How To Open A New Restaurant – Part 3

How To Open A New Restaurant – Part 3

Running a restaurant is not a one man show, it requires the efforts of an entire team. Similarly, the food menu is the main driving force in getting customers to your restaurant and to make sure they want to pay for the quality that they receive.

And if you are building a brand, then you can’t ignore social media. After all, it is the ultimate platform for getting the word out in this fast paced world. 80% of people read about a restaurant online before their first visit.

So even if you have a strong business plan and a fantastic location or hold necessary licenses and permits to run the restaurant or make use of the best technology, everything falls flat without the right employees, food menu and promotional tactics.

Your staff matters, so choose well

Acquiring new employees is an exciting process. Look up job portals, career sites and referrals to get the most suitable talent onboard. Did you know that the turnover rate at restaurants is as high as 62%? This poses as a serious loss of time and money for any business, so be creative while hiring.

Websites such as, Craigslist, LinkedIn and even Facebook can help you spread the word, if not reach out to the correct people. When you are posting about the vacancies online, don’t be vague. Be as descriptive as possible.

Even if you receive less number of applications, the quality will be high and save you much time. At the initial stage of hiring, you must focus on hiring a head chef, assisting cooks, a restaurant manager, a host, waiters and a bartender (if necessary).

The staff size entirely depends on the “size” and “concept” of your venture. So estimate properly.

There has to be a “second-in-command”

Let’s face it: you can’t do everything on your own. You need to have someone to fall back on during emergencies. Therefore, identify one person from the lot that can take charge confidently in your absence.

If you have a business partner, a restaurant consultant or a close family member who has invested in your venture, then the problem is sorted. Otherwise, choose a person from the newly hired group. See who is genuinely excited to be a part of the team. Check their personal and professional backgrounds.

If you wish to take a leadership test, go ahead. You are the boss. The onus of making a good or bad hire will ultimately fall on you. Therefore, erase all doubts and take your time to select the right person for this “important” job!

In the end, it’s all about food


It is and the sooner you and your head chef understand this, the better it is for the business. Therefore, strategize menu offerings with him or her. Depending on the type of restaurant you own, list down the food items and beverages that will go best with it.

For instance: if you are running a PAN Asian eatery, how many kinds of cuisines do you plan to serve? Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Korean? Be specific about the many avenues you plan to take. If your head chef is a master of them all, it’s fine.

But if he or she is not comfortable about meeting such varied food demands, then focus on one cuisine. 55% of chefs will make efforts to adjust dishes to be more healthy. Make your restaurant famous for that. In addition to this, involve your staff to try out and vote for different dishes.

This way, you can keep those items that were well received and chuck those that needed some work. Once this is done, get a menu designed that is in sync with your restaurant’s ambiance. Be competitive while finalizing the F&B prices.

Promote, promote and promote

Don’t forget to let everyone know that you are here and how! Before the big opening, make a huge splash on the digital platform. 75% of all online customers use social media regularly. Invite your potential clientele via this channel. Lure them with a complimentary bottle of wine, if they attend the party.

Share a nicely written press release, throw in a couple of social posts and even run a digital campaign before you finally let the cat out of the bag. You can take help of any budding digital marketing agency here to help you with all promotion-related efforts.

Don’t forget to send an invite to journalists and fellow restaurateurs as well. The more people turn up, the more they will talk about your restaurant. Don’t worry. It will be all good. Just keep working hard and focus on quality deliverables.

All the best!

How To Open A New Restaurant – Part 2

How To Open A New Restaurant – Part 2

In the last article, we learnt about the basics of starting a restaurant: vision, business plan and location. Once these three steps are completed, you know where you stand presently and how you want to achieve your business goals.

65% of restaurants are not protected if there is an interruption in daily operations. And these obstacles can be anything – government interference, angry customers, zero bank balance, etc.

While nothing can be done about the second point until you start running a restaurant, first and second points can be totally taken care of.

On the other hand, quite interestingly, the hottest technology trends in this business include tablet computers (27%), smartphone apps (25%) and mobile/wireless/pay-at-the-table (19%).

It is a fact: to do your job better, you need to make use of state-of-the-art software that keeps all your payments and POS challenges at bay.

To make sure your restaurant business has a smooth start, you must strengthen the foundation in three key areas: accounts, legalities and technology.

Get your basic accounting and financing in place

The customer-servicing side of the business is exciting. You are bound to have a lot of fun fixing special menus, sorting logistics and managing your staff. There is no doubt about that!

However, you also have to spend a considerable amount of time analyzing your ledger, submitting taxes and doing other accounting tasks.

This is the reason why you must learn the basics of restaurant finances so that you can spend your money wisely. As a restaurant owner, you need to look into every possible expenditure: employees, furniture, liquor, food delivery, laundry, linen, general repairs, etc.

Besides, your budget should also keep aside a certain amount of money to tackle emergencies in future. Therefore, when you are starting off, be sure to be extremely realistic about how much you can “actually” spend.

Please remember that it will take you a couple of months (or maybe a year) to break even.

Once your venture has taken off, here are 5 restaurant metrics you should track:

  • Cost of goods sold (COGS) = Beginning Inventory + Purchased Inventory – Final Inventory
  • Prime cost = Labor + COGS
  • Food cost percentage = Food cost / Total sales
  • Gross profit = Total sales – COGS
  • Employee turnover rate = Lost employees / Average number of employees

Research and apply to legal licenses and permits

You have an idea to grow, a business plan to execute, a location to call “your restaurant” and a budget in control. So what is the next step? To get all legal formalities done before it is too late.

The most frustrating part of the process is to acquire the right permits and licenses. However, to make your business official, you have to go through tons of legal procedures, haggle with the local government officials and most importantly, wait before your restaurant can be termed “legal”.

Since the requirement of every local government is different, make sure you check out their website and note down the requirements beforehand. The sooner you start with the registration process, the better it is for you.

Here is a list of most common restaurant licenses and permits:

  1. Business license: This is required to open and operate your business. To find the application, google “[your state] restaurant business license”.

Example: New Jersey Restaurant Business License

  1. Employee Identification Number (EIN): This is a tax ID number which is issued by the IRS. Since only one is issued per day, apply ASAP.
  1. Certificate of occupancy: This is to state that the building has been properly constructed and maintained. Google “[your city] certificate of occupancy to download the application.
  1. Food service license: This is issued by city or county health departments that certifies that your business is in compliance with all food service safety regulations. To get the application, google “[your city] food service license.”

Get the latest technology to operate

79% of customers believe that technology increases convenience. 70% of themthink that technology speeds up restaurant services. Therefore, excite your customer base with top notch technology!

Invest in a POS system that helps you measure the total sales, number of daily/weekly/monthly customer visits and day-by-day sales performance of your restaurant business.

Luckily, Onesto Payments can take care of all your payments and POS challenges. With absolutely no risk of being cheated on by technology providers, this software equips small businesses with the best of the best technology in hand,

It also shares knowledgeable information such as which menu item is bringing your customers back, which server is generating the most revenue, which marketing efforts are working for you and what your customers are saying on social media.

While you get busy calling Onesto Payments @ 201-546-5555 or visiting theirwebsite for a free POS consultation, let us remind you that the last part of this series is still left.

Till then, good luck!