Opening a Restaurant Checklist

opening a restaurant checklist

Entrepreneurship can be rewarding, and for many people, owning an independent business is a long-held dream. If you’re creative and love tackling challenges head-on, you may have a vision of opening a restaurant. However, the restaurant industry is notoriously competitive – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many restauranteurs to change the way they do business. Here are five things you should consider before opening a restaurant.

1. Decide on Your Concept or Theme

Choosing a restaurant idea that’s unique to your community can help you stand out in a crowded marketplace. Whether you want to build a reputation for letting customers craft elaborate burgers or serving the best wood-fired pizzas in town, do some research to make sure nobody else near you is offering a similar menu. You may also want to start building customer loyalty and test the waters with different menu items by creating a virtual restaurant.

2. Write Your Business Plan

A business plan is a critical strategic element to help you bring your goals of opening a restaurant to fruition. Think of this document as your roadmap for structuring, operating, and growing a business from scratch. Some banks won’t even approve you for a small business loan unless you provide them with a detailed plan that shows you are serious about entrepreneurship and demonstrates you’ve done your homework.

Your business plan should not be inflexible or set in stone – it’s a living, breathing document that should grow with your restaurant. While it will help you to think at least three years ahead, you don’t need to know all the answers when you start writing. If you’ve never created a business plan, seek advice from a trusted mentor or industry veteran.

3. Consider Marketing and Branding

When marketing a brand-new business, it can be challenging to know where to begin. As part of your business plan, define a mission and core values that will be your restaurant’s guiding philosophy. Whether you’re creating a casual neighborhood hangout or a place where people celebrate special occasions, you need a mission statement and value proposition to determine all elements of the dining experience.

4. Select a Location

If you are planning to create a brick-and-mortar restaurant, you’ll need to consider if you want to buy or lease an existing space or build it from the ground up. Your menu and concept will influence this decision. For instance, if you want to open an upscale, stylish restaurant, you’ll probably need a physical location. More casual options like tacos, sandwiches, wraps, and appetizers could be good candidates for food trucks or virtual restaurants.

5. Invest in Technology

One key takeaway from the pandemic is that hungry people are not always able or willing to go to a restaurant in person. That’s why new restauranteurs should invest in modern technology to facilitate online ordering and expand their reach. Consider the following:

  • Contactless payment and delivery options that let customers enjoy their meals from the comfort of their homes
  • Market analytics software to monitor information like canceled or abandoned carts
  • Integration with popular food ordering apps like DoorDash and Postmates

Grow Your Restaurant Business With Us

At The On Demand Company, we know how hard opening a restaurant can be. Our team has identified an innovative concept for growing your reach and boosting your revenue, all without changing your core business model. To learn more about the possibilities of starting a virtual restaurant, book a call with us today.