Updated: Apr 25
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If you're a foodie who's also interested in entrepreneurship, starting your own restaurant can be a dream come true. However, starting a restaurant requires a lot of time, energy, and cash. You want to plan your eatery carefully in order to avoid squandering your investment. This guide provides tips for how to open a restaurant while also saving money. Read on for actionable tips to help you get started.
Consider non-traditional types of restaurants
One of the biggest expenses when opening a restaurant is space. You have to pay commercial rent on a large area that has room for both dining and a kitchen. Plus, the kitchen has to meet safety and health code requirements. To minimize this expense, consider nontraditional food formats, as suggested by Aaron Allen. You might open a pop-up restaurant in an existing dining location, for example, or try a food truck.
Plan out your restaurant concept with cost-savings in mind
Careful planning is essential to identifying cost-cutting opportunities and avoiding surprise expenses. Once you've defined your restaurant concept, sketch out all the details in a go-to-market strategy document. You can save time by using a template to help visualize your go-to-market strategy. Make sure to include critical points like your business plan and marketing strategy for promoting your eatery once it's open.
Figure out your funding needs and get the money you require
Once your restaurant plan is ready, you can better calculate the startup and overhead expenses you need to prepare for. Examples include commercial rent, health inspections, and restaurant licenses, furnishing, kitchen equipment, and more. Once you know how much cash you need, it's time to find funding. RestoHub has a list of funding options to get you started, including SBA-guaranteed loans, grants, food incubators, investors, and banks.
Look for innovative ways to save on restaurant equipment
Restaurant equipment will be one of your biggest expenses. Equipping an industrial kitchen that's in line with health codes requires a lot of money. Keep in mind, your chefs will be cooking for large groups of people, making multiple meals per night. You need industrial equipment that can meet the demand. To save some cash, consider buying used restaurant equipment. You can find second-hand goods online and via brick-and-mortar stores.
Keep your advertising costs low
A website is a low-cost way to start advertising your restaurant. Make sure your website is adequately protected against cybercriminals, who sometimes target new businesses, especially smaller ones, assuming they'll have poor cybersecurity measures. Best practices include investing in antivirus and malware protection for your work devices and training workers to identify scams. A cyber IT professional can help you get set up.
Explore payment systems that avoid needless fees
Once your website is set up, you may also want to integrate an online payment platform. For your convenience and your customers', prioritize payment systems that minimize the risk of added fees. For example, some tools allow customers to check their financial API bank account balance, ensuring they have the funds they need to pay, so they can avoid overdraft fees. Being able to implement such a system online and via an app enhances convenience.
Stay on top of your money with strict accounting
The last thing you want when you're getting a restaurant off the ground is to be caught off guard by unexpected expenses or surprise fees. To keep this from happening, make sure you have a strict accounting system in place. If you aren't great with numbers, an expert like Pear Accounting Solutions can help. They focus specifically on the restaurant field, providing expertise you can count on.
Starting a restaurant is an exciting adventure. However, it's also pricey. The above guide can help you get started without wasting your money.
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