How to Start a Restaurant Business

How to Start a Restaurant Business

Amber Alvi

Are you ready to begin and operate a new restaurant business?

You can consider opening your own restaurant if you like exquisite cooking delicacies or dream of being an expert chef. However, entry into this business calls for resources. Sometimes it is an overwhelming challenge, especially for beginners.

Nonetheless, it is crucial to consider other essential elements apart from merely a business plan to run a thriving business.

So, here is a guide intended to help you initiate a new restaurant business.

If it’s your first time exploring this business, be ready to consider far more than just planning a grand opening and financing. This guide includes the steps you can follow in starting and running a successful business.

You may start and operate a profitable business by following the steps listed in this guide.

Tips on How to Start a Restaurant Business

Formulate a Business Plan

As with any start-up business, a business plan is mandatory for a new restaurant. That could be difficult for some individuals who do not have much knowledge of business plans. Hence, you can get help from experienced business professionals who can outline the steps as well as identify potential risks.

Any business plan for a restaurant business features different sections. For example, the overview, description, concept, menu, and marketing and advertising strategies.

This plan will develop the details to make a compelling pitch to the investment community. This is the evidence that you have a lucrative idea, and it will work well if you get any help from banks or prospective investors to start up.

Choose a Theme for Your Restaurant

Before aspiring chefs and future restaurateurs can even start thinking about opening a restaurant, they need to decide on what kind of cuisine they’re going to serve. The first step would be to start by thinking about the theme and concept of the restaurant.

At this point, the other steps will come naturally when you decide what your restaurant is about. It is also the exciting part of it because your creativity has room for expression. In this case, you can try out different menu items and play about with the décor of your restaurant.

A unique restaurant can communicate the vision and mission you have for your business. The branding theme helps design the logo, the menu, and the merchandise you want to offer to your customers.

Study Demographics

Entrepreneurs and business owners can gain a better understanding of the target market they wish to attract after they finalize the concept and location for their restaurant. Consider the demographics of the neighborhood before you open by conducting surveys or online searches. You can also discuss different ideas with locals to find out crucial information.

Create Your Menu

Once you decide on the concept, cuisine, and theme of your restaurant, now is the time to create an inviting menu. Choosing unique items to include in a restaurant’s menu should be a fun experience for any food enthusiast. However, when you are thinking about the best food items to serve for growing your business, it is not so simple.

Consider the location, demographic, and target audience before adding items to your menu. That will also help you evaluate the equipment you need for preparing food and hiring specialized chefs. For instance, when preparing a wide range of French pastries in your menu of desserts, you need an expert pastry chef. If you aim to prepare the best Italian-style pizza in America, the person cooking it must be from Italy itself.

Menu Card also plays an important role in capturing the customers and making sure all menu items should be categorized form and it should be short. No one is bother to read big and large menu cards


The next stage involves obtaining funds for new business. Most of us do not have enough money to open a restaurant independently. Start by calculating the overall launch costs for the restaurant as well as the operating expenses. Use this data to create a budget and project your restaurant's annual operational expenses.

Given your restaurant budget, you can calculate how much cash is needed by comparing its total expenditure with the capital that you have at hand. You wouldn’t want to forget about the costs incurred when getting a license, permits, construction, and equipping the restaurant.

Some popular ways to secure funding for your new business include:

  • Business Line of Credit
  • Crowdfunding
  • Investors
  • Small Business Loan
  • Traditional Commercial Loan

Select a Location and Lease a Commercial Space

Choose a location with good visibility that gets plenty of foot and vehicle traffic. Furthermore, think about the ease of access for pedestrians and cars. Consider parking availability to know how many guests can enjoy a fine dining experience without facing parking problems.

The cost of labor may also vary based on the location of your restaurant. For that reason, you may need to offer relatively good wages.

Restaurant Licenses and Permits

You will require several federal, state, and municipal permits and licenses to open a new restaurant. To guarantee that you don't skip anything important when applying for restaurant permits and licenses, it's always a great idea to seek legal help.

In addition, the FDA changes the Food Code every four years. The specifics of what is mandated, highly recommended, and simply optional differ from state to state and even from county to county.

While you could read the 600+ pages the FDA published, we advise you to start by locating the office that oversees food service code regulations in your state.

Create Your Space and Layout

The front-of-house space and the back-of-house space are the two parts of the layout of your new restaurant. Each area has specific needs. If you require help, think about collaborating with professionals who can develop a personalized design layout that satisfies your requirements.

Consider these elements when planning the layout of your dining room:

  • Numbers of Seats
  • Decoration and ambiance of dining room furniture
  • Cleanability - unpleasant odors can leave a wrong impression on your guest
  • When planning your kitchen's layout, consider the flow of service and leave enough room for the following:
  • Cold and Dry Storage
  • For preparation
  • Serving areas

Get in Touch with a Food and Equipment Supplier

Buying restaurant supplies online offers multiple benefits. The convenience of being able to shop online, research features, and compare pricing can give you access to reliable vendors. That also helps you balance the other steps of starting a new restaurant business.

