Opening your very own restaurant can be a stressful and time-consuming process. As well as thinking about everything from kitting out your kitchen and arranging decor, you also have to worry about marketing your new venue and hope that people will turn up when you open your doors. It can be tough to go it alone, but the hard work will pay off once you get started.
Below, we’ve rounded up five key things to think about before you open a new restaurant.
Choose the right name
It’s one of the most important things you can do in your starting days, but it’s something that so many new restauranteurs leave until the last minute. Your name should reflect your ideas, location, branding, and attitudes – so be creative and come up with something unique that encapsulates everything you’re about. Avoid cliches and don’t choose anything too long. Once you’ve found one, buy a domain name and sign up for social media handles so that you can take control of the brand online – if you leave it too late, you might have to change it!
Find the right staff
Unless you’re secretly an octopus, the chances are that you’ll need to hire a few members of staff to help you run your new business. It can be tempting to ask friends and family to give you a hand, but the truth is that it rarely works out. Invest in hospitality recruitment and conduct interviews and taste tests to make sure you find the very best members of staff for your new venture. Your food could be amazing but if your service lets you down, then people won’t come back, so make sure you hire only the most experienced and professional staff.
Perfect the menu
Your menu will naturally change and evolve as your business grows and punters tell you what they do and don’t like – but you should get some input and choose the right dishes for your opening night. Don’t overwork yourself – it’s better to offer six brilliant dishes than twenty main courses that don’t deliver on style or flavour. Start small and aim big – you have time to grow and your restaurant will be very different in a year’s time to how it looks today.
Play some music
Music can make a major impact on your restaurant’s ambience and style, so listen to some soundtracks and decide on music that works best for your business. An Italian isn’t going to be playing the latest Nicki Minaj song – you need to choose appropriate music that is calming and welcoming and doesn’t overpower conversations. People must be able to hear each other when they’re out dining with friends and family, or they won’t come back again.
Digital marketing is so important in today’s times – if you can’t be found on Google and Facebook then you don’t exist. Get started on building an online presence from the day you decide to start a new restaurant and get friends and family involved. Consider running a giveaway to increase your follower count – over time, you’ll be glad you did, as lots of your new followers will be curious about trying out your food. Once they do, ask them to leave a review on your Facebook page and on Google to help spread the word.
There are many things to take into account when setting up a new restaurant, so get started today. It’s going to be tough, but once you’ve opened the doors and are making money, you’ll realise it was all worthwhile. We wish you the very best of luck with your venture.