Tips on Starting a Restaurant

by George N. Root III; Updated September 26, 2017

The food service business is a competitive field, and a proactive restaurant owner is always looking for good advice on how to make his business better. When you are just starting out in the restaurant business, you should follow some basic steps that can help to put you on a solid foundation for the start of your business.

Focus on the Customer

It goes without saying that your restaurant should try to serve the best food possible, but what can make you stand apart from other restaurants right from the start is the way you treat your customers and the ambiance you set.

Focus on quick and efficient service, especially for the business lunch crowd. Most people at your restaurant for lunch are on a schedule, and slow service will make sure that they do not try your restaurant again. Fast and efficient service will help to make a good impression. Make sure all of your employees who have contact with the public are pleasant and helpful. Create a customer greeting protocol that all employees must follow, and make sure to emphasize the importance of positive customer interaction by reprimanding employees who do not follow the procedure.

Your restaurant needs to be clean at all times, even during the busiest of rush hours. People might not remember the steak they had in your restaurant, but they will certainly remember the mess they encountered while trying to eat. A clean restaurant, including the restrooms, is essential to success.

Prepare Yourself

Starting a restaurant can be expensive. You may find that you are spending more than you anticipated, and your revenue is not what you had counted on. It is important to set goals for your business, but you may want to scale back those goals when you are starting out. It is important to have operating capital available for your first few months because starting a restaurant business can be a drain on your financial resources. The more you reduce your startup costs, the better prepared you will be to survive.

When dealing with the public, you are destined to come across situations you may have never prepared for. Irate customers, losses due to theft, and constant municipal requirements may wind up being more than you have expected. It will help you to take some courses on time management prior to starting your business, and do some research on how to handle difficult situations. Nothing replaces the experience of actually dealing with a situation, but if you can be better mentally prepared, then you will be more able to deal with the many situations you are sure to encounter.

About the Author

George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.