Do you want to start a restaurant? Have you thought about what you will need to start a restaurant business? Do you want a step by step guide that will show you how to go about starting your restaurant? It’s essential to have better information before starting a business.
The restaurant business is not just about cooking delicious meals and selling it to people. It’s a complete food experience that a restaurant should give to its customers.
Delicious food should be eating in an excellent environment, with the right ambience and service experience. Your restaurant should do more than just feeding people. It should offer complete food satisfaction.
Imagine if your customers think of your restaurant as their second kitchen. That’s a significant advantage over your competitors in that neighbourhood. But how do you meet such kind of result?
In this startup guide, I will be showing you steps that will lead to a profitable restaurant in Nigeria. How to grow your restaurant business and keep up your customer’s taste and patronage.
Huge Potential For Restaurant Business
The restaurant business is one of the most profitable ventures in the world. People eat every day. Even the sick ones in the hospitals eat food. Every family out of the 7 billion world population eat a meal every day.
No day passes that people don’t spend money on food.
However, as the world advance in technology and lifestyle, more and more people are eating out than cooking home meals. The demand for good restaurants to match the quality of home meals are in short supply.
And an average restaurant can serve just an amount of hungry customers per day. All these create a huge gap for those seeking good meals and the number of available restaurants to meet that need.
How Restaurant Business Works
You do have an idea of restaurant business but maybe not according to this knowledge. If you have eaten in a restaurant before or even own one, you know about the restaurant. But you need to understand the restaurant business beyond just cooking and serving food.
The restaurant business is more than food. It’s the hospitality business. It’s not just about dealing with the hunger. If you can’t see it beyond hunger, then you are in the ‘bukka’ business.
If you don’t start the process right, your restaurant business will struggle and may even close down. You should know what’s priority in the industry.
Have A Restaurant Business Plan
You should as well write a plan for your restaurant business. Don’t assume anything. Put it down in writing.
A good restaurant business plan should consider everything you need to start and run profitably. It should articulate your funding need and where it would come from.
That also includes your service provision, the menu, recipes and customer service experience. What you want the customers to think about your restaurant when they leave should be important to you.
Your business plan should help you see the restaurant before you even start the business.
Revenue Sources For Your Restaurants
Starting a profitable restaurant business means knowing all the revenue options available in the industry. You need to find the ones that can help you maximise your profit.
For example, out-door services can generate high revenues for your restaurant business per transaction. But you need to develop the skills for outdoor functions.
Here are a few revenue options for the restaurant business.
- Outdoor catering service
- Cocktail services
- Lunch hour services
- Breakfast meetings
- Birthday reception
- Engagement reception
- Wedding reception
- Venue services
- Office parties
- Private parties
You can add those you know as well. It’s either you are combining all, or you are picking those you can offer successfully.
What Should Be The Focus Of Your Restaurant Business?
Everyone knows that restaurant business is about food. So, food should be the priority, right? That wouldn’t be a restaurant business. You should see the difference between a food restaurant and a restaurant business.
A food restaurant sells food to those who are hungry and want somewhere to eat. Their primary need is to satisfy their hunger.
But a restaurant business has an entirely different focus. It cooks great meals, but it serves excellent food experience, beyond the taste of the food. The value proposition is a complete food satisfaction experience.
You have to create this satisfaction in your restaurant business. If you meet the taste need of your target customers, you would have built a perfect food brand for your restaurant business.
How Do You Promote Restaurant Business?
One of the important promotional strategies for the restaurant is word-of-mouth. It should be your number one marketing strategy.
All other marketing plans should be to bring people to your restaurant for a first time experience. But word of mouth should be your secret marketing tool for building a regular and consistent customer base.
One of the best ways to create word of mouth in the restaurant business is with your food recipe. If you can create an excellent and satisfying taste for your customers, they will advertise you to their world.
Another strategy is your restaurant ambience. People want a place they can be proud to take their loved ones and hold important business lunch meetings.
If you combine great food recipe with lovely ambience, within your target market, you win. It’s that straight and simple.
Restaurant Secret Recipe
Your number one advantage and success measuring factor is your food recipe. Before you see your restaurant business as hunger palace, see it first as people’s taste bud satisfier.
Your restaurant business is only as good as your food recipe. If your food is like the roadside food vendor, you have already got it wrong.
Moreover, your recipe is your restaurant business food brand. That’s your primary advantage. That’s why people will tell their friends about you. The taste is the secret. And you must have one before you think of starting a restaurant business.
And if you thinking, I’m not a chef, then go become one. Don’t go into the food business without the right knowledge. And what do you think chefs learn in cooking schools? It’s how to create recipes. That’s what you need to learn.
Create The Right Restaurant Environment
Good food should necessarily go with the right environment. But before you go thinking that the right eating environment is expensive, here is what it should be like.
A good food environment should be spacious, clean and smell right. Don’t let people cram together when they are eating. Remember, good food makes people eat more. And that would make them a bit tired after eating. Struggling to come out of the chair would be a bad experience.
You are in the restaurant business to make money. Think about everything that would help you meet that faster. And a suitable space is one of them.
And when it comes to a clean restaurant, it’s not only the environment but your waiters as well. If you can’t afford to hire clean waiters, at least give them clean uniforms to wear every day.
Where Do You Start Your Restaurant Business?
Your location is another strategy you should take seriously. Restaurant business number one strategy, even before the great taste and lovely ambience is the place.
You should site your restaurant as close enough to your target customers. You make it easier for them to choose you.
It’s important you consider every advantage available to you in the restaurant business before making the decision to start.
Here is a thought process that can help you in step by step guide.
Action Points To Start A Restaurant Business
It’s not necessarily in order of procession to follow but essential points of starting a restaurant.
Step one: Write a good business plan. Do a market and cash flow analysis. Let it be a comprehensive business plan. If the foundation is right, the structure will be magnificent. One of the focus of your business plan will be to define the right customer persona for your restaurant business.
Step two: Get a chef training. You can do this before writing your restaurant business plan or after. What matters is that you get the knowledge. There are many restaurant etiquettes you need to know and apply in your food business.
Step three: Write your restaurant service experience handbook. It should contain all the services you want every customer to experience when they come to your restaurant. This will also form part of your restaurant training manual for your workers.
Step four: create an interior and exterior design for the restaurant. You should get an experienced designer that can adequately articulate your concept to make it real. People value what they see more than what they even feel. The right environment would add more to their service experience.
Step five: create your food menu for the walk-in restaurant customers, for out-door services and special receptions.
Conclusion On Restaurant Business
Your restaurant business should create a food business brand that customers will be proud to associate with. Even though a restaurant cooks food, I would instead recommend that you serve food satisfaction.
The best service experience for the customers will always win in the end. Everything about your restaurant business should bring joy to your customers. And make them want to come again and again.
The idea is to give them the best food experience and make them crave for more. And don’t settle for less. Be excellent!
- Training your workers should be a major priority
- Hire a staff whose work is standard monitoring and control
- Stick to your recipe or develop in-house methods for favourite meals.
References – List Of Popular Restaurants
19B Idejo Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
9 Eletu Ogabi, Victoria Island, Lagos
7b Karimu Ikotun Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
Eko Hotel and Suites, 1415 Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
AIM Plaza, 267A Etim Inyang Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos
Culinary Academy, 50 Raymond Njoku Street, Ikoyi, Lagos
58A Issac John Street, Ikeja, Lagos
Mega Plaza Mall, 14 Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos
Mega Plaza Mall, 14 Idowu Martins Street, Victoria Island, Lagos