Whether you are a business major or not, there are many paths in the food industry. A restaurant is more than a chef and a few tables. If you are thinking of food as a long-term career, here are a few things to think about when starting a restaurant and entering the food business.
Business and Finances
The first thing to consider with any new venture is the business and financial side of the operation. Sure, a restaurant’s main purpose is to serve food to customers. However, restaurant operation requires money management. Aside from all the calculations and estimations during the business planning phase, you will need a staff member who is responsible for overseeing all fiscal matters. This includes budgeting, payroll, taxes, and more, so this person must know how to handle finance. You will also want to look for growth opportunities, so plan for ways to maximize profit margins as well.
When starting a restaurant, you probably have an idea based on a dish or theme you love. This passion is great, since your food is the lifeblood of your business. However, even if you employ excellent marketing and budgeting tactics, without quality food, your customers will not return for a second taste. Your menu should be innovative, tasty, and interesting. You should also consider the source for your ingredients, and how you plan to ensure their freshness. Words like “all-natural,” “organic,” “locally sourced,” or “free-range” will help entice customers. Whether they care about these things or not, high-quality ingredients will take your business a long way.
Location Is Everything
Be sure to do extensive market research to decide on the area where you’ll open your business. You should figure out if your food is likely to attract locals. Also, check for similar operations in your area. If your dream is to open a restaurant back home, you may want to research neighboring towns as well. If you enter an oversaturated market, your restaurant will experience difficulty. With the right research into location and demographics, you can plan an effective launch and establish yourself within a community.
Becoming a restauranteur is no simple task, so consider these things to think about when starting a restaurant. With the right combination of dreaming, planning, and researching, you can build a solid business plan and restaurant before you even finish your degree!