Just because you are handy in the kitchen, can rustle up a souffle at a moment’s notice and you know your cauliflower from your kale, doesn’t mean that you have what it takes to turn your passion into a career. Owning your own eatery is as much about business acumen as it is about the food. Yes, you need to be talented in the culinary sense, and know where you can get your hands on something like a 20 pan rack, as well as all the other equipment you may need to run a restaurant, but you also need to know how to market your brand, how to encourage diners into your restaurant, and how to make your food the new gastronomic delight to sample. Take a look at these aspects of restauratership that you need to consider if you want to know how to become a restaurateur.
Ok, so let’s talk about the more boring things first. Generating a restaurant business plan isn’t desirable, it’s essential. If you need some more information on starting a business from legal to finances and writing a business plan and everything in between, have a look at my Ultimate Guide To Business. The chances are that your restaurant will need funding, so you need to demonstrate to any potential investor that you pitch to why your eatery is worth stumping up the cash for. A business plan is the perfect way to do this. You need to conduct some market research to prove that there is a place for your menu on the market. You need to hone your financial figures, work out your gross revenue and your net profit for the first three years of trading. Don’t just guess – an investor can sense this a mile off. Investors will scrutinize your figures and want to test them so make sure that you know them like the back of your hand. Only when you have your funding in place will you be able to focus on the more enjoyable aspects to your new eatery.
If you are looking for a more relaxed and informal dining experience with a focus on street food and one pot eating, reclaimed tables, upcycled decor and a rustic feel might be the design feel that you’re after for your interior. Alternatively, if you are marketing your restaurant to a more formal clientele, you might be looking for more upmarket decor, monotone walls, a classy font for your restaurant name and a more upmarket address. Make sure that your vibe matches the food that you love to cook. Consider the size of your eatery and don’t overstretch yourself. By starting smaller, you can always expand and there is always an air of exclusivity in a tinier venue. Keep things simple, enjoy experimenting with decor but make sure your logo and ethos is throughout your interior design.
Most importantly, you need to consider the food you’ll be cooking. Cook what you know people love to eat, but also food that you love to cook. If you bring something new to the table, exploit it. Fusion food is massively on trend at the moment, so mix up some food from your heritage with another palate. French-Indonesian anyone? By giving diners something new to sample, you are bringing a fresh new flavor to an already crowded restaurant scene. Without this novelty factor you may struggle to compete with your already established rivals.
Being a restaurateur isn’t for the faint hearted. You will need commitment, drive and gastronomic flair to hit the ground running and make a success of your foodie empire.