Opening a restaurant is no easy task. With plenty of overhead and little profit margin, many aspiring restaurateurs quickly have their dreams dashed by low cash flow. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut recipe for restaurant triumph. There are, however, a few maxims and goals that can be implemented to increase your chances at success.
- Line Up Your Big Three
No restaurant can succeed without three things: a great chef, a great location, and a great concept. All three of those elements should complement one another. If you can create a restaurant with a creative, consistently stellar chef, an accessible, pleasing location, and a sensible, unique concept, you’ll find it easier to grow and achieve your goals.
- Overestimate Your Needs
The financial piece of opening a restaurant is one of the most difficult. Most restaurants are considered small businesses, as they employ fewer than 500 people, and the statistics haven’t been great for small businesses in need of financial help. In 2011, 1.4 million small businesses applied for loans. A third cited “unpredictable business conditions” as the reason and 23% cited slow sales. As many as 600,000 of those small businesses were denied. Restaurant business loans are hard to get, but they’re essential to success. You’ll need six to nine months worth of working capital from the start, and for many, that can only come from restaurant loans start up. After the opening’s initial start up, most new restaurants see major drops in business, and that’s when restaurant loans start up capital is important. Don’t blow through that cash during the honeymoon phase, or you’ll be out of business fast.
- Don’t Skimp On Your Guests
The most important money you spend adds value to the guest’s experience. Don’t scrimp on things like equipment, valets, or desserts. In fact, it might be wise to decide on a certain percentage of revenue that can only be used on improvements that enhance your guests’ experiences. Spend as much as you can on guest experience, and the amount you took away from marketing will pay for itself.
- Get Organized
There’s a reason that chain restaurants do so well, though many small restaurants turn up their noses at anything remotely related to chains. Developing an organized system will allow you to focus on creativity, building guest demand, holding onto customers, and making money. It’s not corporate. It’s just smart.
You want to make that restaurant loans start up money count, so make sure you’re planning mindfully and making choices carefully. A new restaurant is a challenging venture. Read more.