People love to kick back, relax, and grab a meal at a local restaurant. However, there are usually so many options that a person or group will spend a lot of time weighing their choices before finally picking a place to eat. A restaurant business can be very lucrative, but you want to be sure to iron out the details before committing to a specific restaurant concept. After all, with so much competition, your business really needs to stand out to maintain long-term success. If you’re an aspiring restaurateur, then you need to consider a few key points about your restaurant business concept before you start spending money.
Determine Who Your Customers Will Be
What kind of person is likely to patronize your restaurant? If you plan to open your business in the local area, then you should consider the demographics of the surrounding towns. Furthermore, you should think about your area’s tourism industry. What are the tourists like? Do they have a lot of money, or do they tend to travel on a budget? Are they looking for a local culinary experience, or would they be excited to find their region’s cuisine abroad?
Does your town or city have a notable immigrant community? They may crave foods from back home, so that could be a good opportunity for a lucrative restaurant concept. On the other hand, they may already have a favorite local restaurant that caters to their tastes. In that case, it would be harder to successfully enter the market.
How much money do your customers make? While you might envision a fancy establishment that serves filet mignon and caviar, such a business may be unsustainable in a blue-collar community. However, that does not mean that you cannot come up with a unique idea to provide a high-class dining experience at an affordable price. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that you account for your area’s demographics. If you pay close attention and listen to what people have to say, then you may uncover an untapped niche in the local market.
Examine the Dining Market in Your Area
If there are two pizza joints on every block, then your pizza parlor may have a hard time differentiating itself from the competition. While that does not mean that you must abandon the idea, you will need to provide something new or better to make your place stand out. To achieve this, you should pay close attention to the reviews and standard practices of the nearby businesses.
Furthermore, you should look at all the things that nearby businesses are doing well. There is no shame in drawing inspiration from a local restaurant’s kitchen design or menu items. Even if you have an incredibly unique idea, you should be wary of entering an over-saturated market. Instead, consider opening your restaurant somewhere else or modifying your business plan.
Identify Major Risks
What will happen if your business fails? Which factors are the most likely to cause your business to fail? While you should put your heart and soul into your restaurant business concept, you must prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. Common risk factors include:
- An unreliable tourism industry.
- Outsourcing of local jobs.
- Drastic population shifts.
- Major infrastructure problems.
- An abundance of competition.
- Regular natural disasters.
- Crime and drug problems.
- Unreliable business partners.
- A lack of reputable suppliers.
- Local beliefs and prejudices.
Although any single item on this list may not be a deal-breaker, you should still carefully think about your business’s risks before choosing a concept and opening a restaurant. For example, if your area has an abundance of crime, then you may not want to offer an outdoor dining experience. An unreliable tourism industry would indicate that you should focus more on the local people’s budgets and preferences. You are going to put a lot of time, money, and effort into your business, so you do not want to overlook a major risk factor that could turn your plans upside down.
Think About the Labor Market
If you want deliveries to be a major part of your business, then you will need enough employees to carry out regular duties while maintaining an effective delivery fleet. Can your business find enough local delivery drivers? If so, then can you afford to pay them a decent wage and give them enough hours so that they stick around?
In a more rural area, you may have a tough time finding qualified candidates for certain positions. For example, you may want your restaurant to have a state-of-the-art bar, but there might be a shortage of certified bartenders in your area. While you could subsidize a candidate’s certification, it may be better to just abandon the bar idea entirely.
At the end of the day, people work to earn money to pay their bills and expenses. Employees will not be loyal to your business without the right incentives. If your competitors can offer better wages, hours, and benefits, then your business will have a hard time finding good employees.
Consider How You Will Source Ingredients and Other Goods
Certain restaurant concepts require rare or foreign ingredients. Will your Georgian bakery be able to import a stable supply of several different Georgian cheeses to make authentic khachapuri? Even if you have access to a stable supply of ingredients, are these ingredients affordable? Depending on your area, it may be difficult to find ingredients for more obscure cuisines. However, with a little digging, you may be able to connect with the right people to find a stable and affordable supply of goods. The success of such a venture would depend on your time, luck, passion, financial resources, and social skills.
The Size Of Your Restaurant Business Concept Matters
It is important to take your restaurant’s kitchen design into account. If you plan to offer a wide variety of items, then you may require many preparation stations and a lot of bulky equipment. However, depending on the size of your restaurant, there just may not be enough space for a dining area and a reasonable food preparation zone. In such a case, you may have to trim your menu so that you do not need as much bulky equipment.
Take Your Budget Seriously
Some restaurant business concepts have higher startup costs than others. If you lack the funds or cannot secure financing for an idea, then you will have to go with something else. While this may be disheartening, you should only start a business that you can afford.
Naturally, you have high hopes for yourself, but something could always go wrong. You do not want to end up in serious debt, so it is important to work with a reputable consultant to develop a realistic budget that you can stick to. By knowing how much money you must spend, you can make smarter decisions when forging your menu, purchasing equipment, and hiring personnel.
Your Idea Doesn’t Have to Be Set in Stone
You may have a unique idea for your restaurant’s kitchen design, menu, service options, or something else, but you can always change your mind. Not every idea will survive the brainstorming process, and that is completely fine. At the end of the day, you are running a business, so your restaurant’s success must be one of your biggest priorities.
Consult With A Reputable Designer
You do not have to start completely from scratch. In fact, it is often better to take advantage of someone else’s knowledge. An experienced restaurant design service can help you figure out the most optimal designs, equipment, and décor for your business. They will work with you to make sure that your unique concept has a greater chance to succeed in the long run.