Restaurant owners faces a variety of challenges, some typical of any small business owner, others specific to the food service industry. In addition to budgeting, staffing and quality control, restaurant owners must also deal with issues related to safe food handling procedures, purchasing and ordering. Restaurants are also challenged with long hours that often include weekends and holidays.


Location for a restaurant is vital. Not only should a restaurant be located in an easily accessible area that supports restaurants, but it should also avoid competitors who serve similar cuisine. Additionally, the restaurant’s location should be selected based on the wants and needs of the local clientele, which can fluctuate as people move in and out of an area.

Menu options have the potential to be changed based on the seasonality of and availability of food items. Changing menu items often means re-pricing and reprinting menus to stay current with your restaurant’s offerings. People on special or restricted diets often requeste detailed nutritional information on different menu items, which can create ongoing upkeep for you or your employees.


Restaurants don’t usually have standard 9-to-5 weekday hours but rather are open throughout the day and evening and on weekends and holidays. Staffing can be difficult, especially if you employ part-time staff members or students who need flexibility in their work shifts. Not having enough staff members on hand can slow service and impede repeat business, while having too many food servers reduces their tip-earning potential. As an owner, you’re likely to juggle an erratic schedule yourself, overseeing various shifts and filling in different roles when necessary.

Food Safety

Restaurants are subject to health department inspection for clean environments and safe food-handling practices. To meet standards, restaurant owners must continually maintain and monitor equipment to ensure proper temperature control and sanitization of work spaces and implements. Staff members must also be educated and trained on safe food-handling practices.


Restaurant owners must make accurate estimations when ordering food and beverage supplies. If you order too much food and don’t have enough customers to consume it, you’re left with food that must be discarded. Under-ordering, on the other hand, can leave you with a food shortage, which can frustrate and alienate customers.

Liquor Licensing

Restaurants that serve alcohol must follow liquor licensing regulations. This includes requesting identification of patrons to avoid serving minors. It can also involve monitoring alcohol intake to identify and stop serving intoxicated customers.