How to Start a Restaurant?

You Can Also Read Our Article About Restaurant Business Plan

Starting any business is never easy. This does not mean to scare you but to make you psychologically prepared to be ready to encounter severe challenges on your way to glory. When you start a business, and it fails you don’t have to walk away, keep on pressing and look for other ways. Have you ever looked at some prosperous people and asked yourself how you can start a restaurant? Worry not, in this article I am going to show you easy it is.

First, you need to understand that how to start your own restaurant is something much demanding. It calls for maximum commitment and extra care lest you flash all your life-time savings down the toilet. A restaurant business is a great business to venture in. but it might not be easy as many people think. It’s entirely enjoyable. All it needs is the passion and belief to get started. Being your boss, you enjoy flexibility, and freedom of work.

How to open a restaurant might be daunting at first, and you need to take calculated steps to reach there. You have to consider many factors such as equipment, financing, brand to location. All these constitute the success or failure of the business. Opening a restaurant checklist is worthy of providing the ultimate guideline. This article will show you how to open your own restaurant business.

There are several steps to start your restaurant;

Concept and Name


A business starts with an idea then the idea matures to become an enviable venture. Having small business ideas gives an added advantage in this area If these small business ideas are well cultivated and implemented, chances of been a successful business person increase. Many people do not know how to open a restaurant and run it. It is because they fail to take care of simple processes. First, decide what type of restaurant it is going to be. It might be a casual dinner, Grill Park, or French cuisine. This comes first before anything else. Do you want to specialize in a particular area or an inclusive café? This is the first decision that everyone needs to make.

Every person has a name to differentiate him/her from others and for easier identity so as to businesses. The name of the business should be short and easily memorable. You must make sure your restaurant name is unique and will stick in the mind of the clients. Long business names shun away customers since they associate good names with the best services. Customers prefer names of things they are familiar with like sweet melodies, delicious café and the like. A title might be anything fun that means something, or that pronounces the business. It cannot be just a name because some customers make decisions based on the business name. The name must be original to keep off legal processes and present a harmless gesture. The registrar for business and companies might help in the name search.

Market Research


Market research helps you to highlight emerging growth opportunities. Therefore, you can identify the right path to take. Market research helps to have small business ideas. The analysis gives you the opportunity to compare options and chooses the best idea. You can set a nice restaurant, but due to poor research, the restaurant ends up collapsing. Research helps you to understand your target market; the food they prefer and the drinks that are highly consumed in that area.

You need to ask yourself how to start your own restaurant and reach the target market for your business. Your idea might be a great one, but it’s the target market that determines if it will survive. If you open a restaurant that nobody has an interest in, then there is no guarantee of success. Conducting market research enables you to know how much it will cost you to open the restaurant.

You first need to put into consideration what you need to start a restaurant. you can only get answers to this question from market research. The research opens your mind, and you can figure out the required legal fee to begin the entity. You will also know the cost of purchasing the furniture, leasing fees, premises, competition, the purchasing behavior of the customers in that region and your target clients. Are they are domestic customers or foreign customers in case you open the restaurant on the coast? Also, it informs you of the general cost of running the restaurant.

The market research also familiarizes you with the potential threats that can put your restaurant to rest if not well handled. It puts across the challenges that other running restaurants are facing and gives you an opportunity to look for ways to counter the obstacles before you even open the restaurant. Therefore, you have adequate arsenals before as you venture into this delicate business. There is no need for scratching your head thinking on how you can open your restaurant- make sure you carry out market research.

Market research entails; - cross-examining the successful restaurants, interviewing the owners, managing directors and personnel, reading business magazines, researching on the internet and carrying out surveys. Some of the restaurant owners may be biased and give you false information to mislead you. You should not entirely rely on all the information they give. You have to analyze and scrutinize the answers they give you.

In the nutshell, market research expands your view of the business and gives you an insight on how to start your restaurant so that you can be successful.


Another small restaurant idea is the restaurant location. The location of any business matters a lot. As you think about how to open a restaurant, also figure out the location of the restaurant. You need to ask yourself, is your restaurant strategically located? Does it reach out to the target population correctly? Is it accessible by the customers? Is it situated in a safe and healthy environment? These are some of the questions that people willing to open restaurants need to ask themselves.

The health of the customers comes first; the restaurant must be very far from any dumping site or anything that can implicate the health of the customers. The environment should be very conducive and friendly to customers. Paths to access the restaurant should be tarmacked and paved to avoid dust. This makes customers feel they are worth the restaurant and feel good when associated with the restaurant.

