Many people have the dream of setting up an eatery to showcase their culinary prowess. Ask any chef in any top kitchen, and they will try and advise you against it. Setting up a restaurant is not just about the food. There are reams of paperwork, legalities and bureaucracy that you need to overcome to get your business venture off the ground. However, if you are certain that this is the route that you wish to take and you yearn to see your cuisine gracing the tables of the finest eating establishment, have a look at these tips to ensure you start your foodie empire in the best way possible.
Location, Location, Location
It’s vital that your restaurant is in an appropriate location. If you are serving up some very specialist cuisine like Tibetan tapas or Nordic seafood, it may not be a wise idea to set up shop in a remote rural village where there is no passing trade. Consider up and coming areas of the cities near to where you live. The cooler, urban areas that are not yet at their peak rent-wise can be the most lucrative regarding value for money. You’ll get a much bigger space than if you opted for a more established area.
Remember, it’s not all about the food. You’ll need to create a business plan that includes financial forecasts for at least the first year of trading. You should anticipate potential lulls in revenue such as the post-Christmas dip and try to mitigate these. Make sure you have all the relevant licences and permits in place before you start trading. Nothing would look worse than, if on your opening night, you couldn’t sell champagne because you forgot to obtain the relevant permit.
Design Your Space
Apart from the food, this is the most exciting part. You need to make sure that your restaurant flows seamlessly from kitchen to front of house. Think about colors, texture and ambiance. Ensure that your space is safety ready. You don’t want to see liability claims being made against you because you didn’t get rid of the toxic mold in the customer toilets and people are suggesting that this has caused their breathing problems. Get a professional in to audit your building’s health and safety environment for your employees and your customers.
The most exciting part is when you put on your chef’s whites and get in the kitchen to create your dishes. It goes without saying that your food needs to be top notch if it is to compete with the hundreds of other restaurants within close proximity to yours. You need to get the pricing right with an appropriate profit margin, and you must ensure that your quality control is rigorous every time. It only takes one dish and one bad review to see a slump in bookings.
Beginning a career within the world of food is fraught with difficulties. If you can survive your first year of trading and secure a loyal customer base for your cuisine, you have every chance of turning your culinary dream into a reality.
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