Key Things to Consider for Launching a Successful Restaurant

More and more people dine out than ever before. Even during the pandemic, getting that dining out experience was still a top priority for many. As we emerge on the other side, new restaurateurs are ready to take the leap into the post-pandemic market. However, starting a business in the restaurant sector is not just a case of selling good meal; there are a lot of other elements to consider before taking the leap.

Check out some top tips to get your restaurant concept off the ground and flourish in this ever-evolving market.

Identify your target market

To make sure you get the right people through the door, you need to identify your target market. No restaurant can really cater to everyone’s tastes, so there’s no point in struggling to do so. In reality, you need to define your ideal customer. There are significant generational divides when it comes to eating out. This includes looking at which segment prefers convenience over luxury or vice versa.

The food concept

Similar to the above statement that you can’t cater to all ages and groups, you also need to hone the niche of your menu concept. There are tons of ideas to consider, including family-friendly establishments, gourmet offerings, or small, casual dining experiences. This concept should match the type of market you intend to target so you can carve your niche. It’s also important to keep an open mind but not completely stray outside of the box. Most people want to enjoy the dining experience, but they also want a little predictability. Completely unique ideas only work in a selection of locations and markets.

Choose the best location

The location of your new venture can make or break the success of it. However, it’s not always necessary to have your business right in the hub of a retail district. This choice is determined by the factors above and the type of people you want to attract. Some important areas to think about when choosing the location include:

  • Rent and business rate – the location may be perfect but will these costs eat into your potential income significantly?
  • Accessibility – is the location accessible to your target market?
  • Parking facilities – if you choose out-of-town areas, does it have ample parking for visitors?
  • Proximity to other businesses – other businesses can influence the amount of footfall to your restaurant.
  • Consider why the previous tenant left – ask the question, as the answer may prove valuable in deciding whether to set up in the location.

Layout and design of your restaurant

When you‘ve chosen a location and potential space to lease, it’s time to think about the design and layout. It’s surprising how many new restaurateurs fail to consider in-depth about these two concepts. Everything from storage and dining area to kitchen space and restrooms is a crucial element. The typical ratio of space in restaurants is 45-65% dining and 35% to the kitchen and preparation area, with the rest to storage and office. Each room needs to be designed so that the flow of your restaurant is streamlined. From when you choose restaurant tables to the interior décor, every detail is vital for making people react positively to the environment.

Other aspects to consider when starting a food business include:

  • Creating a menu targeted to your ideal customer
  • Adhering to safety regulations
  • Hiring the right staff
  • Marketing your new business – crucial if you want to start off as you mean to go on!

These are just a few handy tips on getting your restaurant off the ground. But getting these areas right could be the break you need to make your new venture a success in the current climate.

Mark Hopkins: