Starting any business isn't easy but starting a restaurant is a totally different ballgame altogether. There are so many things to consider before you even start.
First, you need to visualize the concept. A lot of people love food and have travelled a lot, which is where they make the mistake of thinking they can open a multi-cuisine restaurant with 3-4 of the well-known dishes from various places. But, that doesn't really work. To be successful, you need to stand out and be unique!
Tip: Choose ONE cuisine that will distinguish you from your competitors and ensure that you make it the best!
The second most important thing is finding a level-headed-chef who specializes in the cuisine that you choose for the restaurant. A good chef is easy to find but you need someone who doesn't just cook well but is also focused on the quality of the products, hygiene levels, training innovation, and respect.
Tip: Find a chef with all of the mentioned qualities –if you do find one, hire her/him immediately and never let them go.
Third, you need to decide which segment you want to focus on. With so many concepts in the restaurant business today, getting confused is one of the reasons restaurateurs may face a setback.
Tip: Personally, for me, Fast Casual is the way to go – smaller outlets, simple but good food, low overheads and a huge number of customers.
This might just be the most crucial factor to be considered. Rentals are the most important fixed cost in a consumer business. You need to avoid getting lured into opting for a great location while ignoring the rent. Getting a decent footfall in the first six months but in a high rental space will kill the business.
Tip: Pick a place where you know you will be able to survive even if you reach just 50% occupancy at peak hours in your cash flows.
This goes without saying – staff and training, both are very important. Considering this is the restaurant industry, you need to ensure that your staff can provide the best possible service and this is not possible without training.
Tip: Develop the right training module; it will happen with lots of trials and errors but your staff needs the right training support.
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