Opening a Restaurant (Article)
Opening a Restaurant
Starting a restaurant business is something many people dream of doing. Television programmes such as Masterchef confirm that people, who are currently in other professions, aspire to change career and open their own restaurant.
But just how feasible is it to start your own restaurant business? First of all, it is nigh-on impossible to ignore that you have to like people, something which usually isn’t taken into the equation. You have to not only like your customers and wish to please them on several levels – hospitality, service, comfort and, naturally, food – but also your staff. Your chosen staff will become almost an adjunct of your family – you will see more of them during the week than your actual family – so you have to take this in mind when hiring (and, sadly, firing).
The hospitality business in the UK – and in many other countries – is a growth industry. It can be a most rewarding, stimulating business. But never forget that it is a business. Running a restaurant or a pub is not for the faint-hearted.
You will have to take into consideration the skills set needed: good cooking (either by you or chosen chefs); skilled kitchen and front-of-house staff, quality control, and accurate accountancy. You’ll also need to consider where to set up your business and just how much you will be spending, not only to set up the business but also to run it.
There are many challenges to overcome managing a restaurant business successfully:
- Deciding what kind of restaurant you wish to run and where to locate it, its size and what kind of restaurant suits the area
- Your concept, design, kitchen and restaurant layout, menu, licences, complying with various government legislative Acts
- Financing your business, creating an income, writing a business plan, calculating menu and staff costs, running a safe business, staff hygiene, environmental health and other factors
- Marketing your business: your restaurant’s name is as vital as is your signage; your promotional material; your media profile; getting into the guides
- Staffing your restaurant kitchen and front-of-house, together with interviewing potential candidates and managing them when they are on board
- Designing menus; choosing suppliers; choosing wines, beers and spirits and how to run the alcohol side of your business
- Learning about the customer side of your business and making sure of repeat business.
Running a restaurant or pub can be the most exhausting, nerve-wracking and tiring thing you will ever do. But it can also be one of the most satisfying, rewarding and creative businesses to work in.
By Carol Godsmark author of Start and Run a Restaurant. Visit www.start-and-run-a-restaurant.co.uk