How to Set Up a Deli Kitchen Restaurant

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Many new restaurants fail, but proper planning can increase chances for success.
Many new restaurants fail, but proper planning can increase chances for success. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Many delicatessen-style restaurants exist in the U.S., but you can start a profitable new one if you market and operate it efficiently and effectively. Develop a thorough knowledge of the business requirements, the community and the potential customers. Explore restaurants in your community, noting especially how they advertise. Visit delicatessens in surrounding areas. To increase your chance for success, prepare a business plan and marketing strategy and arrange for sufficient start-up funding.

Prepare a business plan that serves as a blueprint for what legal entity you intend to create and how and where you expect to operate. Indicate if you expect to create a sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation. Research potential locations, customers and competitors. Describe the reasons to open your deli in a mall, a storefront or a leased area in a supermarket. Explain the probable customers you would have in each location and how your menu would be fitted to each. Detail data about what percentage of your product costs should be for items such as ingredients, labor to prepare and serve the food, and rent.

State in your business plan if the meal schedule you expect to provide includes breakfast, lunch, supper and late night snacks. Indicate what seating arrangements your deli will have and how the space will be decorated. If you intend to provide bakery items and take-out food for over-the-counter sales, state how and where it is to be done. Describe the kitchen and sales equipment needed and the cooking, serving and cleaning staff required. Identify the licenses and permits you need at the location you choose. State the types and amounts of insurance required and how you will keep your accounts.

Create a marketing strategy. Your advertising will certainly be influenced by your location and the types of customers you want to attract. Explain how you can make use of social networking sites on the Internet where your younger customers spend time. You can offer sale items and coupons online, and in throw-away sheets to bring customers to your store. Because restaurants are ordinarily a choice each time people eat outside their home, you must differentiate your deli from their other choices.

Obtain the financing you need to stay afloat until your business becomes profitable. Banks and investors will look at your business experience and business plan to decide if they will fund your restaurant. Don't exaggerate the sales you expect or try to understate the money you need. Insufficient start-up funding is the cause of many new business failures.

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