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Article from a Guest Expert

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Considering a Restaurant Venture? Read this First

A passion for food, a desire to experiment with ingredients, and an urge for the entrepreneurial lifeóall of these things collide in the desire to open a restaurant. It seems simple from the outside: create a great menu, hire a great staff, and pick the right venue to make for guaranteed success, right? Wrong. The restaurant industry is a minefield with business casualties happening every day; some statistics report that two out of every three restaurants opened will fail within their first three years of opening. If youíre consider a restaurant venture, youíll want to take these facets of the process into consideration before dipping your toe into the restaurant industry waters.

     Coming Up with a Concept

Unfortunately great food doesnít mean immediate success, and creating a popular restaurant takes a lot more than just a delicious lasagna. Youíll need a concept. Are you a fine dining establishment with elegant chairs on white, crisp tablecloths on every table? Are you a casual eating space with 20 beers on tap? Having a clear plan for the space and atmosphere youíre trying to create will help you throughout the process, from beginning to end. Look at competing restaurants. What have they done right and wrong? How could you make your establishment competitive with their offerings, especially if you have similar menus? These are all questions you need to consider as you conceptualize your venture.

     Getting Great Help

It can be hard to find, and more importantly, keep, great staff. Another staffing issue to avoid? Hiring your loved ones to work for you. Mixing business with family and friends is a bad move nine times out of 10. Money can easily and negatively change the dynamic of a relationship, so think twice before making your friendship and family connections vulnerable to the harsh effects of business.

     Securing the Funding

Getting a restaurant venture off the ground is no easy task, and youíll need a large amount of capital to fund your project before you can even considering signing your name on the lease. To get said capital, there are a variety of processes youíll need to go through first, including drafting a legitimate business plan covering your planned profits, finding your preferred location, and qualifying for the proper permits. Once you have these steps in place, youíll need to determine how youíre going to acquire the money. Perhaps youíll qualify for a small bank loan, or maybe youíll approach private restaurant investors. Itís always a good idea to obtain legal counsel when working with large amounts of money and complicated contracts, so do your research before you apply for a loan.

     Your Marketing Strategy

If you want your restaurant to succeed, youíre going to need to have a solid handle on a specified marketing strategy. You can be serving the most amazing dish the world has ever seen, but if your community doesnít know about it, it wonít matter. Word of mouth about your food wonít cut it; commercials, fliers, and an online presence are all important facets of the restaurant industry, and the only way youíll be able to keep up with the competition. Once you have customers, youíll need to continue to advertise to them to keep your restaurant and your wares on the brain and on their must-have list. Consider using a company like to ensure your ideas and products get the attention they need to make your business a success.

     The Question of Liquor

If youíre planning on serving alcohol within your restaurant, prepare for quite a bit more stress. While the liquor license acquisition process varies by state and locality, itís safe to say that generally, itís a complicated process that can cost a lot of money and take a cache of time as you begin to set up your business. If you do decide to go forward with purchasing a liquor license, your best bet is to use a brokerage service like License Locators, Inc. to garner the deal for you. This will ensure you stay on the right side of the law, and get the right license at the right price.

Opening a restaurant is no small task, and keeping it open and thriving is another issue altogether. Before you break ground on your restaurant idea, consider the above factors and go into your business venture with a clear view of what lies ahead.



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