How to Build a Restaurant

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With more and more Americans opting to eat out rather than cooking for themselves, owning a restaurant can be an extremely profitable venture. While a new restaurant may not make loads of money when it first opens its doors, it can slowly escalate into something much larger if the person opening it knows how to build a restaurant.

Develop a concept for your restaurant. This is the first step in building a restaurant since it can determine how much start-up money you need as well as what type of location will serve you best. Some people opt to choose a more formal dining establishment while others decide a casual or family-environment suits them best. When developing your concept you should decide what type of atmosphere you want, what type of food you will serve and what clientele you will cater to.

Secure funding to build and start your restaurant. Once you have the concept or theme of your restaurant determined, you can develop a budget for start-up costs. Many restaurant owners use small business loans to cover these costs until they can generate enough profit to maintain their restaurant and start paying back their loan. You do always have the option of using private investors or putting up your own money to start your restaurant if you have enough capital.

Find a location. Your concept for your restaurant will also help determine what type of location is best for you. When it comes to the location of your restaurant you will need to determine whether or not you want to rent or buy the location. Buying will cost you more initially, but it may increase your profitability later down the road. On the other hand you may find after being open for a few months a better location is elsewhere in your city, thus renting gives you the flexibility to move around if needed to increase profits.

Pass an inspection and become licensed. Before you can even open the doors to your restaurant you must pass an inspection and become licensed. The inspection is generally done by the local or state health department although this can vary depending upon where you live.

Choose a food supplier. There are a number of different suppliers that can bring food and produce to you to use in your restaurant. Many opt to deal with one or two suppliers in order to limit the confusion and chaos of receiving food on multiple days since it takes staff to check everything and put it away. Others find it better to use many different suppliers since this can lower the price and doesn’t affect business if something happens to one supplier. In building your restaurant, you should determine what your preference is and choose your suppliers based on that.

Hire a staff. The staff you employ in your restaurant can make the difference between whether or not your restaurant takes off or simply tanks. Aim for employees that are knowledgeable about their position, have a good attitude and want to please as this will transfer over to the customers they serve.

Market and advertise your restaurant. You can have the best staff and food in your city and still not be profitable if you don’t take the time to market or advertise your restaurant. Whether you place flyers around the area or put an ad on the radio, spending a little money on getting the word out about your restaurant will be beneficial.

Find ways to continually grow and improve your restaurant. While your main focus is to get your restaurant open to the public, it is just as important that after achieving this goal you continue to grow and excel. You should create a long-term business plan for your restaurant and take the time to periodically review it. Doing so will ensure your restaurant becomes and remains a success as well as generate more profit for you.

Tips & Warnings

  • In addition to the initial inspection to open your restaurant, your health agency will perform periodic inspections (monthly, bi-monthly, annual) to ensure your facility is remaining clean and safe for the public. Failing these inspections will result in serious consequences such as fines or facing closure.
  • Depending upon where you live you may need to obtain a local business license from your city.

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