5 Things to Consider Before Opening a Restaurant

Opening a restaurant is a big decision and one that your should research fully prior to acting. Going through the process of creating a business plan will help you work out the details and make decisions you may not have known you needed to make.

There are many things to consider before opening a restaurant, but here are five to get you started.

1. Local regulations and health inspections
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Every community has its own regulations that apply to restaurants, bars, and other food establishments. These regulations are designed to ensure the health of both the staff and the customers. You need to apply for proper permits and get all the required inspections completed. This step will include inspections by the county health department before opening, as well as after opening and throughout the time you are in business. The health department can do surprise inspections at any time or in response to complaints made against the establishment. It is essential that you follow all health codes and regulations at all times to ensure you are not shut down by the health department.

2. Staffing
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Staffing is a huge concern when opening a restaurant because you are in the service industry. Customers expect prompt, friendly, and efficient service at all times. This requires having enough trained staff to fulfill the needs of the restaurant’s capacity at all times. Being under-staffed or having poorly trained staff will reflect badly on your establishment and cause people to not only not return, but likely leave bad reviews online. consistently bad reviews can destroy a business, so you need a clear plan for hiring and training staff prior to opening.

3. Safety and cleanliness
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There are many dangers in a restaurant, especially if it is not kept highly clean and safety procedures are not followed at all times. One of the many dangers in a restaurant is the grease trap, which can cause a fire if it is not kept professionally cleaned. Grease trap service will ensure the grease trap stays clean and you have no issues keeping your staff in a safe and healthy environment. Aside from safety, the grease trap can create a significant cleanliness issue, which makes keeping it clean even more important.

4. Menu and offerings
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Before opening a restaurant, you need to determine what kind of menu you are going to offer. There are so many different types of restaurants, you can choose what gets you excited. You might decide you really want to run a family-friendly burger joint or a high-end Hibachi Steakhouse. There is no limit or restrictions as long as it is something you are passionate about. One of the major decisions you will be faced with is whether or not to provide alcohol to your patrons. If you do decide to sell alcohol, what kind will you sell? You can have something as simple as a few beers on the menu to something as complex as full bar service. If you are unsure of what you want to do, you may want to visit a liquor store to see the array of options. You can also see some of the trends in liquor sales, flavors, bottles, and more.

5. Theme and ambiance
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Closely tied to the menu and offerings is the theme and ambiance. While these two factors are closely connected, they are two different things to consider. For example, you can have a family-friendly Hibachi Steakhouse or a high-end burger place. The connections you make between the menu and the theme can be highly creative. What kind of alcohol you offer while also play into the theme and ambiance. You may decide to offer signature drinks that coordinate with your theme. When you choose a theme, make sure it is consistent throughout every aspect of your business. The more consistent a restaurant is with themes, the more attention they garner.

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