Italian cuisine is one of the most popular cuisines in the world for a very good reason. Italian food consists of various pasta dishes, tiramisu, amazing wines, and so on. If you want to know how to open an Italian restaurant, you’re making a good choice. As long as you have solid food, a beautiful restaurant, and know how to market it, you’re taking the right steps to have an eatery that many people will make an effort to patronize. Read on to see how you how to open an Italian restaurant.
Prepare Your Kitchen
You can’t have a professional restaurant without a commercial-level kitchen. You’ll have to deal with tons of dirty dishes throughout the day. You’ll be dirtying storage containers and plates that customers will be eating off of, so make things easy on yourself by investing in a dishwasher.
You’ll have to store your food properly. Of course, you’ll need a refrigerator and freezer to keep everything at a safe temperature. Appliances can break down at any time, so make sure you have access to commercial freezer repair. You should have a refrigerator and cooler that’s large enough to handle all of the food that you need. Be aware of the proper food safety temperatures to keep everything at. When local inspectors inspect your kitchen, one of the first things they’ll check out is that food is stored at the right temperature.
A commercial kitchen has a lot of food prepped to consider. You must have solid surfaces that are durable enough for all of the chopping, dicing, and mixing it, you’ll need to do. Surfaces should also be smooth and easy to clean and not susceptible to bacteria. Many commercial kitchens opt for stainless steel counters as it’s durable and easy to clean. Before you begin prepping food, you need a place to store it. While the refrigerators and freezers will take care of cold items, you’ll also have dry goods and cans that will go on the shelf. So make sure you either have a pantry room for your dry goods or have wire shelving that’s easy for kitchen workers to access.
Don’t forget about maintaining your kitchen plumbing. With so much food prep going on, it’s very easy for food items to go down the drain. Making sure you have the right drain covers and access to the best drain cleaning company is how to open an Italian restaurant ready to do heavy kitchen duty. If drains slow down or become clogged, it can slow down your kitchen production and affect your sanitation level.
Care for Your Exterior
When people go to an Italian restaurant, their main focus is the food. Regardless of how yummy your menu is and how notorious your chef may be, you still need to care for your restaurant exterior. Remember, everybody may not know about your restaurant. You’ll easily pull people in off of the street if you have an inviting ambiance that looks like it’s clean and professional and serves good food.
Taking care of your roof is how to open an Italian restaurant with a solid structure. After all, a commercial roof can have the same problems as a residential one. Can you imagine what would happen if your roof were to collapse while patrons were inside? Even if such a collapse would happen during off hours, you’d have to shut down your restaurant until the problem got fixed. It will cost you additional money and it could also make your reputation suffer, especially if word got out about what happened and people no longer felt safe eating there.
Prevent such structural mishaps by investing in solid roofing such as slate or metal roofing. According to Bob Vila, a metal or slate roof can last for 50 to 70 years with good maintenance. So not only would you have a very strong roof that’s resistant to leaks, but you’d have a roof that could likely outlast your lifespan.
Even if you have no immediate plans to sell your restaurant building, things may change in the future. You can invest in keeping your commercial structure up by keeping the roof intact as a way to protect it from the elements and avoid water damage from leaks. With high-quality roofing, the value of your commercial property would increase. A highly-maintained structure adds to your overall business net worth, which could benefit you in case you ever decide to expand or apply for a business loan. Calling a local roofer is how to open an Italian restaurant that’s ready to be around for many years.
Make a Name for Yourself
Investing in awards is how to open an Italian restaurant that wants to keep its employees around. Food service is hard work. Whether you have chefs, prep cooks, waiters, hostesses, or cleaning staff, they all work hard to keep customers happy and keep the food flowing properly. So when you have employees who are doing an amazing job, you want to give them the recognition they deserve. You can do so by investing in customized awards that can acknowledge various levels of outstanding performance. You may have an “Employee of the Month” award as well as an “Employee of the Year”. You may be in a situation where a customer wants to give a special shout-out to a particularly outstanding waiter that night. You can further acknowledge that by creating a customized award and gift
While these customized awards may be internal awards at your company, they’re still a great way to make a name for yourself. Remember, if employees love working where they’re at and they provide good word of mouth, that makes your Italian restaurant look good. Employees will write great reviews on websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, and other sites that give reviews about places of employment. So if your Italian restaurant is known for being a friendly, professional place to work, then you shouldn’t hesitate to get staff and expand further.
