Opening a restaurant is a real challenge . However, if done well, certain steps allow you to get started effectively in the world of catering. Indeed, despite all the questions raised by the launch of a restaurant and the concerns that restaurateurs may encounter, the implementation of a strategic reflection upstream makes it possible to avoid a large number of potential problems and thus start the project . on a sound basis.
We have chosen, through this article, to highlight the essential steps to respect and take into account in order to launch your restaurant in the best possible conditions and thus fulfill your dream and make it last!
Develop and define your concept:
Turning to the field of restoration represents a great investment and extreme devotion. Therefore, it is crucial that you focus at the beginning of the project on your vision of the ideal restaurant, do not hesitate to push your creativity to the maximum and pursue your dreams! This will allow you to work on bases that motivate you and your employees.
Analyze your environment: customers and competition:
Once your ideal concept has been defined, you must analyse your environment to see what type of clientele will be receptive to it. For this, it is essential to conduct a market study . This is the time when you can survey the opinions of your future customers and analyze the feasibility and relevance of your offer. This will also allow you to become aware of the competition around you and thus have a better vision of the added value you can bring with your concept. But also to adapt the latter in order to offer something unique and original.
Define your added value and your business plan:
Now that you have full knowledge of the environment around you, whether on a competitive aspect or on attractiveness, it is time for you to make strategic decisions that will forge the identity of your restaurant. :
– The location of your restaurant: This is a key part of the puzzle . Please note that this choice will be decisive for the success of your restaurant. A bad location alone could hurt your launch. It doesn’t matter how long it will take to create your restaurant, until you find the perfect location keep looking.
– Your card: a flagship element of a restaurant and the main guarantor of its identity, your card is the main asset in the dissemination of the identity of your restaurant to create an experience in your image . Therefore, it is crucial to choose the content of this one in adequacy with your concept , your target customers, and the competitive environment that surrounds you.
– Your suppliers: once your menu has been defined, you must look for reliable, local suppliers capable of helping you in your desire to offer quality food with a unique taste , symbol of your project. This choice must also be made keeping in mind the target clientele of your concept in order to guarantee an average ticket that will satisfy them and not repel them.
– Your prices: Now that you have chosen your suppliers, you have a good idea of the cost of your raw materials, so you will be able to define your prices. It is also useful to analyze the average ticket of your direct competitors to ensure that the prices you are going to offer will allow you to be profitable and competitive.
Of course, all your choices will also be guided by the establishment of a business plan . This business plan will allow you on the one hand to evaluate the funds you need to carry out your project. On the other hand, it will be an additional and necessary support to find financing from your bank or other source of financing. Finally, it will be a way for you to assess your project’s potential profitability and establish a cost management plan essential to guarantee the profitability of your business.
Finally last point and not least, before launching your restaurant make sure you have the licenses and other legal authorizations necessary for the exercise of the profession of restaurateur.
Set up a marketing strategy:
After having solved all the logistical problems necessary for the creation of your restaurant, it is now time to think about how you are going to promote it. Nowadays, the most efficient and also the most economical way to start your business is to establish an online presence . Create a page on social networks such as Instagram or Facebook. You can post photos of future à la carte dishes there, but beware, not just any photos. Today what works are the so-called “instagramable” photos, that is to say, which make you want to run to your restaurant to taste your dishes!
Create a web page for your restaurant . It is very important today to have a presence on a website where your customers can discover your menu and have essential information such as your opening and closing times, your contact details, and photos of your restaurant and your dishes. For this you can partner with companies like TheFork or Tripadvisor which will allow you to create a page in your image where customers can directly book but also, to ensure increased visibility through their gargantuan user community (29 million visits per month on TheFork).
You will also be able to link this page to your social networks so that you don’t miss any customers!
Optimize your efficiency using new technologies:
Today, a whole range of tools on the market speed up and optimize restaurant management. These represent a real asset in the development of a restaurant because they save time but also increase productivity , visibility and therefore turnover . This is precisely the mission of TheFork : to create tools that allow establishments , and in particular those who are starting out, to display full most of the time.
Stay on top of trends:
As mentioned earlier in the article, it is essential , in order to ensure its success, that your restaurant is in line with current trends through the experience it will offer but also its operation. Therefore, we advise you before the launch of your restaurant and on a regular basis to keep up to date with the latest trends in the world of food by consulting, for example , blog articles or newspapers .
For example, did you know that customers are increasingly attracted to restaurants that offer sustainable cuisine in all its aspects (dishes, cutlery, decoration) or that technologies such as robotics are growing in the world? catering? This information is taken from a study that we recently carried out in collaboration with an agency on the latest trends in the world of food.