Top 10 Things You Need to Open a Restaurant

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Top 10 Things You Need to Open a Restaurant

Walt Disney said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we are curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”. Opening a restaurant is a dream to many but running it is for few. Opening and running a restaurant is exciting, and sometimes it looks daunting. A good number of people wonder how they can start a restaurant. Do not let your worries surpass your strengths and confidence. You

A restaurant is like any other business, it faces ups and downs. All you need to do is to be persistent, patient and determined. Do not expect to attain a break-even point in a duration of two or weeks. It will take time for the business to stand on its own. In this article, I am going to guide you on how to open a small restaurant and what you need to open the restaurant.

First things first, for your restaurant business to grow tremendously, there are things that you cannot afford to take lightly. Taking your precious time to focus on these things will grant you the advantage of taking the restaurant industry by storm. This is what you need to open a restaurant:

Target Market

Before you start stressing yourself with how to open the restaurant business, focus on your target market. Carry out market research to determine the kind of market you would like to serve. The research will enable you to understand their age, gender, and income levels.

Knowing your target market will enable you to understand the kind of people you expect to fill your tables and book for reservations in your restaurant.

Your Differentiating Factors

Your restaurant should be different from your competitors. It must stand out as valuable in the customer's mind. As you inquire on how to start a small restaurant, research on things that will differentiate yourself from your competitors. If your competitors are slow on serving customers, employ professionals who are efficient and effective.

Restaurant Location

For those who are asking how to start a restaurant without experience, rest assured you do not need any experience to choose a good location. Look for an ideal location where the customers can easily notice your new restaurant.

The location should be spacious enough for customers to pack their vehicles if they have them and kids playing ground. Make sure your location is far from any environmental pollutants such as sewers. The restaurant location should also feature when opening a restaurant checklist.

Opening a restaurant in a suburb location is an absurd and terrible idea. You will not get enough customers since the clients’ security will be jeopardized. The best place to locate your restaurant is in urban areas. Build your restaurant near the bus or railway terminals. These places are congested so you are likely to make a profit.

Licenses and Permits Needed to Open a Restaurant Before you put that tag showing your business is officially open, you must have certain licenses and permits. There is a number of licenses and permits needed to open a restaurant. The government uses the permits and licenses to regulate the number of restaurants.

Some of the licenses and permits needed to open a restaurant include:

Business License

Your restaurant business should be registered with the local municipality. The municipality issues the license at a fee. The license helps the authorities to know the number of restaurants in that location to curb cases on monopoly when a sole restaurant is operating. The Business License is among the crucial licenses and permits you need to have for you to open a restaurant.

Resale Permit

If your restaurant business is operating in a state with sales tax, the business must acquire a resale permit from the state to allow it to charge and collect the required taxes from the customers. Some licenses like resale permits may not require any legal fee.

Building Health Permit

The restaurant building should be in good condition such that it does not impose any danger to the workers and customers. You must obtain a health permit from the county health department to show that the buildings have attained the required measures and guidelines.

The restaurateur will be subject to periodic inspections to make sure the location is clean and complies with the established food management practices. Before you start opening the restaurant, make sure your business has a building and Health Permit.

Employee Health Permit

The restaurant workers handling food and beverages should have a Health Permit. The permit shows that the employees have undertaken and successfully completed a state-approved food handler’s course. Employee Health Permit is one of the essential licenses you need to get for your new restaurant.

The course teaches workers about proper sanitation practices, proper food handling, and food storage. It also shows that workers are healthy, they are not ailing from contagious diseases. As you read on how open a restaurant business, purpose to set some funds and time to have this permit.

City and Fire Permit

Among the other permits, City and Fire Permit is one of them. The permit requires the business to comply with the applicable building and safety codes. The fire marshals periodically inspect the building premises and install any faulted fire systems.

Liquor License

If you are intending to sell wine, beer or alcohol in your restaurant, you must obtain a liquor license from the state. The licensing requirements and fees levied to obtain vary by state. Beer and wine license costs less than a full liquor license.

Some states require the licensee to complete a liquor course in order to obtain the license.

Have a Restaurant Business Plan

You must first develop a unique business plan. When opening a restaurant checklist, make sure you have included a business plan. A viable business plan can help you source finance from investors and financial institutions.

Some people do not know how to start a restaurant business plan. This is a viable business plan guideline.

Restaurant Brand

Include your restaurant logo, launching dates and restaurant names on the business plan. The logo and name should be unique and memorable.


