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Opening a restaurant is a dream come true for many aspiring entrepreneurs. However, the pandemic has put this dream on hold for many as it has forced many restaurants to temporarily or permanently halt their operations. The restaurant industry has been hard hit by the coronavirus and many owners are still feeling its impacts. Despite these challenges, it is possible to successfully open a restaurant with careful planning and consideration of the current situation.

To overcome the crisis, the food service industry has embraced new restaurant trends and diverse revenue techniques in order to meet the challenge that they are currently facing. Despite the challenges, most people believed that restaurant ownership is still feasible. Hence, to help you get started, we have created guidelines on how you can open your restaurant.

How To Begin Operating a Restaurant

It is important to know that starting a restaurant will require meticulous planning. Additionally, it can be more manageable when it is broken down into several steps. If you are interested in knowing how to open your own restaurant, then the following is a step-by-step guide that can help you in navigating through the process.

Select a Restaurant Concept

If you are interested in opening your own restaurant, then most probably, you have been thinking about your restaurant concept. The fun part about creating your restaurant planning process is selecting the concept of your business.

Here, you will get the chance to let your imagination run wild. When making your concept, be sure to include the type of restaurant you are interested in, the service style you want to use, as well as the type of cuisine you want to serve. Be sure that the interior design of your restaurant matches your concept.

If you have already chosen a location for your business, then you can use the demographic of the area for creating the concept of your restaurant. On the contrary, if you are starting with the concept first, then you should select a location with a demographic that matches it.

Create a Restaurant Business Plan

Just like any other new business, opening your own restaurant requires a reliable business plan. This might be challenging for those who are not so familiar with making business plans. Restaurant business plans consist of different sections that define every aspect of your new business, including your concept, funding, and many more.

The goal of this plan is to help you in going through the details and make a summary of your business which will be presented to potential investors. When applying for loans, you can present your restaurant business plan as evidence that your venture will be successful.

Conceptualize a Menu

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Creating your menu is one of the important steps in opening your restaurant. When selecting the items that you want to feature on your menu, it should be something that can be enjoyed by any food lover, however, you should be careful when making your decisions.

Your menu can help you in determining the skills that you will look for, the type of equipment you will need, as well as the type of crowd you want to attract. For instance, if you are interested in having a dessert menu that consists of delicate French pastries, then you should hire a pastry chef and purchase its matching supplies. On the other hand, if pizza is your thing, then you will be needing proofers, dough mixers, and skilled chefs who are capable of handling pizza dough.

Another important factor to consider is the demographics. If your restaurant is located in a college town, then be sure to tailor your restaurant menu to college-age customers. If you are not interested in creating an upscale menu, then you should choose a location where the median earners can afford the prices.

Look for an Equipment and Food Supplier

Before you can operate your new restaurant, be sure to equip your kitchen with the right equipment. There are certain types of equipment that are essential in every restaurant such as cooking equipment and refrigeration units. Depending on what you include on your menu, you might require some specialized equipment such as pasta cookers or pizza deck ovens.

Your choices will also depend on the layout and size of your kitchen. For instance, should you choose double-stack units to save some space or should you choose narrow-depth equipment? Another important thing to consider is whether you should purchase new or used restaurant equipment.

Choosing to purchase your restaurant equipment online can be beneficial. While you are getting busy going through the processes of opening your new restaurant, shopping online can help in alleviating your stress since you can easily compare prices and research features.

Choose an online supplier that focuses more on commercial restaurant equipment and offers fast shipping and affordable prices. Another option would be to lease equipment which allows you to save more money.

You should also look for a supplier of disposables, food, and other items that you will likely order on a regular basis. You can save money by choosing a supplier that offers free shipping if you order in bulk. Look for great deals and suppliers that offer rewards.

Secure Restaurant Funding

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If your capital is not enough to cover the cost of starting your new restaurant, then you should try to secure financial assistance. Securing funding will help in determining whether your dream of opening a new restaurant will become a reality.

Start by making an estimate of the total startup cost for your restaurant along with the other costs that are required for your everyday operations. With this information, you can make a budget and forecast the total expenses needed for running your restaurant for the succeeding year.

Having this restaurant budget, compare this with your capital on hand to help you in determining how much funding you will require. Be sure to incorporate the cost of equipment, licenses, salaries of your employees, building repairs, and other expenses.

There are various ways of securing funding for your new restaurant, such as a small business loan, a business line of credit, and a traditional commercial loan. You could also look for investors for your restaurant.

Find a Location

When selecting a location for your new restaurant, there are important factors that should be considered. For instance, the demographics of the area should match the target market of your new restaurant.

You might also want to check out the competing restaurants that are found in the area. There are a lot of things that you can learn from your rivals. The key is to select a location where restaurants became successful and as much as possible you should avoid areas that are already saturated with restaurants that have the same concept as yours.

When choosing a location, make sure that it has good visibility and acquires lots of vehicle and foot traffic. Ease of access and parking availability is also something that should be considered. The labor costs that you will pay will likely depend on the location that you choose. If your restaurant is located in an area with a high cost of living, then you will be forced to pay a higher wage to entice good employees.

When choosing a space, leasing is highly recommended since it gives you more flexibility in case you want to expand or make some changes to your business.

Mountain Sales & Service offers different types of food service equipment. We have been in the industry since 1980. For more information about our products, you may call us at 303-289-5558 or 800-847-2557 or send us an email at