So, you’re turning your dreams into reality and opening a new restaurant? It’s no doubt an exciting time for you; however, like any new ventures, it can also be very overwhelming and stressful. Because there are so many things to consider you can often be left feeling lost for direction and find yourself asking, where do you even start?
The checklist below can help you get started by providing you with some food for thought, pun intended:
Choosing a concept for your restaurant is exciting, but people often get caught up with the current trends. You might think it’s “cool” to open a restaurant that is built around the concept of fondue pots or ten-pound burgers but is that concept sustainable?
Will people want to come and eat the same type of food all the time? The answer is probably no. Like any trend, it will eventually go away. People’s taste buds change all the time, and so should your restaurant offerings. Having a concept that is diverse with a menu that offers both classic and new dishes is likely to stay relevant for longer. The key here is to adapt.
At the heart of your business concept is your menu. The food you offer will attract your first-time customers and keep your existing customers coming back for more. As previously mentioned, having a diverse menu with both classic dishes and new dishes e.g. lunch specials is the best option.
The classic dishes will appeal to the majority of customers; they are the dishes that “you can’t go wrong with”. The new dishes will cater to the current trend, and these can be altered every couple of months. New dishes are a great way to trial the type of food that locals like to consume. You might find that some new dishes might make its way onto your classic menu if they are always in high demand.
Before you go crazy with the menu, you will need to consider the size of your kitchen, which will directly impact the size of your menu. The last thing you want is to over promise and under deliver which will give your business a bad reputation and so it’s better to offer a smaller menu and do it well.
Selecting the perfect location is important, but like all important things in life, it’s a difficult decision to make. Once the location is locked in, and the contract is signed, it is difficult to go back. Make sure you do your research thoroughly from the start.
Some important factors to consider can include the size of the premise, the foot traffic in the area and even the less obvious like the crime rate of the surrounding suburbs. You don’t want to be newly established in a quiet area, which reduces your chance of growing your business and making it difficult for you to meet your ongoing bill repayments.
The crime rate is also beneficial to consider because wherever the restaurant is located, there will always be a chance of theft and break-ins; therefore, it is best to choose an area with less crime. For extra security, make sure you’ll have the right insurance to protect your restaurant and save yourself the financial burden in the future.
People often go out to eat at restaurants to socialise and have a good time with their friends and family; therefore the “vibe” of a restaurant is essential, and the staff you choose to hire will have a significant influence on that.
From greeting the customers to taking their orders, and paying the bills at the end, your customer will have to interact with at least one of your staff throughout their dining experience. So, it is important to hire staff who can brighten up someone’s day even if they are hangry.
Consider hiring staff that are compatible with the vibe of your restaurant. For example, if you have a relaxed vibe, hire staff who are calm in nature, but if you’re going for an energetic vibe, then hire staff who are loud in nature. Hiring the right staff will make a big difference.
Just as important as hiring the right staff, it’s important to have the right equipment so that you and your staff can deliver the result that you promised. Knowing what type of equipment to purchase will depend on your restaurant concept and the menu items you want to deliver.
It’s a good idea to list out all your current and future menu items and on a separate list, created a checklist of all the equipment you’ll need to make that menu a reality. It also won’t hurt to do extra research online and find other premade checklists that you can use to double-check against yours. This will allow you to either confirm your list or to add on items you might have missed. Having the right equipment before you officially open your restaurant will help you operate more efficiently.
It can be hard not to get started right away, especially now that you have a clear vision of what you need to do. However, it would be good to conduct some primary research and check out your local competition. Focus on the ones that have been there for a long time because they must be doing something right. You can strike up friendly conversations with the staff of your local restaurants to gain a better understanding of the business operations in the area, such as the level of foot traffic throughout the day.
The information can assist you in your planning process. In some cases, you might discover issues that can harm your business, for example, finding out that the area is known for having a high rate of theft and break-ins. This type of information will allow you to reconsider your business plan before it’s too late.
All of the assets mentioned above are essential to your business operation, but when an accident occurs that involves one or more of the assets, this will have a negative implication on your business. Whether it be your staff, your equipment or your premise, it is important to keep them all protected with the right insurance policies.
Ryno Hospitality Insurance can help you!
Important Note: All insurance policies have exclusions. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement or Policy Wording to decide whether an insurance policy meets your needs.