You have a passion for food and a desire to run your own business. You make the decision to finally own your own restaurant. Imagine: people enjoying your food, celebrating in your atmosphere and appreciating your work. Feels great just thinking about it, right?
It can be a rewarding experience, but aspiring restaurateurs need to be prepared so they don’t end up in the position of waiting to be bailed out on an episode of Restaurant: Impossible. Following some cost-saving measures and procedures will prevent that from happening.
Keep the Menu Simple
One of the best things an owner can do when starting up a restaurant is to keep the menu simple. This minimizes the training cooks need. It also reduces storage requirements and spoilage from infrequently used ingredients sitting around. Designing the menu so that the dishes use common ingredients takes this efficiency a step further.
Now that the menu has been designed to eliminate waste and keep costs down, it’s time to increase profit margins. Determine the costs of each dish and subtract that amount from the price of the dish. The items that have the highest margin should be featured at the front of the menu and promoted the most.
If you serve a dish known as ‘Five-Alarm Chili’ and it has the highest margin, it wouldn’t hurt to have it as a subtitle on signage and promotional materials: “XYZ Restaurant, home of the Five-Alarm Chili.”
Eliminate Waste in Terms of Maintenance & Energy
Eliminating waste is also an easy way to save money. Turning off lights when no one needs them on; fixing leaky faucets; closing areas of the restaurant when it’s slow and scooping every last drop of food stored in containers are only a few examples of ways to improve efficiency. In short: if it’s wasteful, don’t do it.
Equipment makes up a significant part of a restaurant’s cost especially in terms of maintenance and energy. Getting quality, reliable equipment will save on energy costs and help avoid the frustration of breakdowns and repair costs.is an example of a great refrigeration resource – their refrigeration systems are specifically designed to meet USDA standards. Using companies of similar caliber for equipment like dishwashers, mixers, ovens and slicers will make things run more smoothly.
Using an existing restaurant site with a similar theme to the one you are starting and tweaking it is less expensive than starting from scratch. Take advantage of existing lighting fixtures, tables and seating to avoid the expense of buying new ones.
Have a Plan, then Consult
No matter how hard they work, anyone starting their first restaurant will not know all the things they need to do to be successful. Many other issues come with the opening of a restaurant like labor laws, safety regulations, alcohol sales, business licensing and permits that are just as important as generating a profit. Having a plan upfront gives a restaurant owner a blueprint that provides structure and a path to success. Fortunately there are many resources for restaurant owners to consult when going into business.
There’s no reason why living the dream of owning a restaurant cannot become a reality. Nothing worthwhile is easy, but by using a few cost saving measures and avoiding common pitfalls, success will also become a reality.