning on opening a small restaurant, there really is no need to go for big, commercial kitchen equipment. Instead, find something like the high-quality Viking professional range that will be more than enough to serve your small restaurant needs.
Additionally, you’ll need a reliable freezer and a refrigerator, as well as a dishwasher and a microwave. Of course, various pans, pots and slow cookers should also find their way on your list, as well as cutlery, and plates and glasses of various sizes.
Take care of marketing
No business can dream of reaching success without a proper marketing strategy in place. Therefore, make sure you hire a good marketing agency to spread a word about your business. Aside from having a well-organized, fast and responsive website, you should also consider implementing traditional marketing methods, such as printed flyers and newspaper ads.
Also, in the very beginning, offer various discounts, happy hours or even free tastings to attract even more customers your way. Remember, you need to give some to get some.
Pay attention to your customers
It’s important to keep in mind that your customers are the ones who are keeping your business up and running. That’s why customer satisfaction should be your top priority. No business can run without customers, and no customer will return to your business if they’re not satisfied.
So, ask your customers for feedback – you can ask them to fill a survey and thus help you improve your offer, maintain a good, friendly relationship with them – but avoid being too friendly since that can drive them off, and treat your regular customers with utmost care and respect.
Therefore, when starting a small restaurant business, you’ll need to take care of some technical aspects like finding the right location and getting the proper equipment, but keep in mind that your top concern should be the satisfaction of your customers. If you do everything right, you’ll be able to enjoy the fruit of your labor in no time.