Opening a Restaurant Checklist

Basic yet Informative guide on Opening a Restaurant Checklist

Opening a restaurant can either be an exciting or overwhelming experience. There is a lot to consider before opening doors to the public. In this industry, a ‘one-size fits all’ approach doesn’t work, but a restaurateur needs to follow some basic guidelines. From writing a menu to hiring the right staff, there are so many things to consider.

Which checklist to follow to open a restaurant?

In this article, we have discussed a few essential checklists that a restaurateur must follow to set up a new restaurant.

Choose a Solid Restaurant Concept

First, a person needs to think about the restaurant concept based on current trends. Like restaurants built around ten-pound burgers will go to last or not?

Things to consider while deciding the concept:

  • Decide as per budget
  • Do market research
  • Consider the size of a restaurant
  • Think about the cuisine to offer––– that provides a variety of classic and new dishes
  • Consider targeted clientele
  • How to do pricing of dishes?
  • Choose a concept that matches the location

Generally, a concept built around a diverse menu works well for diners.

Check Out Competition Nearby

Never underestimate a competition. Even if a restaurant owner launches something amazing he still needs to keep an eye on others. 

How to research a competition?

1o tips for finding more about the competitors

  • Go beyond a Google search
  • Conduct a survey
  • Do some reporting
  • Tap the social network
  • Ask your customers
  • Hire your competition
  • And watch who they’re hiring

Select a Good Location

An excellent location always attracts customers. That is the reason storefronts in busy downtown districts have higher rents.

How to choose the location?

  • Think past demographics 
  • Go beyond a standard radius
  • Don’t take shortcuts––dig deeply into psychographics.
  • See “perfect location” as your goal.
  • Focus on accessibility and visibility.
  • Think hard about buying versus leasing.
  • Don’t forget about construction and layout. 

Write a Stellar Business Plan

Now get ready to prepare a detailed business plan. A well-written plan can act as a roadmap for any business to run long-term. 

4 main parts of a business plan include: 

  • An executive summary
  • Company description
  • Financial strategy and 
  • Market analysis

A business person will need to give an overview of a restaurant concept, the investment required, the location, and profits he intends to make each year, and so on. 

Who can write a business plan?

Writing a restaurant business plan is time-consuming. It would be a good idea to ask professionals to help as they have a clear understanding of what this business entails.

Meet With Investors

Now when a business plan is ready, it’s time to wow prospective investors. Getting investors on board is the most important thing to do since no business can run without money. No matter a restaurateur meets with a bank, private investors, or small business bureau, it is vital to present them with all relevant paperwork neatly organized, in both hard and soft copy forms. Investors keep portfolios with them to review it later. 

Arranging a right amount of finance is one of the significant factors to consider when opening a restaurant. Some businessman acquires funds to open a restaurant but ignore the importance of acquiring running capital.

 As per experiences, a restaurant usually takes 1-2 years to reach breakeven. Thus, it is vital to have separate working capital and start-up capital when someone starts a restaurant business. 

Hire Awesome Staff––find sources


Get ready to search for a mix of good personality. Likewise, experienced staff might take a business to the next level. A restaurateur might choose to hire someone from family and friends, but it is risky––so do it with caution.

Write Menu

What’s on the menu? It acts as a calling card to the public. Think carefully before writing a list; consider the concept of a restaurant and then style of the menu. Moreover, if one has a smaller kitchen it will limit the variety to offer. That doesn’t mean a restaurant can’t offer a variety of items. The secret to combat the issue of a small restaurant kitchen is learning to work with only a limited number of kitchen stations and cross-utilizing ingredients. 

Buy Essential Equipment

Once the menu finalization is over, think about investing in different types of kitchen equipments. Often times we can get good quality second hand equipment at affordable prices so why not to avail the opportunity? 

Market with Social Media

Once all essential things get over, it’s time to start social media advertising. Marketing through Facebook, Instagram and other social platform is a cheap option, and one can get a large number of followers who, in turn become customers. If anyone is having difficulty handling social media campaigns, he or she can consider hiring someone to do the job. 

Hold a Grand Opening

Once a restaurant owner is done with the steps mentioned above, it’s time to plan an opening of a restaurant (also known as a soft opening). Remember, the grand opening of any business is the first official entry in the market; therefore, everything must go perfect.

At first, welcome your family and friends, so that they can taste the food and give you an honest opinion regarding your restaurant. This is important because it is better to get a 3rd party opinion before you open up to the world. Listen to their opinion and bring in the necessary changes accordingly.

On this day, it is advisable to invite bloggers and media persons who can cover the event well. Moreover, it would be a great idea to bring in a well-known band, give out discounts (buy one get one free) and check their response. 

This article for opening a restaurant checklist would be your definitive guide to start a new restaurant business.  

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