Press "Enter" to skip to content

Starting Your Own Casual Restaurant: What You Need to Know

It’s estimated that 60% of restaurants fail within their first year of being open. Another 80% of restaurants fail after five years of operation.If you want to start a casual restaurant, you may not know where to begin. Opening a restaurant is a big endeavor, and you need to do things the right way.

Even though a lot of restaurants fail, this should not deter you. As long as you follow this guide, you should be able to create a successful restaurant that will stand the test of time.

Keep reading to find out how to start a casual restaurant with these tips.

What Is a Casual Restaurant?

The first thing we need to discuss is what a casual restaurant actually is. This is a term that many people may not be familiar with. A casual restaurant is usually a step up from fast food locations. The atmosphere is still very laid-back without the stuffiness of fine dining.

One example of a casual restaurant is a family-owned restaurant. These are usually restaurants with a welcoming atmosphere where people feel comfortable.These restaurants are usually table service restaurants with servers that deliver your food.

Restaurant Creation Step-By-Step

Now we need to discuss how to start a restaurant from scratch. This can easily feel overwhelming as there are so many different aspects to consider.

But the good news is that this can be broken down into actionable steps. This will help you to know how to run a restaurant successfully long into the future.

Create the Concept

The best restaurant to start off strong with a good idea. Because of this, you need to start off by creating a restaurant concept. The main place to start is finding the type of restaurant you want to have. There are a lot of options, and this will determine other decisions about the restaurant.

For instance, most casual restaurants have a relatively relaxed menu. They may serve comfort food or standard American options like hamburgers and sandwiches. If you were to open a fine dining restaurant, this menu would look very different. You also want to consider how you want the restaurant to appear.

The concept needs to include the design and how you want your customers to feel. Speaking of customers, you also need to figure out to whom you are trying to appeal.

Once you are able to lock down your ideal diner, you will be able to design a restaurant specifically for them. Another concept you need to consider is the name of the restaurant. There is a lot of freedom with this since you could choose something more standard or creative. Once you have the name decided, you should create a logo and visuals.

Have a Menu Created

When your restaurant concept is created, you can move on to your menu. This is going to be the most important part of your restaurant. You need to start off strong with a variety of delicious foods that appeal to your ideal customer. Keep in mind that you need to be realistic when it comes to your menu.

You do not want a menu that is overly long with too many options. This will be overwhelming to customers and will be too much to manage for the kitchen.

It is also important that you choose foods with realistic ingredients. You do not want to choose ingredients that are too difficult or too expensive to source. Keep in mind that you can always make changes later on if necessary. Nothing is concrete, and you may want to adjust your menu once you have seen it performed.

Develop a Business Plan

A casual restaurant requires extensive planning beforehand. Before you ever find a location or open the doors, you should have a restaurant business plan in place.

This is a plan that doesn’t just focus on the restaurant itself. It also focuses on the business aspect, which is where many restaurant owners fail. You need to have a solid business plan that dictates how you will run the business. This will keep you in line so that you don’t get distracted and ignore important details.

Things to include in your business plan is the management and ownership structure. Are you opening this restaurant yourself, or do you have someone partnering with you? You also need to consider your staffing needs and how many people you will need to hire. There are certain legal requirements, and this needs to be included in your business plan.

This plan should also include your goals and financial projection so you can track how well you are doing.

Get Funding

Most people are not going to have enough money to start a casual restaurant on their own. Because of this, you will need to find a way to fund this business. Many restaurant owners are able to do this through a commercial loan or a business line of credit. You may also be able to qualify for a small business loan when starting up.

Some restaurants are even able to find investors who help you financially. These are all options that should be considered depending on your financial needs.

Find the Space

The next thing you need to do is find the location of your restaurant. You need to consider how visible and accessible it is. The best restaurants should be out in the open where people can easily see them. They should be easy to get to so that there is nothing stopping potential customers.

You also need to consider where your ideal customers are going to be. Your restaurant location should be in an area where they live or frequently visit.

Another aspect of a location is looking at the local competition. If that area is densely populated with other restaurants, you may want to find a better location. Experts recommend leasing a restaurant location instead of buying a commercial space. This gives you leeway to move to a different option later on if you so choose.

Go Through the Legalities

Like any business, there are certain requirements when opening a restaurant. This includes following federal, state, and local requirements for permits and licenses. The first thing you need to get is your business license. You will have to pay for this license and it will need to be renewed at different times depending on where you live.

You also need to get an employee identification number for when you start hiring employees. A food service license is also required, and you will need to pass an inspection. This will prove that your restaurant aligns with all of the food safety regulations in the area. If you will be serving alcohol, you will need to get your local liquor license.

Design the Restaurant

When you have your location, it is time to start designing the space. The first thing you need to do is consider the layout of the diners.

You will need to buy restaurant booth seating as well as tables and other places to sit. This is also when you need to buy different pieces of decoration to warm up the space. Make sure you maximize how much space you can use without making it feel crowded. Bathrooms should be easily accessible, and diners shouldn’t be seated too close to the kitchen.

Find Suppliers

You also need to take the time to find who will supply your ingredients. Finding suppliers is often going to be more affordable than buying food in stores. There’s also allows you to create a schedule where ingredients will be delivered. This ensures the same quality and dependability, so you never run out.

Hire Staff

One of the last steps you need to take is finding people who will work for you. You will need to hire kitchen staff, which includes all of the people who will handle the food. You also need to hire front-of-the-house staff, which includes servers and hosts as well as runners. You may need a management team as well to help you with the technical side of the business.

Casual Restaurant: Start-Up Tips

If you want to start your own casual restaurant, there are a few things to know and regulations you need to follow so that you do this legally. You also need to have a firm business plan that will help you to track your success.

Did you enjoy reading this article about opening a restaurant? Keep reading for more business-related content.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *