Let’s start with the bad news: 80% of restaurants fail within the first five years.
So what’s the good news? You can be among the 20% of success stories if you know how to start a restaurant that stands out from the crowd.
We won’t bore you with the financial requirements and legalities of the restaurant business. Instead, let’s dive into creating a restaurant that will become the talk of the town. Read on!
1. Open in the Right Location
“Location, location, location” is important for any business. But for a restaurant business, it’s literally what makes or breaks your success.
Be sure any location you consider has all three of these features:
- Plenty of parking
- High visibility from the road
- Lots of foot traffic
Experts estimate that the #1 reason restaurants fail is because of a poor location. You can have the most creative menu and brilliant chef on the planet, but none of that matters if no one knows you’re there.
2. Enhance Your Curb Appeal
What are you going to do with the perfect location you found? Your next step is to make your restaurant stand out to passersby.
Bring the ambience and style of your restaurant’s interior to the facade. Hang some creative decorations in the window that will make someone stop and look twice. Opt for an unconventional paint colour for the building, doors, or window panels.
A bright, bold sign is another sure way to attract the attention of potential customers. Click here for some ideas for eye-catching restaurant signage.
3. Offer Unique Specials & Promotions
Do you have a special menu for Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day? Do you offer nightly happy hour specials?
Guess what? So does every other restaurant on the block.
We’re not saying you shouldn’t use some of these tried-and-true promotions. But to really stand out, you need to think outside the box and get creative with your offerings.
What about offering a three-course set menu on Mondays to attract business on an otherwise slow day? Or you could offer tastings or special meals that tie in with seasonal changes or often-overlooked holidays, such as Father’s Day.
4. Get Involved in Your Community
Get people talking about your restaurant business by increasing your visibility in the neighbourhood. Volunteer at a local food drive or homeless shelter or sponsor a youth league for an upcoming tournament.
Remember you don’t have to broadcast everything charitable thing you do, either. Discreetly giving back to the community will make a great impression on the individuals or organizations who do know about it.
How to Start a Restaurant: Now You Know
Starting a restaurant might be the easy part. Running a restaurant that’s successful for years to come is the real challenge!
Use the tips listed above to ensure you create a standout dining experience for your customers.
Now that you know how to start a restaurant (and keep it running), what’s next? Keep browsing our site for more great tips and advice.