Top 10 Tips for Starting a Restaurant Business

If you have a passion for food, opening a restaurant is the ultimate business dream, but it’s no easy undertaking. What do you need to know? What do you need to do? We’ve put together a 10-point checklist to help you get started, because strategic planning is the key to success.

  1. Draw up a business plan. Whether you’re opening a fine dining restaurant or a fast-food outlet, never forget that those grills, ovens, fryers, stainless steel sinks and freezers cost money. A good business plan will attract investors.
  2. No restaurant succeeds without a wonderful concept, a great location and a remarkable chef.
  3. A big empty space rapidly fills up when you start adding commercial kitchens, walk-in refrigerators and rest rooms. The design of a restaurant should be a balance of aesthetics, seating capacity and practicality.
  4. Equipping your restaurant requires professional assistance; acquiring, for example, the right combi ovens, griddles, preparation areas and refrigeration units, and ensuring that they are positioned to allow the kitchen to ‘flow’, is crucial. At Al Halabi Kitchen Equipment we know that getting this wrong can be disastrous for a fledgling restaurant.
  5. The restaurant industry has a number of detailed and specific regulations, from storing and preparing food through to correct refrigeration and oven temperatures. Investigate these regulations and guidelines early on in the planning process.
  6. Select the finest chef, kitchen staff and front-of-house personnel. A restaurant’s best asset is always its chef, whilst good food loses much of its attraction if it is accompanied by poor service.
  7. Make sure that everything is kept immaculately clean, a job that is easier to accomplish if your kitchen is equipped and laid out correctly. Make sure all your staff have the right hygiene certificates too.
  8. A good marketing strategy will be as crucial to your success as your oven, hob units or freezers.
  9. Make sure you have the staff and kitchen equipment to cope with the size of your menu. Starting with a simple menu, concentrating on high quality produce cooked well, will ensure success.
  10. Do something surprising to set yourself apart from your competitors; then next time your customers think of dining out, they’ll think of you.