Find an online vendor that specializes in commercial restaurant equipment and offers benefits like fast shipping and wholesale prices. You could also lease equipment that would help you reduce costs, thus releasing funds for other expenses.

In addition, you must identify a source of supply for food, disposables, and other commodities that must be restocked continuously. Find a supplier that offers free shipping on bundled material purchases because this will enable you to save more money.

Hire the Right Staff

Make a list of all the employees to be engaged in the daily operations of the restaurant. Consider the number of shifts to be run each day and the number of days you’ll remain open in the week. Hire the very best staff members to build a strong team.

While the kind of staff members you need for your restaurant depends on the unique needs of your cafe, deli, or restaurant, some common positions you will have to fill include:

  • Management Team
  • General manager
  • Kitchen manager
  • Front-of-house manager
  • Kitchen Staff
  • Sous chefs
  • Head chef
  • Prep cooks
  • Line cooks
  • Front-of-House Staff
  • Hosts
  • Floor managers
  • Bussers
  • Food runners
  • Waiters
  • Bar Staff
  • Barbacks
  • Bartenders
  • Cocktail servers

Your restaurant will have to hire employees like PR specialists, marketing experts, and accountants to manage a smooth business.

Promote Your Restaurant

It is essential to tell the world about your new restaurant establishment to attract customers. In your advertising campaigns, make sure to give basic information about your restaurant so that potential patrons know where you are located and what meals you cook.

In addition, effective advertising should generate buzz about your restaurant.

For starters, hire a professional web development and design company to create a compelling website. Add all details about your restaurant, such as phone numbers to make reservations, address, and operating hours. Your restaurant's website should be easy to navigate and complement your branding theme.

Although hiring professionals to provide an online presence for your company is excellent, you may also undertake it on your own. Several websites are hosted on renowned platforms, including WordPress, Squarespace, and Wix. One would only spend five minutes at most using any of these platforms to develop a website.

Register on Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google My Business

Registering your restaurant business on Google My Business. Creating a business profile and listing your business on Google does not cost any money. But there’s one more thing that all new businesses must take care of to attract customers. Establish a sound social media presence. Today, any restaurant must have its own web page and Facebook account. Communicate information about your business by opening and managing accounts on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Restaurant Promotion Strategies

Brainstorm unique restaurant promotion ideas to boost customer engagement. Brainstorm some innovative restaurant giveaway ideas and contests such as tagging a friend or captioning a photo, , etc., and offering prizes like a free dessert, and so on. To promote them, use social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.

For example, offer something for free to first-time guests. This gift could be anything from a dessert to a beverage or a discount on their first bill. Hosting contests or giveaways is another exciting way to motivate people to try out your restaurant. These offers promote your restaurant’s visibility and help your brand become more successful. Some other unique restaurant promotion ideas include:

  • treating current customers well
  • planning competitions and events
  • providing coupons and discounts to Facebook followers
  • creating branded merchandise
  • collaborating with similar businesses
  • approaching influencers for promotion
  • using catchy hashtags on Instagram
  • showing behind-the-scenes on YouTube

Purchase a POS System

A restaurant POS system is one of the things business owners frequently forget to add to their business plan. If it’s your first time opening a restaurant business, you may be unfamiliar with the benefits of a POS system. But as soon as you have completed your analysis of the demands and specifications for your restaurant, it is time to begin your search for the top POS service providers. A restaurant point-of-sale system comprises both software and hardware.

A POS allows you to conduct several crucial tasks like front-of-house administration, tip reconciliation, and payment processing. Get the best restaurant POS system in USA, which also generates beneficial reports that help you operate your business more successfully.

Online Ordering for Restaurant Business

Another thing that you must add to your checklist is an efficient and smooth online order system for automating your routine tasks. Invest in a reliable system that allows you to accept and manage orders without any hassle. A restaurant may maintain its menus, take orders, and accept payments with an online ordering system.

The biggest reason why your restaurant should get an efficient POS system is that it allows your business to increase the size of its client base.

Book My Order is the best online ordering system for restaurants. It is a fantastic online ordering platform. This system has excellent advantages for new restaurant setups that can't afford to spend a lot of money on high-tech equipment. So, whether you run a restaurant or a food truck business, get Book My Order for streamlining your operations.

This convenient and intuitive platform can allow restaurants to add menu items, photos, and other details about their business on an appealing website.

Final Thoughts

If you know about doing things right away, running a small restaurant, and adding more branches in other locations is not too hard. Now, you can maximize client happiness and your profit earnings while keeping everything under your budget with the help of our guide.

If you want any more tips on how to start and manage a restaurant business, don’t forget to check out our other blogs. We can also provide you with details about Book My Order, our online food ordering system.

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