Who is your competition, and how will you distinguish yourself? Again, you'll have touched on this already, but dig deeper in this section. Loyal customers at established area restaurants aren't likely to change their dining habits unless your menu or atmosphere or approach somehow sets itself apart from what everyone else is doing. Show your reader that you understand—in detail—what other restaurants are doing and how you're going to be different.
What methods do you plan to use to promote your restaurant? Perhaps more importantly, who will be handling this? Following the example of the owner focusing on the food and the menu, someone with experience promoting and marketing restaurants needs to be in charge and have a plan. Let investors know you've brought someone on board for that purpose, that they are experts on the local food scene, and explain their marketing plan. Business Operation. But rest assured, there are ways to reduce the risk of becoming another statistic.
Follow some of these handy tips and you too can run a successful food establishment. Work in a Restaurant One of the best ways to reduce the risk of owning a failed restaurant is to have some restaurant experience before you start. Many successful restaurateurs have said that the best way to prepare for owning a restaurant is by working in one, hopefully in an eatery similar to one you'd like to open.
You'll learn more than just how to serve food with a smile; you can learn restaurant marketing, menu development, payroll, and other significant components of the restaurant world.
Working in the restaurant industry and learning the basics is an important first step to becoming an owner. Know Your Target Market Who do you see eating at your restaurant? Are you targeting the family crowd, teenagers or seniors? A family-style restaurant, which caters to parents and their kids, may not appeal to seniors. On the other hand, an upscale, quiet restaurant offering a two-hour dining experience wouldn't be appealing to teenagers or families with small children.
Although the food offering does not compete directly with the subject, the restaurant targets the same neighborhood families and has been operating at the single location since Cracker Barrel — located along Interstate 30, the restaurant is not located within the target market area.
These suppliers can provide reasonably priced products, delivered according to the schedule. The following systems will be used by management: Order Guide: The restaurant will use an item specific order guide to track order history and maintain designated levels of product in inventory.
Weekly Inventory: Management will conduct a weekly inventory to determine valuation for use in the preparation of weekly profit and loss reports. Daily Inventory Tracking: Daily inventory will be taken on specific items. Movement will be compared to sales data to ensure designated products have been properly accounted for. Sales and receipts recorded by the POS system will be compared to actual cash and credit card deposits on a daily basis.
Cash, debit card and credit card receipts will be deposited in a deposit. Weekly Prime Cost Report. Jeff Wright will prepare a weekly report that shows the gross profit margin after cost of goods sold and labor cost has been deducted from the sales revenue.
A part time bookkeeper will process and record invoices and credits daily. Reports detailing cash expenditures, payments by check, and accounts payable transactions will be readily available. Check disbursements will be prepared by the bookkeeper. Check signing authority for the general operating account will be given to the general manager. Payroll Processing. Payroll checks will be issued bi-monthly. Payroll will be processed by a payroll processing service. This could potentially become a large portion of gross sales.
The Wrights are targeting Year 2 and at that point, a sales agent would be hired to directly market the products for daily delivery or catered functions. On a typical day in America in , more than million people will be foodservice patrons. National Restaurant Association.
The foundation of a pizzeria is, of course, the pizza. If you don't know how to make a good pizza, hire a good pizza cook who does. Invest in top-quality ingredients and preparation methods, and make every pizza as if you're going to eat it yourself. Do that, and your customers will keep coming back for more. One reason sandwich shops are so successful is that they enjoy high profit margins.
Sandwich shops and delicatessens can also change their menus quickly and easily to adapt to current tastes. For example, with the growing interest in health and nutrition in the United States, sandwich shops and delicatessens have started offering more low-fat, healthy ingredients in their sandwiches, salads and other menu items. In addition, many sandwich shops and delis have been able to keep up with workers who eat at their workplaces by adding delivery and catering to their sit-down and take-out operations.
Sandwich shops and delicatessens can be differentiated by the foods they serve. Most sandwich shops serve only sandwiches, possibly with some side dishes or desserts. A delicatessen usually offers a more extensive menu, including sandwiches, prepared meats, smoked fish, cheeses, salads, relishes and various hot entrees.
With more than billion cups consumed every year, coffee is the world's most popular beverage. But beyond the beverage itself, people frequent coffeehouses and espresso bars for a variety of reasons: to meet with friends, for a quick lunch and a drink to perk up the afternoon, or simply to start off each morning with a great cup of coffee to start off each morning.
Most successful coffeehouses have heavy foot traffic and high-volume sales. The majority will serve up to customers per day and manage up to five customer turnovers during the lunch hour, despite having limited floor space and modest seating capacity.
Profit margins for coffee and espresso drinks are extremely high--after all, you're dealing with a product that's more than 95 percent water. Besides specialty roasted coffee by the cup, most coffeehouses also have espresso-based drinks cappuccinos, lattes, etc.
With the emergence of strip malls and competition from supermarkets that have in-store bakeries, "bread-only" retail bakeries have almost disappeared from the United States. Bakeries today offer cakes, scones, bagels and coffee drinks, and sometimes even offer full dining menus, including sandwiches, hot entrees, beer and wine. Consumers love fresh bakery goods, but the market is extremely competitive.
As you develop your particular bakery concept, you'll need to find a way to differentiate yourself from other bakeries in town. Carving Your Niche Before you can begin any serious business planning, you must first decide what specific segment of the food-service industry you want to enter.
While there are many commonalities among the various types of food-service businesses, there are also many differences.
