Opening a restaurant

Steps to opening a restaurant

Many people want to open their own restaurant but this business is not for everyone. They think they are going to sit back and reap the benefits of owning their restaurant with ease inviting friends and family to come and hang out.  Reality is, to build a successful restaurant business it takes money, time, and a lot of hard work.  Here are the key steps to opening a restaurant.

Define your restaurant concept

The absolute number one question you need to answer is what kind of restaurant do you want to open. I get numerous inquiries from individuals wanting to open a restaurant with no clue on what kind of restaurant they want.  Before you call a real estate agent, business broker, bank or investor you must define what type of restaurant you want to open.

Identify your restaurant location

Depending upon your concept, you need to select a location or market in which you will fill a void. Location can make or break your restaurant. Do your homework.  Is there enough foot traffic? Parking?  Are there other restaurants in the area with your same concept?  Just because a location works for one restaurant doesn’t mean it will work for yours.

Build a business plan

Before you can even think about going to a bank you need a business plan.  A restaurant consultant can help you if you need assistance in pulling this together.  A business plan is a critical roadmap for success and it helps you to identify potential issues or roadblocks in your business.

Find financing

Typically you’ll need to have 10%-20% capital on hand for any type of restaurant project.  To secure financing this amount will need to be in the form of liquid funds.  Our extensive financial network of banks, private investors, and leasing companies enables us to raise capital to facilitate transactions. We may also help you save money by refinancing an existing debt.

Apply for licensing and permits

Many licenses and permits take several weeks, even months to be approved. So as soon as you know you are good to go with your financing, you should start filling the paperwork. Common licenses and permits for restaurants include liquor licenses, sign permits, and workers compensation.

Design the restaurant and menu

The design of a restaurant should be a balance between aesthetics and seating capacity, always keeping practicality in mind. Using an experienced restaurant designer may be costly upfront but save you money down the road.  Your menu should be unique, authentic, and memorable to set your restaurant apart.  A menu consultant can help you to create the perfect menu for your restaurant.

Hire restaurant staff

As you get closer to opening day you need to begin hiring for both the kitchen and floor. Kitchen staff, wait staff, and bartenders are all integral parts of any restaurant, and you want to hire the perfect person for each position.

For more information on opening your own restaurant contact us at or 724-935-2151.

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