Detail your restaurant concept and make your readers excited about the idea. Describe n detail the kind of food you are serving, the inspiration of your concept and your restaurant uniqueness.

Sample Menu

How to start a restaurant business plan may vary by individuals but one common thing is a sample menu. A menu is a crucial touchpoint of any restaurant’s brand. It should be more than a listing of meals on a piece of paper.

The menu should include the meal prices based on detailed cost analysis. When opening a restaurant checklist, make sure you also include a sample menu. Never ever include a meal that is not offered in the restaurant in the sample menu. It can ruin the restaurant’s reputation.

The prices on the sample menu will show investors that you have done your research and the business will be able to make some profits hence they will get returns.


When writing a restaurant business plan, put down the services the business will be offering. Highlight your restaurant’s unique styles.

Management Team

For people who want to know how to start a restaurant without experience, this article will be your guiding tool. First, make sure you have written a brief description of yourself and the team you have established.

Put down your employee’s work experience, skills, and qualifications in the business plan. You do not need experience in writing the descriptions.


Your restaurant should have a unique design. Create a mood that shows the images related to the design of your restaurant. Design starts with the paintings on the wall, employee uniform, furniture arrangement, and decorations.

Target Market

Restaurateurs who want to know how to start a restaurant for dummies should first consider their target market. There are customers who do not like being served by robots. They prefer interacting with human beings who can respond to their queries. If they do like dummies, please employ human beings.

Restaurant Staff

Furniture cannot serve customers. As you think about how to start a small restaurant - think about the kind of employees you will have. Note that, staffing your business with relatives can be a suicide move. It is not only nepotism but also perilous. Relatives will start stealing your inventories or be rude to customers.

Employ qualified people who have a zeal to help the restaurant achieve its long-term and short-term goals. Skilled and qualified personals are what you need to open a restaurant.

A Restaurant Menu

A menu is a reflection of the restaurant meals. When opening a restaurant checklist, include a sample menu in it. A restaurant menu should be eligible and have well-curved letters that are readable without the customers straining.

Since your business is still growing, do not create a huge menu that will make you spend a lot on it. Provide a few options that cover a large continuum. Make it simple.

Create a Website

The innovation of the internet was an added advantage to restaurateurs. Sales promotion and marketing are done online. A good restaurant website is what you need to open a small restaurant. Customers nowadays make their reservations via websites.

The website should have a magnetic attraction to entice customers into your restaurant. It should be mobile-friendly. It should have; restaurant location, meals offered and their prices.

Include an online food ordering system on your website. An online ordering system enables customers to order meals from the comfort of their couch.

Invest a lot of time and money on the website. The website will act as your marketing tool. People will obtain all the information concerning your restaurant from the website. It will prepare customers psychologically for what to expect from your restaurant. As you obtain all of the necessary licenses and permits, look for experts who can develop a nice website.

Policies and Procedures

The most successful restaurants have well-drafted policies and procedures from opening hours to dealing with complaints. Restaurant employees should be familiar with these procedures. Even those who want to know how to open a small restaurant, policies, and procedures are mandatory


Before opening the restaurant, make sure you have implemented the systems and put them in writing for every member to live upon them. When the procedures are closely followed, workers will get used to them and become a restaurant culture. This will eradicate conflict between the management and workers.


I don’t want to sugarcoat the idea of opening a restaurant since it is not cheap. Money is in the list of what you need to open a restaurant. You must spend some money before the business stands on its own. Expenses such as employee salaries, electricity, and another fixed cost must be catered even the business is not making a profit. You must have some funds that can run the restaurant for six months.

Whether you are franchising, partnering or opening a solo business, starting capital is mandatory. If you do not have enough funds but your business idea is brilliant, look for investors or take a business loan. Investors must be convinced by your business plan. Take time and write an excellent business plan.


For those who want to open a restaurant but do have the experience, this post will help you. Make sure you have a business plan that will guide your daily operations, choose a short memorable business name that is unique and employs qualified personnel. Make sure the furniture you buy will not drain your pockets. They should be comfortable and cheap. People are afraid of opening a restaurant business, invest all their time and lifetime saving in it and eventually, it collapses. You need to be smart when opening a restaurant. Start by opening a restaurant checklist to guide you. Make sure you have the things I have discussed above.

If you are worried about how to open a small restaurant, you are on the right track. This article will chaperon you. It will be your point of reference. Just keep in mind, be a boss is not an easy thing since everyone is looking upon you. All complaints are pointed at you. Keep on pressing don’t give up.

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