Interested in starting your own restaurant or restaurant chain but not sure where to start? To help you on your way we have put together this guide to opening a franchise restaurant and building a restaurant online.
It covers the basics, including finances, property and design. Everything you need to know when taking those tentative first steps into owning your own restaurant.
It has often been the case that big name lenders are unwilling to loan money to those who want to open their own restaurant. However, if you do decide to try your bank to see if they will lend you the initial investment that you need then it is important to plan carefully.
A bank or financial lender is much less likely to lend to you if you go into your meeting with no business plan.
You will need to take the time to ensure that you know exactly what you want to achieve with their financial backing and also make sure that you know what you will be able to offer your prospective customers.
Know the type of cuisine you want to cook? Tell them! Have plans to expand and become a franchise or chain? Make sure they know that this is in your future plans.
There are other funding options that you can explore including raising private equity and also looking into the Enterprise Investment Scheme, both of which should be carefully considered before you decide to go down these routes.
This is a particular issue if you are looking to expand your current restaurant into a franchise. Many restaurant owners think that in order to expand that they need to move into different areas; this isn’t always the case.
Of course, you don’t want to buy another premises in the next street, but for those first tentative steps towards becoming a chain or franchise, it may be a good idea not to open too far afield.
That way you are close to the action and when you are acting as owner, HR manager and probably balancing your working life between the two sites, you will be thankful that they are close together.
Budget is also important when it comes to property, whether your first or 6th restaurant. You need to be able to afford the monthly payments, so make sure that you are realistic about the rent amount that you can afford to pay each and every month.
Whilst it is almost always the case that new restaurants have a few creases that need ironing out after opening, if you are moving onto your second or third then there isn’t much room for error.
Your customers, those that know of your brand will already expect you to open a restaurant that is up to the standard of your other offerings and therefore design is key.
The best way to do this is to look at what is successful in your current site and work with those benefits. You should always learn from your mistakes too, and try to make sure that these don’t happen in the new site.
Your brand identity is important too. Some of the most popular restaurant chains are those that allow each site to have a spot of individuality. Whilst there should be a similar feel to all of the restaurants. The sense of individuality will keep customers interested in paying each one a visit!
So there you have it, our top tips for opening a new restaurant and turning your business into a chain. Hopefully it has helped you to find inspiration in creating your very own culinary empire!