Did you know that it’s projected that by the end of the year, over a million new restaurant locations will be opened around the US? Well, it is estimated that these restaurants will be able to employ close to 15 million people who accounts for 10% of the US labor force.
As you can see, opening a restaurant will surely work for you especially if you overcome one of the biggest fears that plague every entrepreneur – failure. Let’s face it. All successful entrepreneurs from around the world have had to overcome the fear of failure. As a result, they have been able to achieve their goals and even watched their investments grow and expand.
Before starting a cafe, here are 7 things you need to keep in mind.
1. Success will not occur overnight
Whether your new cafe is located near a high traffic area or your coffee is the tastiest in the whole city, success will not occur overnight. Before attaining, success, there is a lot that needs to be done. For starters, you have to identify the customers you want to attract.
Another important point to consider is management. If you lack the experience of running a restaurant, be warned. The end results will not be great. This is the same if you decide to hire inexperienced waiters and baristas.
To ensure success, you have to find the right location, hire experienced staff, market your restaurant and provide the best service to your customers.
2. Offer extra value to all your customers
Ever heard of this saying “the customer is always right.” Well, it’s true. If you treat your customer badly, they will end up leaving a bad review on your social media pages or other online platforms. If customers visiting the area read these bad reviews, they will opt to visit another cafe.
Since you don’t want this, you need to go the extra mile when providing services to your customers. Here is what you need to do. Find a unique concept that meets the needs of your customers. For instance, if the location you are planning to start your restaurant is frequented by college students, opening a high end cafe will not work well but an affordable one would.
When it comes to food and beverages, try to diversity your offerings. Instead of concentrating on what other restaurant are offering, why not specialize in new products that cannot be found in your area.
Lots of research is needed here.
3. Familiarize yourself with the suppliers
Now that you are starting your own restaurant, do you know where you can source your ingredients – pastries or the best coffee? Walking into a store and purchasing stuff for your cafe will not work. You need to find a dedicated supplier for what you are looking for. For instance when it comes to coffee, find a supplier who specializes in the best.
By doing so, it helps to ensure that your cafe will always be stocked. In case something runs out, your supplier is only a phone call away. Just make the call and they should deliver the supplies to your restaurant. If you don’t have a dedicated supplier, be prepared to face the wrath of your customers.
4. Hire people you can trust
To ensure your cafe idea becomes successful, you need to hire people you trust from the word go. For instance, when it comes to locating the right premises for your restaurant, you need to hire an attorney with real estate experience. He or she is well versed with lease agreements and should be able to advice you.
You also need a highly experienced accountant. Since you will be running the business, you need to have someone you can trust when it comes to finances and taxes.
5. Pricing is not rocket science
It is quite tempting to price your food and beverages highly when you start your restaurant because you want to profit and expand. Well, it does not work that way. The best way to go about pricing your food and drinks is to calculate the quantity you need to sell in order to break even.
If you are delivering food and beverages to customers, the delivery fee should be included and must be able to cater for fuel and wages paid to the delivery guy. You don’t want to offer free deliver and end up paying the delivery guy from your pocket.
Refrain from pricing your food and beverages too high. People have yet to taste your food and other offerings so, they are not familiar with your brand. Don’t price your food and beverages too low either. This will surely lead to the death of your restaurant.
6. Plan your menu to cater for all
Planning your menu is an important item to factor in your plan before opening your business. Your menu should largely be influenced by the theme of your cafe.
You can also study trends and add new menu items. Apart from that, you should have a menu that caters for different ages – adults and kids plus a menu that also caters for different people – vegan and vegetarians.
7. Business permits and licensing
You cannot open and run any business without a license. Whether it’s a food truck or a high end restaurant, you need a business permit or license to operate. To have these documents, reach out to your local government office. Apart from that, you should consider other requirements – state and federal. This will ensure that your new business is in compliance with the law. You don’t want to be shut down just when your restaurant is gaining popularity.