Starting and Managing a Restaurant


A restaurant business must be well-planned and well-executed in order to be successful. It is not enough that the food is excellent, but the same must be said about the service, or else the customer is unlikely to return. But more importantly, you must learn business skills besides the culinary arts.
The truth is a restaurant is far from a simple business because it combines both a retailing and a manufacturing component. Here are some tips to get you started:
Identify and focus your planning on the target market. Everything will depend on who you want to cater to. Having a clear picture of the market will guide you in selecting a location. The market will also determine what food you should offer, the ambiance of the place, and the kind of service. Everything must be as desirable as possible to your consumer.
Select an ideal and affordable location. Make sure to comply with the zoning rules specified in your location permit when putting up a restaurant. Compute if your potential profits will more than offset the cost of the location. In the case of restaurants, do not be afraid of locating beside other food establishments, because people prefer going to places where there are lot of choices. Furthermore, do not believe that location won’t matter as long as your food is great. Those who managed to be successful despite having a poor location are very rare exceptions.
Register your business. Start your business right by getting a business name at DTI (if sole proprietor) or SEC (if a corporation or partnership); and then after getting a barangay clearance, obtain a mayor’s permit. There are many things to comply with, like the sanitation permit, fire, and the BIR.
Estimate sales targets. This is important in order to buy the equipment of the right capacity, to know the manpower needed as well as to design the layout and capital needed, among many other things. You cannot expect the same sales as those of well-known brands like Jollibee or Mc Donald’s even if your facility is similar. Use an establishment that is not well known in projecting your sales since your store is just new.
Do not spend too much on renovation. The best option is to have leased a place that requires minimal renovation. If you have to do a major renovation, try to make do with the least cash outlay. You must not buy materials designed to last for decades as it will lock in too much capital.
Hire and train before opening. Make sure your staff is well-trained before you start operations. It would be best if you will hire experienced people so that there will be minimal adjustment. Since you are new to the business you must have an expert to conduct the training. At this point, you must establish an employee and operations manual to instill discipline and to manage the operations.
Plan your menu. Care must be taken to cost and price the items properly. Often there is a failure to take into account the preparation time for a dish. Mechanisms must be in place to track the popularity of the items.
Continuously market your restaurant. Never stop thinking of gimmicks to promote your establishment. Some of the most effective selling tactics are giving out flyers with promos.
A restaurant business means more than just cooking and serving good food. In fact, it is far easier to hire a good cook than to run a restaurant business properly. To have a better idea on how to run a restaurant, it is best to attend a seminar first. Learn from BusinessCoach, Inc.

Click here to view details of the training program on: How to Plan and Operate a Restaurant »
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.