The best spots to open a restaurant are; near the bus terminals where the travelers can have their meals as they wait to board, near the market centers, at the Central Business District of any town. People also prefer to open restaurants in the city outskirts where their little noise and no traffic jams.

After identifying your target market, you will have to choose a perfect spot to set up your restaurant. There is no way one can succeed in any business without being in the ideal place.

The perfect location generates traffic density and contributes to increased sales volume. Other aspects of a great location are packing facilities, waste disposal, business proximity, lease terms, and future development.

The Business Plan and Financing


Opening a restaurant checklist is as good as having a business plan. The restaurant checklist guides the business operations. Many restaurant owners prefer to start by opening the restaurant checklist on their own then introduce it the management. On the other hand, a business plan is a crucial tool for managing and running a business A restaurant business plan highlights the restaurant’s long term and short term goals and the necessary steps required to achieve those goals.

Writing a restaurant business plan shows that you know your business better so you can use the business plan to convince investors to invest in your restaurant in case you do not have adequate funds. You should make sure you have a restaurant business plan to keep on toes the manager and other personnel. A business plan has many advantages which range from been the mirror of the business where you can connect the dots in your business and get a clear picture of your business to setting restaurant priorities where you keep on track if the restaurant is operating at the right track. Failing to plan means planning to fail; that is well said!

-A business plan is vital for two reasons:

-Speculate the restaurant activities

-Attract funding for the business

There are many unseen situations that can only appear after structuring the business model. It’s just when you highlight everything in black and white that you will uncover anything hidden.

Financing will not come through without a well-crafted business plan. The financers, whether private investors, business agencies, or banks need the restaurateur to provide factual information about the business operations.

Opening a restaurant checklist and drafting a superb business plan guides the regulations and operations of the business.

Legal Course

Before opening a business, you need to go through a licensing process and obtain operation permission from the authorities. This is the first thing you need to do before you google the tips on how to open a restaurant business. Whether you are running a business in your house or at the market center, it must be registered with the relevant authorities. If you choose to use a restaurant business name, you must comply with the legal obligations under the Business Act. Complying with the legal course does not only keep you out of trouble but also makes your customers to trust you thus they can do business with you. This means you are a person of integrity.

The fact that many tourists prefer to spend their time in restaurants makes attracts regulations from the local health authorities. Rich and high profile people spend their weekends on this restaurant thus the state must make sure all the restaurants meet specific requirements before been in operation. These are the legal things you need to have before you even think about how you can start your own business. This article will highlight what you will need to open a restaurant business. They include;

A Restaurant License


A business license is the first thing you must acquire before you put your restaurant’s signboard showing it is open. This license permits you to operate the restaurant within the set prerogatives legally. The permissions help the state to regulate the number of restaurants and to know the exact number of restaurants in a specific region to avoid overcrowding of the restaurants which might lead to cut-throat competition.

Food handlers permit

This is not a license but a permit that gives you the go-ahead to handle food. Food is susceptible. It should be dealt with a lot of care lest you risk your customers conducting cholera. No state can allow anybody to handle food without this permit. The food prepared in the restaurant must be examined by a qualified Public Health Officer to ascertain if it is fit for human consumption. All the restaurant owners must have this permit.

Food handler permit ensures that the restaurant operates as per the food regulations. The food is kept in a clean store; there is proper handling of the food by the restaurant workers and maximum food protection. You may also decide to take a building permit to show that your restaurant premises are fit and cannot cause any harm to the customers. They have met the required building conditions.

Liquor License

If you decide to include alcoholic beverage or liquor services at your restaurant, it is advisable to get a liquor license. However, this type of permit ranges depending on the kind of liquor you want to sell in your restaurant. In case you are planning to host a festival in your restaurant, you are required to have a license to serve liquor at that festival even if you are already licensed.

Music License

My people want to take their meals in a restaurant where there is sweet soft music. Music is entertainment. If you intend to play music in your restaurant, you must have a music license. The license contains some conditions that must be met by the restaurant owner such as the music equipment that should be used. The license will permit you to play copyrighted music. However, if your restaurant is small below 3,750 square feet and the music is being played from a radio or television, the speakers are few less than five, and you are not charging your customers, a music license is not required.

Business Premises

Choosing the right location and premise for your restaurant business is very critical. Some people may decide to run a business from their home while others lease business premises in the city. For a restaurant business, you will require a vast store where you can store your food. The store should be big enough to accommodate a large volume of food while still fitted with refrigerators and freezers.

