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How to Own your own Restaurant and be Successful

By Edited Dec 14, 2013 1 2

Since I’m a qualified chef, I was also looking at ways how to start a restaurant. For one reason and another I decided to opt out of this, but I did discover that if you have the right niche you can make a good go of it. There is so much you can do once you have that basic training.

There are a lot of chefs who have top restaurants across the world. This also means greater competition. There are also loads of restaurants that people have developed within the family or as a team without any experience or training. A heart and passion for food is definitely a necessity. 


You also have to realize that at any time you could suffer a big set back. This could be because of the economy or because a change in the trend. Gordon Ramsay has lost a huge amount of money in the restaurant trade. A huge part of this is due to the economy, but others are saying that it is due to the fact that prices are exorbitant and the gourmet meals that are on offer are not what people are after anymore. This is why you have to watch out for trends and what is important to you may not be seen in the same light to your customers.

A lot of the time a new restaurant will open up and customers will flock in, but you may find that once the excitement is over things will quieten down again. This is why you always have to be thinking of what you can do to attract customers. Think of special deals or changing the menu a touch or even adding something on. Location is a reason which is important.  I once worked in a classy restaurant, which provided 5 star meals and of course they were pricey because we only used the best ingredients, but this was in the wrong place. It was situated in a business park and the average secretary could only afford a basic sandwich. 

Restaurant start up costs

There is no doubt, if you want a restaurant, you have to have the money to open it. This is one of the reasons why I bailed out. It is a business that involves a high risk factor, but if you have analyzed all the facts and have looked at different locations, talking with people who are in the industry then you will find that it a successful restaurant can be very successful. If you don’t want to go so big you can always decide on a pub or a coffee shop. Don’t think that this is going to give you a rest, because this is one business that is very demanding. It doesn’t matter whether it is established or not. You will always have the manager call you about something so this is something that you have to be prepared for.  


Business plan to start a restaurant

This is not only your homework and research which will help you when applying for a loan and a bank or institution, but this is for you and it is the most vital document. It is a piece of paper that you will come back to over and over. Here, you will have your short term and long term goals listed and it is important to refer back to this plan to see if you are on track and whether you need to make any changes. It will help you see how much money you actually need and for some people this may come as a nasty shock and you have to ask yourself if it is really realistic. You will be able to see everything that you actually need. To get help having this done professionally, you can head off to the small business association and they will be able to help you out. 

business plan

Checklist for opening a restaurant

Here is a summary of what you should be thinking of doing before you dive into it.

  • Find a niche that is unique and which you know a lot about or you are willing to learn. Get some help with this if you are feeling apprehensive. You have to be sure about this.
  • Looking at different locations, buildings and sites. This must suit your niche. Are you looking for something with a view or can it be more formal for business meetings? Don’t settle on the first location that you find. This is a big decision to make.
  • Learn about how to negotiate with the lease. This is going to be your biggest expense so you must know how to do this. You can always get help from someone in the property field.
  • You have to decide whether you want to start small with a minimal amount of equipment and buy more as you grow or if you want to buy everything at once. You could even buy used equipment and go to auctions. Some of these appliance have only been used a couple of times before the business folded.
  • Take time to design the menu. If you don’t know anything about this then get someone to help you because there is a lot that goes into this. It has to support your niche and be balanced. There are lots of factors to consider.
  • Think about the different costs. The expenses should be listed in your business plan, but you have to think about hiring people to do the décor and fit out the restaurant. You also need to hire staff.


Mar 31, 2013 8:50pm
Grew up in the food and dinning industry...really tough. People need to know exactly what they are signing up for. Good article.
Apr 2, 2013 12:05pm
Thanks Kyle, thanks for the comment - you right, it's definitely not easy.
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