And while there is much overlap in the knowledge and skills necessary to be successful, your own personality and preferences will dictate whether you choose to open a commercial bakery, a coffee cart, a fine-dining restaurant or another type of operation. Then, once you have decided what business best suits you, you must figure out the niche you'll occupy in the marketplace.
For example, are you an early riser, or do you prefer to stay up late and sleep late? If you like--or at least don't mind--getting up before dawn, your niche may be a bakery or a casual breakfast-and-lunch operation. Night owls are going to be drawn to the hours required for bar-and-grill types of restaurants, fine-dining establishments and even pizzerias.
If you're a people person, choose a food-service business that gives you plenty of opportunity to connect with your customers. If you're not especially gregarious, you'll probably lean more toward a commercial type of business, perhaps a bakery or even a catering service, where you can deal more with operational issues than with people. Some other types of questions to ask yourself include, Do you have a passion for a particular type of cuisine?
Do you enjoy a predictable routine, or do you prefer something different every day? Are you willing to deal with the additional responsibilities and liabilities that come with serving alcoholic beverages? As you do this self-analysis, think about your ideal day. If you could be doing exactly what you wanted to do, what would it be? Once you've decided on the best niche for you as an individual, it's time to determine if you can develop a niche in the market for your food-service business.
Working in a Restaurant Dealing graciously with customers and playing the role of elegant host are only part of a restaurateur's many duties.
Food-service business operators spend most of their time developing menus; ordering inventory and supplies; managing personnel; creating and implementing marketing campaigns; making sure their operation is in compliance with a myriad of local, state and federal regulations; completing a wide range of paperwork; and performing other administrative chores.
Certainly the financial opportunities are there--as are the fun aspects of the business--but starting, running and growing a food-service business is also hard work. Regardless of the type of food-service business you intend to start, the best way to learn the ropes is to work for a similar operation for a while before striking out on your own.
Doing so will give you significant insight into the realities and logistics of the business. Successful restaurateurs agree that the best preparation for owning a restaurant is to work in someone else's first.
Think of it as getting paid to be educated. Certainly you should read books and take courses, but you should also plan to work in a restaurant for at least a few years doing as many different jobs as possible.
And if you're not actually doing the job, pay attention to the person who is--you may find yourself doing it when your own restaurant is unexpectedly shorthanded. Ideally, you should work in a restaurant similar to the type you want to open. You may find you don't like the business.
Or you may find you're more suited to a different type of operation than you originally thought. Hopefully, you'll discover you're in exactly the right place. That venture failed within eight months, then Redler went to work for a large restaurant company, where he eventually advanced to the position of senior vice president, overseeing 15 operations.
Writing a Business Plan Armed with practical experience, you're ready to put together your business plan--the most critical element of your restaurant. Map out everything on paper before you buy the first spoon or crack the first egg.
When you're writing a business plan you should include: a clear definition of your concept; a description of your market; your menu and pricing; detailed financial information, including data on your startup capital amount and sources and your long-term income and expense forecasts; a marketing plan; employee hiring, training and retention programs; and detailed plans that outline how you'll deal with the challenges restaurateurs face every day.
We partnered with hospitality consultant Alison Arth to share tips, stories, and best practices from the best in the business think the groups of Daniel Boulud and Danny Meyer, plus restaurateurs Gavin Kaysen and Aaron London.
The goal is for the reader to keep turning the page. Concept Describe your restaurant concept and get the reader excited about your idea. Find an Equipment and Food Supplier A constant, reliable source of equipment and ingredients at reasonable prices must be established and maintained to ensure restaurant success.
A wholesale restaurant supplier, like us, can help you find many of your needs in one place. We specialize in high-quality restaurant equipment and have a full time customer service team who are experts on our products. Design a Restaurant Layout When starting a restaurant, you'll want to put careful thought into how you can organize your entire layout to meet the goals set forth in your menu and theme. Your primary goal should be to create a systematic flow from front-of-house to back , from the receiving hostess all the way back to the kitchen.
You must provide a safe environment in which your employees can work and your guests can dine, follow the laws of your state on sales of alcohol and tobacco products, and handle tax issues, including sales, beverage, payroll and more. You have two primary choices when entering starting a pizzeria. The menu contains traditional favorites such as hummus, baba ganouj, and tabouli. We will concentrate on the high-end spenders who enjoy new restaurants, eating out, a fun atmosphere, and high-end food and service. Ethnic restaurants enjoy a significant share of the U.
To get the quality of manager you want, you'll have to pay well. Market Analysis. Working in the restaurant industry and learning the basics is an important first step to becoming an owner. It helped them figure out what was feasible and figure out how to move forward. Selecting a Food Concept Restaurant patrons want to be delighted with their dining experience, but they don't necessarily want to be surprised.
These suppliers can provide reasonably priced products, delivered according to the schedule. Prominent in this generation are affluent professionals who can afford to visit upscale restaurants and spend money freely. A resume is not a signed, sworn statement acknowledging that you can fire the person if he or she lies about his or her background; the application, which includes a truth affidavit, is. When you're writing a business plan you should include: a clear definition of your concept; a description of your market; your menu and pricing; detailed financial information, including data on your startup capital amount and sources and your long-term income and expense forecasts; a marketing plan; employee hiring, training and retention programs; and detailed plans that outline how you'll deal with the challenges restaurateurs face every day. The demographics. The restaurant layout, including the dining room, kitchen and serving line, has been designed for efficiency and flexibility to accommodate the fluctuation in customer traffic and peak meal periods.