Your restaurant premises should make you operate effectively and efficiently without incurring any extra costs. Many people want to know how much it costs to open a restaurant but they need first to identify the lists of things you need. Some factors such as size and layout of the restaurant, how you would like to look like both inside and outside, customer comfort facilities, some utilities such as electricity, drainage systems, and CCTV cameras installation to boost the security. The size and type of business premise matter a lot when opening a business restaurant. The restaurant must be in an ideal location where it is easily accessible. If you are intending to open a small restaurant, then you are required to look for small premises to cut costs.

Overcrowded restaurants cause distraction of the property by both the customers and the workers. Workers may break the utensils as they move from one point to another while serving the clients since there is no space, they are just squeezing themselves to use the available space. These small business ideas are overlooked by many people but count a lot at the end of the day.



The question of how to start your own restaurant business comes along with how would you like the restaurant to look like. It is the layout. You need to put into consideration the following things; -


How much does it cost to open a restaurant is a common question asked by many people intending to venture into this business The design and layout of a restaurant is a product of the goals and ambitions of the business. The bigger the restaurant owner's goals, the more the resources required in designing the restaurant. More resources mean high costs, the design and layout should not be too high such that the restaurant cannot cater for the renovations. If the restaurant can still operate like that, there is no need for unnecessary expenses. Costs should be channeled towards areas where revenue generated.



The restaurant should be spacious enough. How space is allocated matters a lot. Ample space should be assigned to the kitchen, hostess stand, and dining rooms. Restaurant offices do not need to take the better part of the restaurant space since it’s the manager who uses the office and no significant activities are taking place there.

Restaurant manager office


The office should be very small such that it can accommodate two or three people. The restaurant office is not a place to go and hang around. Locate it somewhere secure in the building where there is neither commotion nor noise from the dining room. The restaurant should ensure that the restaurant is well managed by opening a restaurant checklist to act as a guideline.

Restaurant Kitchen


The restaurant kitchen should be as spacious as possible for all the necessary equipment so that the employees can work comfortably. The kitchen should be fitted with tiles for easy cleaning. Necessary equipment such as boilers, washing sinks, stoves, shelves, and dish machines should be well equipped in the kitchen.

Storage Area

The restaurant store should be very spacious. A store should be fitted with refrigerators, a walk-in freezer and a dry storage area that has enough space. A walk-in refrigerator helps in case there is a fridge break down which leads to losses to the restaurant owner. Storage offices should be situated near the manager’s office, and they can be accessed by the chefs.


The restrooms are overlooked by many designers but are the most crucial aspect of the design and layout. The restrooms should be located at a strategic place where they are accessible, and the customers are not exposed to any danger. Opening a restaurant checklist makes easy for the monitoring of the workers who like to hang around the restrooms in the name of cleaning them.

Employees Area


Some business people think that setting a room for the employees is a waste of space little do they know it’s an advantage to the business. Employees need to have space to keep their personal belongings. However, some employees take advantage of this privilege and start hiding restaurant facilities. They can be reduced by opening a restaurant checklist to make sure all the employees are occupied, not idling.

Restaurant checklist


Opening a restaurant checklist guides the restaurant happenings in every area of the restaurant thus creating quality products and offering the best services. Opening a restaurant checklist helps to reflect whether the tasks are performed correctly.

Dining Room

The dining room is a place that should be well designed. Many customers spend their time in this area. If they are not satisfied with the layout of the dining room, don’t expect them to come back the following day.

Also, security features should be put in place to make sure the clients are safe from the robbers while having their meals. You need to pit a combination of booths, tables, and large tables in the dining room to suit all the customers. Customers who have a family meeting can choose to use large tables and still be comfortable.



What do you need to start a restaurant? The restaurant entrance is a requirement. The restaurant entrance should be the first impression. Remember, you cannot create the first impression twice. Thus you should always make sure that the personnel at the gate serves customers well. The gateman should be professional and friendly to the customers. A thorough inspection of the vehicles entering the premises should be conducted. Customers always want to be assured of their security.

You can decide to erect a giant gate on the entrance and write plain words bearing the name of the restaurant.

To sum up…


One may perceive these as small restaurant ideas but if you didn’t know how to open a restaurant, then this is the way to go. If you follow this guide, it will be impossible to stumble somewhere on the road. Set up a whole restaurant with a strong foundation to maneuver in business. This article will show you how you can open your own restaurant, how much does it cost to open a restaurant and what you need to open a restaurant. If your dream is to be a successful business person, here is the weapon.

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