Guide to Opening Your First Restaurant

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Opening your first restaurant can be very exciting, and it can also feel overwhelming. Beginning any business requires plenty of consideration, and a restaurant is no different. The planning you do now will be the key to your restaurant business success. This guide will help you do just that, regardless of the size of the establishment you plan to open.

happy restaurant owner standing outside of his restaurant

Build a Solid Foundation

Every restaurant owner knows that, to be successful, a solid foundation of three essential elements is required: concept, location, and chef. In order to get the right mix, you’ll want to first identify your concept, as this will be what your chef and location will be matched to.

For example, if your business is going to be a casual diner, a chef who specializes in fine dining won’t be the right fit. To discover your concept, you’ll want to research restaurant types, which include fine dining, fast casual, and street food.

What’s Your Niche?

Before you write your business plan for opening a restaurant, you’ll also want to consider your niche, and, to do this, you’ll need to think about your own personality. You may prefer to rise in the early mornings, for instance, which can be ideal for starting a family breakfast restaurant or bakery. If you aren’t much of a morning person, running a pizzeria, bar and grill, or fine dining restaurant may be your niche.

The Business Plan

Once you’ve figured out your concept and niche, it’s time to write your business plan. Your plan shouldn’t be “written in stone;” rather, it should be considered to be a fluid document that you will adjust according to how your plans change and your business progresses. Your business plan will need to be backed up with statistics and calculations from your market research and budget calculations.

Couple having dinner in a restaurant

You will want to identify an ideal location, as well as your timeline for earning a profit. Competitor and target audience research and a good marketing strategy will round out your restaurant business plan.

Keeping It Legal

Along with your other considerations, owning a restaurant also comes with legal obligations. You will need to ensure that your establishment is always up to code, which means obtaining the proper licenses for the safe serving of food and alcoholic beverages if you plan to serve them.

You’ll also need to protect yourself from liability issues by obtaining insurance. There are many types of coverage to choose from; general liability protects your business from lawsuits, but you will need commercial property insurance for your inventory, assets, and restaurant property. Serving alcohol will require liquor liability insurance in order to protect you from alcohol-related liability claims.

If you’re doing this for the first time, choosing the right restaurant insurance cost and coverage can quickly become a daunting task. However, you must get it right the first time in order to ensure you’re completely protected. Tabak Insurance Agency has 25 years of experience in the restaurant and bar industry and can get you covered fast; call (281) 769-5274 today.