Every year, many small business owners around the country decide to open a restaurant. Unfortunately, the odds are against them. Sixty percent of these restaurants will fail within the first year, and by the fifth year, 80 percent will have closed down. One way to increase your odds is to discover the ‘recipe for success’ before you open up, and let those principles guide you through these rocky first years. If you need a little help opening a successful restaurant, you’ll love this new guide created by OpenTable – How to Open a Restaurant: The Modern Restauranteur’s Guide to Starting & Growing a Restaurant Business.
OpenTable is an online platform that allows you to conveniently make restaurant reservations. Thousands of restaurants are on this website for dozens of metro areas and regions in America. They offer free reservation services for customers, and they also want to help restaurants thrive.
The OpenTable guide on opening a restaurant features information on the most important aspects of starting a restaurant business, including business planning, funding, staffing, and restaurant technology. If opening a restaurant is a dream of yours, we urge you to download the guide. But before you go, here are some of our favorite do’s and don’ts featured in the guide.
10 Do’s and Don’ts of Opening a Restaurant
DO protect yourself from the beginning. A lawyer can help you set up the restaurant to protect you from personal liability if it fails.
DON’T get funded by many investors who each contribute small sums. Having fewer investors is better. You can help the process by setting a minimum investment amount.
DO get a long-term lease to avoid the upheaval of having to change locations. Experts recommend that the lease be 10 years or more with the option to renew.
DON’T be scared away from locations that have competitor restaurants nearby. Their presence is proof that the location can be profitable.
DO seek out and hire competent managers before you look for hourly employees.
DON’T neglect the importance of training before the big opening. It will require an investment, but it is well worth it since you can iron out the kinks before customers walk through the door.
DO consider renting equipment instead of buying. This can be particularly advantageous for some pieces of equipment since maintenance on rentals is typically free.
DON’T overspend on items like water glasses. The things that are handled the most will also need to be replaced the most.
DO utilize technology like OpenTable where you can engage with VIPs, build buzz, and track diners’ preferences.
DON’T let technology replace human interaction. Personal interactions are important for restaurants; instead, focus on technology that increases your efficiency.
Restaurants do have a high rate of failure, but that shouldn’t stop your dream of being a restaurant owner. Doing your research in advance and listening to the advice of experts will help you minimize the risk factors associated with opening a restaurant.