You can picture it now: The shiny stainless steel kitchen, the modern design of the dining room, and best of all, the freshest, most delicious food leaving the kitchen. What you may not be picturing are the risks, high costs, long hours, and personal sacrifices involved in owning a restaurant. So before you make this dream into a reality, consider a few key aspects of the restaurant business to decide if opening your own eatery is the right choice for you.
Realize the Risks
Running a restaurant isn’t easy, so be willing to take on this high risk industry before you consider opening the doors. A high percentage of restaurants close within the first year of opening or within the first five years of business. Learning how to stay competitive by choosing the right location for your eatery, along with developing a plan for delivering great food and providing ample staffing, can offset some of this risk. Also, take a look at how your guests use technology and how this affects your restaurant, both positively and negatively.
Count the Cost
Financial readiness is another key aspect in deciding whether or not to open a restaurant. Although the exact cost varies depending on the type and size of the restaurant and your specific needs, the typical eatery can rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in startup costs. To keep your new business financially stable early on and increase your chance of long term success, create a budget and stick to it. Ingredients are a crucial part of your business, but overspending in this area can break your financial plan. Pricing food from several suppliers, keeping portion sizes reasonable, and resisting the urge to overbuy are several ways to keep food costs low without sacrificing quality. Also consider commonly forgotten expenses, such as cooking equipment, decorating costs, and sales and marketing fees, when you develop your restaurant’s budget.
Know Your Physical Limits
Before you jump into restaurant ownership, figure out how much you can handle on a physical level, and develop a realistic idea of the type of schedule you want. If you know that working long hours and every weekend isn’t going to coordinate with your family members’ schedules, you may want to reconsider opening a restaurant. Most restaurant owners spend significant time away from their families and friends to run their business. You can get some of your time back by choosing the right software, which can increase your efficiency with scheduling, accounting, and payroll.
Evaluate Your Emotions
Being emotionally ready for the stress of owning a restaurant is another important consideration. As the owner, you’re in charge of your customers’ happiness when they walk through the doors, so be prepared for both compliments and criticism, whether in person, online or via e-mail. Using a few stress management techniques can help you stay relaxed, keeping you functioning at your best and helping your business run smoothly.