How To Start and Run a Small Restaurant or Food Business
31 Mar 2023
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably considered starting your own business at some point in life. And what’s the one thing all people need every single day? That’s right, food! Now, getting started in the F&B business industry can be an attractive option for a multitude of reasons. For starters, it’s a great choice if you already have passion for cooking and baking along with solid culinary skills. Secondly, it’s an amazing opportunity to showcase your talent and turn a profit even if you don’t have a business degree or marketing experience.
That said, starting a business does come with an array of risks you’ll need to keep in mind in order to ensure success. Below, we’ll be explaining how to start and run a small restaurant or food business and factors to take into account to help make your entrepreneurial endeavor an effective one.
Come up with a sound business plan
Understanding the market as well as your local food business landscape is vital when you’re just getting started. Before making any investments, put everything down on a piece of paper – this will be your business plan.
For starters, think about the type of food business you want to open. Is it a quick-service kind of restaurant, a coffee shop, a bakery, or perhaps a dining restaurant? Then, consider who you will market your food business to. Will it be gen Zers and gen Xers, or are you looking to appeal to baby boomers and/or seniors? Once you’re clear on what you’re looking to offer to who, you’ll need to consider your funding options as well as obtain all the necessary permits and licenses. This will make it possible to register your business so you can file taxes and acquire a trademark.
Find the right suppliers for your food business
A little bit of research goes a long way in giving aspiring entrepreneurs an idea of how to get their food business going. Because your business can’t work without a continuous stream of supplies, you’ll need to pair up with reliable companies.
For instance, let’s say your business plan involves selling baked goods. Whether you’re looking for frozen products, ingredients, or cake decorating supplies, partnering with a reputable Wholesale Bakery Supply Distributor will ensure you’re offering your customers quality while also turning profit. The same goes for other food business types, whether we’re talking about food trucks, event catering, or meal delivery. A quick Google search is often enough to find a trustworthy supplier. You can also check with other restaurateurs and ask for recommendations.
Choose a good location and design your space wisely
Finding a venue at a good location can be tricky, but is nevertheless vital. Check out the businesses in the area before settling, and factor in the location’s accessibility and any restrictive ordinances that might affect your suppliers.
Once you get that out of the way, focus on designing your space in a way that uses up every square foot wisely. Plan to assign up to 60% of the restaurant’s square footage to the area for dining, and use up the remainder carefully. Keep in mind that the design layout along with decor and lighting will greatly affect the overall atmosphere. Focus on creating a light, relaxed, welcoming ambiance relying on nifty design solutions as well as the right colors to tingle the taste buds and stimulate your customers’ appetite.
Keep your eyes peeled for potential employees
The final ingredient you’ll need to get your hands on to get started with your food business are reliable employees. Now, who you surround yourself with will greatly affect your business’ ability to function on a daily basis. From dishwashing staff and chefs to waiters and bartenders, look for employees with great social skills and experience.
Of course, your restaurant type will largely dictate who you’ll need to hire. It’s always wise to conduct a thorough background check for each of the employees – better safe than sorry! All that’s left is to identify the best ways to promote your business and you’ll be off to a good start.
The right ingredients are a recipe for success
As an aspiring entrepreneur, being able to turn a profit on something you enjoy is a dream come true. Sure, getting your food business off the ground takes effort, time, and dedication, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But with a great idea and a sound business plan in place, you can make your entrepreneurial dreams a reality, and bring your culinary venture to fruition.