Everyone wants to own a restaurant

A lot of people I know and have met are very business oriented and sometimes for fun we brainstorm about possible business opportunities. (Well it’s fun for me, at least.) While I clearly exaggerated when I said everyone wants to own a restaurant, more often than not the ideas coming from others start to gravitate towards restaurant businesses.

I get it. Restaurants are fun, social, and satisfies a basic need everyone has. It’s something that many romanticize about.

But as Dr. Phil says, let’s “keep it real.”

What are some of the overlooked but real things that we should consider if we want to open a restaurant?

1) Location, location, location!

According to research done by the National Restaurant Association, there is evidence to show that 60-80% of restaurant’s customer base lives within a 5-mile radius. Therefore, especially when it comes to your target market, your location can make or break you.

2) What will set you apart from the competition?

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Why would someone choose your taco stand over that other taco stand?

3) Your advantage can also impede your growth

Ever notice how usually the best tasting restaurants are the “hole in the wall” restaurants? There are many reasons for that. The best recipes tend to either be more complex or have certain aspects that require years of practice to master. While it allows a restaurant to have better tasting and unique food than the competition, it also prevents greater expansion because of the difficulty in replicating the same taste for unique dishes. I’m sure many of you can notice that certain dishes may taste differently depending on the cook working at the time.

4) You better love customer service

What is interesting is a lot of the people that like the idea or dream of the idea of owning a restaurant also don’t like dealing with people in general. If you ever want to build a customer base, you better learn to love it or have someone else with the ability to make decisions love it for you. When it comes to bringing out the “jerkiness” in people, few things can compete with an unsatisfactory eating experience.

5) You can only make money when you are open and actually have food

How many times have you arrived at a restaurant ready to eat only to find out they are closed? That is an automatic lost sale. Of course there is justification that the restaurant is actually losing money by paying staff for only a few customers in that time period, but it’s not true all the time. It is a hard balance to do. What about when you order something and they are all out? quite a bit of logistics and analyzing behind the scenes that have to be done and many don’t initially think about.

Any health scares as well and you could be closed temporarily with no revenue stream.

6) Style matters

Food is the most important factor, but style is a close second. If your customers don’t feel comfortable, or if your style doesn’t match your food, the chance for repeat business will be obviously lower.

If you can plan for those six points you are further than most on your way for preparing yourself in having a restaurant as a business.



Photo Credit: federico stevanin

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