5 things to think about when opening a restaurant

The food and drinks business is one of the most competitive industries, but it can also prove to be highly lucrative if you get it right. Whether you’re an experienced restaurateur or you’re considering expanding into a new industry, there are a tonne of things you need to take into account before you open your doors and start serving customers. Below, we round up a few.

Assessing competition

One of the first things you should do when expanding into a competitive niche is assess the level of demand in your local area – and never underestimate the competition. It’s important to note that today, the food and drink industry is dominated by big chains, but it’s possible to build a successful independent company with the right support. Create a business plan and take into account things such as the time of year, levels of disposable income and the threat of a well-known player entering the market – all of these things can impact profitability.

Sourcing food

Demand for ethically, locally sourced produce is rising year on year, and consumers will be happy to pay more for food sourced locally. As the environment becomes a growing concern, we must also consider our carbon footprint, and working to reduce the impact our food has on the planet. Take a step back from your strategy and consider where and how you’ll find your food, but of course, have back-up suppliers in place should one supplier let you down.

Finding a chef

Next on the list is talent. It’s easy to say you’re going to cook and clean and serve customers but the truth is that you cannot be held responsible for every part of your business. Working with a chef agency to find an experienced chef makes sense, as you’ll know that they can create delicious food that will keep customers coming back. Don’t skimp on the basics, else you’ll quickly build a reputation for being cheap or delivering average food. Wow customers!

Marketing your new venture

Something else to take into account is marketing, and ensuring people know you’re going to open a new eatery. We recommend starting the marketing months before you open, using social media to build hype and excitement by sharing menu tastings, interior design meetings and more – the more interesting you make your journey, the better. Organize an event for opening night to get people excited about your venue, and don’t cut any corners: going out of your way to impress will help you find loyal customers who will spread the word.

Deciding on pricing

Finally, take the time to calculate pricing for your food and drink, and decide how you want to position your business and brand. There’s nothing wrong with targeting families and those on low incomes, but your menu and decor should reflect. Likewise, if you want to go up market, you must give people a reason for spending £50 on a meal for two as opposed to £20. Add value everywhere you can, and understand who your customers are before you launch.

Whatever happens, we wish you the very best of luck with your new restaurant venture. With some hard work and passion for your food and hospitality, you will make a success of it!