Is starting a restaurant a good idea?
I graduated a year ago from high school with the intention of going to a local community college then a nearby university with the hopes of becoming a lawyer. Well, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions! lol. It all blew up in my face, the community college was overcrowded, I couldn't get into the appropriate classes for several weeks. So I took the semester studying for the SAT's and took that in June of this year to go the university. I was rejected last week.
My mom told me to find what I want to do and not to worry about the cost, the money will come. In the back of my mind for the last few years, owning a restaurant was something that stood out to me. But the costs of starting something like that are in the tens of thousands and I literally have $5 in the bank right now.
I live in a small town and the problem around here is there are no sit down joints, like an ihop, or Denny's, any of those places. You have to drive to the nearest big city, 30-45 minutes to get something to eat that isn't a McDonalds. There is a Chili's in town and everyone complains about the horrible service (like they know they're the only gig in town so people have to put up with it). I was going to make the restaurant just back to basics kind of place. Hamburgers, hot dogs, mac and cheese. A comfort food place with comfortable prices, none of this $12 cheese burger crap! lol
Yes... 1. Clarify your concept and put all the proposed details--from decor to dessert choices--in writing. If you can't write about them, they need more thought.
2. Investigate the regulatory requirements, both city and state. Prepare for a plethora of paperwork, including byzantine building codes with regulations covering everything from kitchen exhaust systems to interior finish requirements.
3. Find an ideal location. Do a demographic study of the surrounding area. Research the amount of foot traffic and the availability of easy parking. Then negotiate a lease you can afford.
4. Plan your menu early in the game. Kitchen layout and equipment purchases depend on it. Reduce your equipment costs either by purchasing used equipment or leasing new.
5. Find the funds. Write a detailed business plan and consider forming a small private corporation or starting a limited partnership. However much money you think you need, raise more. Many restaurant consultants blame the high rate of new restaurant failures on undercapitalization.
6. Allocate the available space. Remember that in addition to dining and kitchen areas you'll need room for dishwashing, storage, bathrooms and administrative work.
7. Plan the layout for the dining area. Remember to balance your desire for the maximum number of seats with your future customers' desire to shun tables crammed into awkward corners. Also avoid locating tables in the middle of the room like woebegone little islands. "Nestle tables--particularly two-tops--against low divider walls or other architectural features," advises restaurant owner and designer Pat Kuleto.
8. Keep the kitchen layout focused on efficient, safe food preparation. Ensure that there is sufficient light and ventilation, as well as enough space so that cooks, servers and dishwashers are not bumping into one another at the busiest times.
9. Don't neglect the graphics. From the exterior signage to the look of the menus, graphic design plays an important part in a restaurant's overall look.
10. Pay attention to lighting design. Focus dramatic light onto the tables to highlight the food, and complement it with glowing atmospheric light to make the customers look good.
11. Research and develop the menu. Taste-test the recipes repeatedly until the kitchen can achieve consistency. Remember that the food also has to look good on the plate. Plot out your menu pricing strategy. Have the final menu proofread before sending it to the printer.
12. Decide whether to offer full bar service. Apply for a wine and/or liquor license.
13. Investigate insurance needs thoroughly. Restaurants are simmering stockpots of potential accidents--from fires to floods to food poisoning and a hundred other potential horrors. The National Restaurant Association (restaurant.org) is an outstanding resource for insurance-related information.
14. Select and train the staff. Look for enthusiasm as well as experience. Allow ample training time before the restaurant opens. Remember that the person running the front of the house is as important as the person running the kitchen, and great service is as important a factor in winning customer loyalty as great food.
15. Set up a bookkeeping and accounting system. Establish control over the meal checks. There are dozens of scams that dishonest servers and cashiers can pull; get some expert advice on how to prevent them.
16. Designate a core of trusted employees to supervise storage areas carefully. Stress that they must check in all deliveries and audit the food inventory frequently.
17. Pass your opening inspection by a food safety specialist with your local health department, along with a plumbing inspection. You'll receive a permit to operate, which will be reviewed yearly.
18. Open your doors and welcome hungry diners.
Starting a restaurant is a good Idea depending on the food and the place where you want to open the restaurant. also, don't put your hopes down about school. Apply in a different college.by Luly - 11 months ago