Service! The Essential Guide To Setting Up A Restaurant

If you love nothing more than locking yourself away in the kitchen to experiment with your latest culinary delights, you may have been toying with the idea of turning your passion into a money-making business for a little while. You may have every cooking gadget under the sun, you might know your watermelon from your water bath and have some formal training behind you. On the other hand, you may be entirely self-taught, relishing every opportunity to hold a dinner party and use your nearest and dearest as guinea pigs for your latest tasty delights.

It doesn’t really matter what your background is. If you are tempted to dip your toe into the restaurant industry, you simply need to be able to cook. We aren’t talking a decent roast dinner or a good spaghetti bolognese. You need creative flair, an exceptional palette and an understanding of the flavor combinations that work. If you can offer something different to the industry, you could make a success of your business. Take a look at how you can maximize your chances of success when setting up your own restaurant.

The Plan

Like any strong business idea, you need a comprehensive business plan. For a restaurant, this means setting out your financial projections for at least the first twelve months of trading. You also need to work out something called markup. How much percentage profit do you want to make on each dish that you serve? You need to work out the basic cost of cooking your food and then ensure that you sell the dish at the appropriate price to ensure that it isn’t a loss leader. You need to be making money on each culinary creation.

A solid business plan will enable you to take your idea to the bank to borrow money and finance your dream. If you don’t fancy heading down the traditional route, you could explore crowdfunding or employing the expertise of a business angel to contribute towards the funding of your restaurant. Knowing that other people have faith in your business and are willing to invest increases your motivation to make your eatery a success.

The Basics

Before you even begin to consider constructing your menu, you need to have all of your legislative bases covered. This includes public liability insurance to ensure that you are covered should the worst happen. For example, if a customer slips on a patch of water in the entrance foyer of your establishment when heading home after a satisfying meal, breaks their ankle and decides to sue for compensation, your public liability will cover that financial outlay. The cost of insurance varies depending on the likelihood of a claim being made and the level of cover you require. However, it’s vital that you have it. The consequences could be dire if you find yourself without the financial fallback should an accident in your place of work occur.


When you’re hunting for the ideal building from which to serve your tasty morsels, you’ll need to consider a variety of factors. How big does the kitchen area need to be? How many covers do you require? Do you want a city center or countryside location? It can seem like a never-ending task trying to find the perfect premises for your bistro or cafe.

If you’re unsure of what sort of premises to go for, focus on location. It pays to be close to good transport links and in an area where there are already established eateries. This way, you know that the people in that vicinity already have food on their mind and can get home easily after they’ve had a satisfying meal. Always ensure that the cost of your lease is financially viable. You don’t want to be forking out a small fortune each month purely because you loved the art deco features within a dining room. It’s vital to keep a business head and to think logically. If you let your heart rule your head, you may find that no matter how good your food is, your business simply won’t make money.

The Food

The most exciting part of any restaurant venture for a potential chef is the food. This is where your creative flair, imaginative flavor combinations and new, exciting dishes come into their own. Consider what sort of food it is that you want to bring to market. Don’t be a jack of all trades sort of chef with a sprinkling of Italian cuisine, a splash of Japanese cooking and an iota of classic French for good measure. Your menu will look confused, and potential diners won’t know what to make of you. Fusion food is definitely on trend at the moment, but you could risk becoming nothing more than a fad.

Assess the sort of food you love to cook. If British home cooking is your thing, add a touch of gourmet style to your dishes, and you’ve got yourself a theme. You may prefer the spicy flavours of Korean fare or the intoxicating aromas of fruity Moroccan delights. Centre your focused menu around a theme and ensure that your name, logo and image match the food that you want to create.

Generating A Buzz

All of your hard work will have gone to waste if you forget the importance of marketing. To be a success, you need to be visible. As soon as you have your business plan in hand and your funding is available, you should be setting up a website, writing a blog and linking to your social media channels. You want to generate a buzz and a following. Consider more traditional methods of marketing such as adverts in the local newspaper, leaflets pinned up on noticeboards and business cards in fellow dining establishments. You want as many people as possible to know about the new restaurant in town. You have to tempt them in with a discount or offer will get them experiencing your incredible eatery and telling all of their friends about it.

It’s shocking to note that 60% of restaurants fail to make it past their first year of opening. By following this guide, you’ll be maximizing your chances of success when setting yourself up in the competitive restaurant industry

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