How to Start a Restaurant in Texas


Texas is famous for its cuisine, ranging from barbecued meats in secret sauces to Tex-Mex hits like burritos and quesadillas. But just because Texans love their food does not mean it's easy to open a restaurant. The National Restaurant Association estimates that three-quarters of all restaurants fail in their first three years. With a solid business plan, good idea and lots of publicity, you may be on your way to success in Texas.

Open that Restaurant

  • Study the location in Texas where you would like to start your business. If it is overrun with BBQ joints, consider starting something more upscale. If there is an overabundance of steakhouses, consider opening a vegetarian restaurant. Keep your demographic in mind. Write this out in a restaurant proposal that will double as your business plan.

  • Choose a location. Make sure you have plenty of space for parking. Choose a place that is large enough that you can turn a profit but not too large to be able to fill easily with customers. Consider buying or renting a place that has already been a restaurant so you don't need to invest so much in renovating the kitchen.

  • Secure your permits and licenses. In Texas to legally operate a restaurant you need a business identification permit, food handlers license and if applicable a liquor license. The first is available for free at your local city hall and is just an ID number. The food handlers license costs $10 and enables local Texas health inspectors to call in on your restaurant to check hygiene. The liquor license is the most expensive proposition, costing upwards of $300 dollars and also allowing for Texas state inspections.

  • Hire your staff. Consider paying them slightly more to ensure that you get the best staff possible. Illegal immigration is a big problem in Texas, and as the employer, you are responsible. Make sure all of your employees have valid Social Security numbers.

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  • Photo Credit beef and bean burritos image by Kathy Burns from
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