The restaurant industry in Arizona is considered a major driving force in the state’s economy because of its tremendous contribution to tax revenue. The restaurant industry also accounts for major contributions to the nation’s productivity and entrepreneurship, food and healthy living, jobs and careers, as well as sustainability and social responsibility. Before starting a restaurant in Arizona, entrepreneurs must look into several factors.

Create a business plan. Note down your target market, the location you intend to set up your business, as well as the unique aspects you plan to include in your business. Write down your financial plan, projected sales, proposed staffing and your proposed marketing and operational strategy.

Find sources of financing. Personal savings is one of the main sources of finance for business people. If your personal savings are not enough, look for bank loans or private loans from investors. Contact the Small Business Administration of Arizona to help connect you with an appropriate lender.

Get a restaurant business license and permit. Contact your attorney to help you through the licensing and permit requirements relevant to your restaurant business. Choose a business structure for your restaurant, name it and register it as a legal entity. Apply for a health permit from your local county office. Visit the Arizona Department of Commerce for a comprehensive list of city offices responsible for issuing restaurant business licenses and permits.

Purchase equipment. Stock up on serving dishes, utensils, commercial stoves, coolers, linen and any other item necessary for your start-up. Visit A United, which is located in Phoenix, for a collection of small wares, serving utensils and other tableware. Visit Arizona Restaurant Supply, situated in Marana for a collection of commercial stoves, refrigerators and other storage equipment.


knife fork and menu image by Warren Millar from

Create a menu. Identify your target customers and the type of food most appropriate to serve them. Look for trends related to menu content and design. Create your menu using straightforward and simple language.

Hire employees. Engage employees who are courteous and are able to greet and serve your customers well. Get kitchen staff who can cook well, preferably those who have prior experience in the restaurant business. Hire cooks who specialize on the type of food you intend to serve.

Market and promote your restaurant. Advertise your business through newspapers, radio commercials, TV commercials, handouts or any other platform that fits your budget.