Maintain Your Parking Lot
While some people may be walking to your restaurant, most of them will likely be driving. The last thing you want is for people to take forever to drive around and find an available space. You also don’t want liability concerns because your parking lot is filled with cracks and potholes. A local paver can revamp your parking lot and make it look new. They can make sure the surface is level so that there are no bumps that make it hard to drive over. New asphalt pavement can also make it harder for snow to stick to the ground. After all, the dark color of asphalt will absorb heat, which would make any future snowfalls melt quickly. So people can enjoy their Italian meal if they come there during the holiday season.
As mentioned, an unkempt parking lot is a major liability issue. Potholes aren’t just a problem on the road. They’re just as much of a dangerous issue in a parking lot. Someone can get a flat or puncture a tire by driving over a pothole or a big crack. Vulnerabilities on the ground are just as bad when people get out of their cars and need to walk around the parking lot. If somebody trips and hurts themselves in your commercial parking lot space, your restaurant may be liable for their medical fees.
Add Outdoor Seating
You can further make your restaurant more attractive by supplying outdoor seating. Not having an array of seating options is how to open an Italian restaurant that caters to different-sized groups. Plus if you live in an area that has mostly hot weather, you can have outdoor seating year-round. Having the space for outdoor seating also allows you to seat more customers if the main dining room is full.
Before you start shopping for patio furniture and installing outdoor lights, make sure you have the right surface for your seating area. Call your local concrete contractor to lay out a space that’s suitable for your outdoor seating needs. Once the concrete flooring has been set, they can further protect it with an epoxy seal coating layer. Epoxy seal coating is great for any commercial floor as it’ll protect the concrete or any other surface you have. In addition to protecting your floor surfaces from cracks, stains, and damage, it’s also a safer floor for customers and staff to walk on.
Design Your Dining Room
Having a beautiful and professional-looking dining room is how to open an Italian restaurant that wants to be taken seriously. Fill your restaurant with beautiful decor, such as flowers, plants, paintings, or photographs of Italy or Italian stars. You can also have artwork that focuses on the food that you want to serve. You can call an interior designer to make sure that you have a classy and appealing space that people would want to spend at least an hour or more in.
You can’t have a dining room without the right furniture. Have an array of tables that can suit a couple, a small group, or a big table that can host a party. Don’t forget to have some tables that meet accessibility standards in case some patrons who have mobility concerns or who are in a wheelchair come in.
Depending on your environment, you may want to invest in commercial window tinting if your restaurant is in an area with a lot of intense sunshine. Window tinting can help reduce the amount of UV rays that reach your dining room. As a result, you’ll be able to protect your flooring and furniture from fading. It can also prevent glares from coming in that can also be distracting to patrons.
Invest in a Custom Sign
If you’re wondering how to open an Italian restaurant that people will know about, start with a good sign. Good signage never gets old on any type of business. Remember, people don’t always make reservations at a restaurant. People may be out on their own and get sudden hunger pains, or out walking with a group of friends trying to decide where they’re going to eat that night.
With the right signage, you can quickly pull in patrons who weren’t necessarily interested in feasting on lasagna until they saw the sign and realized they needed Italian food after all! According to recent surveys, as many as 60% of customers initially went into a business based on the power of a sign alone.
You can use custom banner services to promote your eatery directly from outside your restaurant, but you can also have signage further out in your parking lot area to pull people in. Place custom banners in different parts of the city to promote your business. Why not pay money for a billboard so people know to come to your restaurant for a good meal?
Get Staff Uniforms
Once you have your building up to speed and you have hired all of your staff, you need to ensure they’re dressed appropriately. Start getting those custom T-shirts made that show off your restaurant name. If your restaurant becomes popular enough, you may also want to sell custom T-shirts to sell to patrons.
Custom T shirts and hats that promote your restaurant can also come in handy if you decide to advertise your services in other parts of the city. You may want to have a pop-up at a local market so people can sample some of your tasty Italian cuisine. These temporary pop-ups have become popular with many restaurants so people can know where their restaurant is and the type of food they serve. You may even want to consider a food truck.
Now that you know how to open an Italian restaurant, you can get the ball rolling on creating the eatery that everyone in town will want to go to. Start getting your menu items ready, invest in your kitchen appliances, pave your parking lot, hire staff, and do some marketing. Take these steps seriously so that you can have a thriving restaurant business that you may one day be able to expand.