Do you dream of owning your own restaurant? If so, a small bistro restaurant could be the perfect option. These restaurants typically require a smaller upfront investment than a larger restaurant, yet still allow you to create a custom menu that will have patrons lining up at your door waiting to get inside. Before you can serve up your first meal, however, there are a number of different steps that you need to take. The following tips will help you get your restaurant off on the right foot, improving the chances of its long-term success.
Write A Business Plan
As with any other type of business, before you open your doors, you need to write a detailed business plan that outlines everything that you hope to accomplish with your new restaurant. This business plan should include information on the local competition, what type of food you plan to serve, what your decor will look like, how you plan to differentiate yourself from other restaurants in the area, your marketing plan, and any other details that can act as a roadmap to success.
If you find it too challenging to write the plan on your own, there are plenty of free resources that can help. For instance, in the United States, organizations such as SCORE provide small business owners like yourself with mentors who can help you iron out the details of your plan. The service is free of charge. The Small Business Administration also has a number of different templates and tutorials on writing a business plan that you can use to craft a useful and well-thought-out plan.
One of the most important parts of your business plan is figuring out how you are going to pay for your business. In your plan, you need to outline where your startup capital is coming from. If you require a loan, you also have to figure out how to go about qualifying for that loan. Again, this is an area where a qualified mentor can help guide you and advise you so that you have the best chances of getting the financing that you need.
Choose a Location
The location is important for any business. However, it is especially important for a restaurant. The area where it is located not only needs to be large enough to accommodate enough patrons to make it worthwhile but it also needs to offer convenient parking. Otherwise, if people have to fight for a parking spot, they will be more likely to go somewhere else instead.
If possible, you should look for a location that has a fantastic view or some other unique selling point that can be used to draw diners in. For instance, if you are located near the ocean, choosing a building with a view out over the water can be a major selling point. Granted, these types of locations often are more expensive than other locations. However, if it fits within your budget, it is worth choosing a spot that helps set your restaurant apart.
Alternatively, you can look for a location that is right in the heart of the city or town where you are located. This will allow you to take advantage of foot traffic on the sidewalks as people go about their daily business.
Furnish Your Restaurant
Once you have a location, you need to fill it with furniture and with cooking equipment. All of your furniture should fit within whatever theme you decided on in your business plan for your restaurant. Creating a cohesive look can help make your restaurant more appealing to the people who visit it and can give it a more upscale appearance.
Plan Your Menu
Finally, one of the most important parts of opening a small bistro restaurant is to decide exactly which foods you are going to serve. Spend some time planning the perfect menu. Don’t hesitate to reach out to trusted friends and family members for input on which dishes they like the best. This can give you real-world feedback on which options will be most popular with your patrons.
Open Your Doors
Once all of these details have been ironed out, the last thing that is left to do is to open your doors. Be sure to advertise your opening night heavily so that you have a good turnout. Additionally, make sure that all of your staff is well trained so that every diner who visits your restaurant has a fantastic experience. This will help you get good reviews right out of the gate, improving the chances that your customers will continue to come back again and again.