In some ways, there has never been a better time to start a restaurant or dining business. Record numbers of people are choosing to dine out more often over cooking their own, and a congenial restaurateur with a good business head on their shoulders can expect to make a killing. However, no restaurant is an easy cash-cow. The exponential rise in people wanting to dine out has led to a similar rise in restaurants and eateries, meaning that any new enterprise has to be up to fighting off the competition before they even open. Then there’s the fact that running a restaurant means a lot more than knowing about food. Too many green restaurant entrepreneurs fail in the first few months because they simply weren’t prepared for the incredible bulk of varied work which comes part and parcel with a restaurant. Not only do you have to be able to prepare good food in FDA-approved conditions, you also have to be a raconteur, an accountant, an interior designer, an expert in human resources, an innovator, a buyer-and-seller, a legal eagle, and an expert manipulator of social media (among other things). If you think you’re up to the challenge, here are three things you need to know when starting a restaurant.
Cover Your Back
So you want to start a restaurant. You’ve got passion, you’ve got a plan, and you’ve got together the funds. But there are (inevitably) an awful lot of unforeseen overheads, and by the time you’re almost ready to open, the kitty is looking emptier than you anticipated. It can be really tempting to save money on failsafes which you may never need – business insurance, for example. Why pay a monthly premium for all kinds of clauses which, fingers crosses, you won’t ever need to claim for? Don’t give in to temptation. During your first few months, you’ll be glad of any failsafe you’ve put in place, as you’ll more than likely need them as you find your feet. Get spares of everything, have a plumber on speed dial, and get your insurance locked down and ready to go. Restaurants are particularly vulnerable to being sued all over the world, and even more so in litigious America. In the (hopefully unlikely) event that this occurs when your enterprise is in its infancy, you’ll be seriously glad that your insurance is covering the costs. Failsafes are a boring thing to think about in the excitement of building up a new business, but unfortunately it’s this kind of boring detail which can make or break a restaurant.
Article written by Helen Fox