We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you ... you're just helping re-supply our family's travel fund.
Starting any business requires a passion for the job and real business acumen. If you love cooking or have always wanted to start a restaurant business, there is a way to set up your business no matter your background. This article is here to teach you everything you should know before starting a restaurant business in 2022, so if you want to learn how to build a successful restaurant, read on.
How to Start a Restaurant Business
Understand COVID Policies
When it comes to restaurant dining in 2022, COVID policies are still very much at the forefront of everyone’s minds. A high-quality restaurant should follow the correct guidelines and do what they can see to keep customers safe and employees’ minds at ease. Yelp has a helpful article on COVID dining policies, including recommendations on vaccination status, masks, and PPE. As a new business, make sure you have the correct COVID policies in place before opening.
Know Your Audience
Any successful business does well by choosing a target audience and knowing them inside out. This way, you can understand what would work in terms of your overall restaurant concept, branding, marketing, and menu. For example, if you are planning on opening a vegan restaurant, you may want to aim this at the younger generation, using social media as a marketing platform. Create healthy and sustainable options, as vegans care about food and the sustainability of their food choices.
Register Your Business
To comply with tax laws, you must register your restaurant business, and doing this early will ensure everything is ready for opening day. To register your business, you need to contact the IRS (Internal Revenue Service). Once registered, they will provide you with an Employer Identification Number which can be used when you file your taxes at the end of each tax year. Failure to do this could result in serious fines.
Write Your Restaurant Business Plan
A business plan is a vital part of any restaurant business and can help you assess your options when it comes to finances. Use a business plan to create a list of operational costs and essentials you need to start your business and make sure it is fully functional. You can then look at funding methods for your business, once you have a better idea of the costs. A business plan is also crucial if you want to find investors for your restaurant.
Get Your Permits And Licenses
When starting a business in the US, you will need to check what permits and licenses are required by your state to open your restaurant. This is a legal requirement, and failing to do so could land you in a lot of trouble. To avoid fines or the closure of your new restaurant, check your state website to see what permits you need to obtain. This could include a liquor license if you want to sell liquor alongside your food.
Choose A Great Location
When it comes to dining, the location of your restaurant could make or break your business. When choosing a great location for your restaurant, consider foot traffic and whether it is beneficial to offer parking spaces for your guests. Outdoor space may also be useful, especially if you want to offer an outdoor dining experience. This gives you more room for tables and some guests prefer outdoor dining during summer. Scope out the competition too, as it could prove difficult if you open up directly across the street from another similar restaurant.
Design The Perfect Layout
To run a successful restaurant, it takes more than great food and great service. The layout of your restaurant is what attracts people to it, so make sure that it represents your food and appeals to your target audience. Consider what décor and seating you want within the restaurant and how this can be laid out to leave plenty of floor space for customers and employees to walk around.
Hire The Right Employees
Running a restaurant is much easier when you have the right employees. You want people who believe in your vision as much as you do and are willing to work hard to make it happen. Find employees with a passion for people and food, as well as experience in a similar role. Remember, these people are going to be greeting the customers, cooking their food, and dealing with requests, so choose wisely. If you need help with numbers, check how many people you need to run your restaurant.
Order Your Equipment
Once you have everything else set up and have the money for it, order all the equipment you need for a slick kitchen. Get everything crucial for opening and make sure it fits your menu and concept. Buying everything brand new is not always the best way to go when opening a restaurant if you are looking to save money, so search for preowned equipment from a trusted seller.
Create Your Restaurant Menu
Now time for the good stuff, creating your perfect restaurant menu. This is something that can take a while to master, and if you are just starting out, it is always better to go simplified and have a few amazing dishes, rather than trying to incorporate too much and making it harder for your employees to manage during busy shifts. You can always swap and change your menu monthly or offer specials depending on the day and your stock levels. Test out your menu on employees, family, and friends, to get their verdict and see what works best.
Market Your New Restaurant
Your new restaurant won’t go far without a solid marketing plan. You may want to go old school and advertise on billboards, in shop windows, or in your local newspaper. Many restaurants are also on social media channels, such as Instagram and Facebook. If you are new to marketing, these 10 social media tips for restaurant marketing can help.
From COVID policies to marketing your new restaurant, this guide is a great start when learning how to start a restaurant business in 2022. You can also network with other restaurant owners for more helpful starting advice.