How to Start a New Restaurant

All the Big Steps You Need to Take to Open a New Restaurant

​Ashley DeLeon. © The Balance 2018

Opening a new restaurant can be daunting. There are so many things to consider – from choosing the right location to finding financing to selecting the right name. And, of course, buying equipment and hiring staff.

Concept, Location, and Name 

The first step in opening a new restaurant is deciding what of restaurant it is going to be. Do you want to open a high-end restaurant? A casual 1950s-style diner? Do you have a specific type of cuisine in mind, such as Italian, French, or Indian? Perhaps a microbrewery or a pub.

Location, location, location. It can make or break a restaurant.

Before you sign a for your restaurant location, do your homework. Is the restaurant in a busy area with plenty of foot traffic? If not, is there enough parking? Have several other restaurants opened and closed in the same spot?

The most enjoyable part of opening a new restaurant can be selecting a that means something to you. It can be a family name, a play on words, another meaningful turn of phrase, or it can reflect the theme or location you chose, such as Broadway Diner or The Highlands.

Business Plan

The two most important reasons you need a restaurant . One, it helps you see potential problems in your restaurant , such as not enough of a . Two, it's virtually impossible to get financing without one.

Financing is what prevents many from opening their own restaurant. Although it is somewhat more difficult to get financing for a restaurant, due to their higher failure rate, than for some other business types, it is not impossible. Between banks, small business , and private investors, there are several financing possibilities.

Show up to your  prepared, and show potential investors that you've thought through the mechanics of opening, running, and generating profit from a restaurant.

Common and permits for restaurants, regardless of the state, include , signage permits, separate permits for outdoor space, and workers' compensation. And remember, many take several weeks, even months, to be approved. So once your financing is squared away, start filling the paperwork.

Restaurant Design

A common sense rule about designing a restaurant is that you never have as much space as your first think you do. Even the most cavernous of spaces fill up quickly when you start adding , walk-in refrigerators, a bar, restrooms, and a waiting area. A restaurant's should be a balance between aesthetics and seating capacity, keeping practicality in mind.

Choosing the right color for your restaurant will help you establish a strong brand and help you establish a welcoming ambiance for customers.

Menus, Equipment, and Staff 

A well-written should be descriptive, easy to read, and have a clear, uncluttered layout. Also, it's better to use an attractive font and high-quality paper than muck it up with generic art found on the internet.

Once you have your down, you can start purchasing commercial kitchen and furniture for your dining room and other areas in the front of the house. To save money, consider buying equipment from a reliable source.

equipment with the  logo can cost more at first but will pay for itself many times over, and it's better for the environment.

As you get closer to opening day, hire for both the kitchen and the floor. , waitstaff, and are all integral parts of most any restaurant, and you want to hire the perfect person for each position.

If you can, hire people with experience in the foodservice industry, and if you're hiring a chef you don't know, don't be shy about asking to test-tasting their food first.

Advertising

Advertising is a must for most . Today, you can supplement advertising such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, with more advertising, such as newspapers and radio ads, depending on your concept and the diners you want to reach.

Don’t overlook the . People can't taste food online, but an aesthetically-pleasing web presence can entice diners.