Opening up a restaurant can be a very rewarding situation financially and give you the kind of fun and engaging career you’ll enjoy for years to come. However, it is crucial to know how to open up correctly, or you might end up struggling financially with little certainty of how to improve.
Thankfully, you can use our opening up a restaurant checklist to get the best results for your current situation! We carefully researched each of these options to help find those that worked the best for your needs. In this way, you should get the incredible experience that you want and make good money as well.
Start Planning in Advance
The first step on your opening up a restaurant checklist should be to start planning the basic ground-floor stuff that you need to thrive. It would be best if you usually started doing these steps about six months in advance of opening, so make sure you’re carefully prepared and understand what you need to do here.
First, your commercial kitchen needs a place to operate. That may seem obvious, but too few people take the time to understand this situation. Take the time to research a few different potential locations and pay attention to a variety of other elements, including:
- Location – You want a site that makes sense for your restaurant. Try to find a spot that’s near a busy commercial area and which doesn’t have the food type you want to try to serve.
- Parking Options – Take a look at various parking lots, including employee parking plans, to help make it easier to decide what kind of building or facility is right for your needs as a restaurant.
- Overall Cost – What will you end up paying to rent your facility? How much will it cost to get it operation and ready? Understanding these steps will give you the best chance of success.
- Appearance – Don’t ignore things like the overall look and feel of your restaurant’s look and style. For example, an excellent exterior painter may be necessary if you want to make your shop stand out.
- Damage Problems – Is there any damage to your potential facility? Then, you need to make sure you contact a commercial roofer and other builders to understand your choices here.
After you find a building you want and secure your lease, it is essential to take other steps to prepare. These help to make sure that you are legally ready to open when the day comes. Just a few of the most common actions you’ll need to take for this situation include:
- Applying for a business and operational license with your city, county, and state
- Getting a liquor license, if any are available and you have the case for them
- Finishing signage permits with local municipalities to get the best results
These legal steps help to ensure that you get the best results with your opening up a restaurant checklist. Make sure to carefully inspect your facility before opening and take any other necessary steps to get the high-quality benefits that you want and deserve for your restaurant’s design.
Getting the Restaurant Prepared
Now that you’ve started with your opening up a restaurant checklist, it is time to start setting up the business itself. There are many steps that you’ll have to take here, and they’ll take place over the 3-5 months out from your initial opening date. As a result, they can be pretty extensive and surprising.
For example, you’ll have to make sure that your building is ready to serve as a restaurant. Then, you’ll have to install various items throughout its structure to ensure that you’re prepared. These steps are critical and help to ensure things go smoothly. Just a few to consider include:
- Branding Your Business – Start installing your outdoor signage and your window lettering for your business. Branding is essential and will help to ensure that you get the best results.
- Enhance Technological Elements – Put in things like business phone systems and other elements to help ensure that your restaurant is ready to open and operate with minimal fuss.
- Improve the Interior – Clean out any trash or debris that might be present throughout your facility. Remove these items, clean up, and ensure that you get any new construction necessary.
- Find the Kitchen – Identify the kitchen for your restaurant and start preparing it. You might need to buy or lease equipment, depending on your financial input and possibilities.
- Prepare Food Trucks – If you plan on using any food trucks, you need to get them ready for operation, including truck lettering design to keep them as strong and operational as possible.
- Handle Any Pest Problems – You can’t let pests get out of control in your restaurant. So take control of cockroaches, mice, and other issues with pest control long before you open up.
However, these aren’t the only steps you’ll take on your opening up a restaurant checklist during these months. You’ll also have to start taking care of preparing your facility even further for the big opening day. Each of these steps helps to ensure that your restaurant is ready to go and minimizes any possible complaints or problems you might have on opening day. Just a few steps to take into mind include:
- Start posting job listings for your restaurant on various sources to identify great employees
- Purchase things like fixtures, furniture, and any other elements that you might need for the dining area
- Invest in small wares like pots, ladles, carts, tubs, pans, plates, stemware, salt and pepper shakers, and more
- Buy cash registers, credit card machines, and any other financial elements that you may need
- Find sources for your food, such as Hispanic food distributors, with whom you can set up a relationship
- Factor in financial elements like your overhead costs, payments, and health care services needs
At this point, you should be pretty advanced on your opening up a restaurant checklist. You likely feel ready to tackle just about anything and know that you’re going to have a great experience. However, you still have a few months to prepare, and there are many steps to take.
For example, there are many staffing situations, food preparation needs, and much more that must all be handled before you ever open your doors. Thankfully, these factors should be pretty easy to understand and will take only a few careful attempts to manage appropriately.
Preparing for Your Opening
You’re pretty ready at this point and should feel pretty comfortable and ready to go. However, you’re not done with your opening up a restaurant checklist just yet! If you’re two months out or so, many steps must be taken to get your restaurant ready to go. Let’s look at a few of the most common to make it easier for you to finish this process correctly and meaningfully.
First, you need to plan for your staffing needs and do what you can to satisfy them and yourself. Then, consider everyone’s schedule, work them into your plan, and get ready to start working. However, scheduling is not a task that you should take lightly. Therefore, you must take several steps into account to ensure that you handle this correctly. These steps include:
- Covering All Shifts – Make sure that you chart out every day and week to see what kind of demands you need. Then, find employees who can cover these shifts and handle your order.
- Set Up Emergency On-Call Situations – Create a reward system for employees willing to come in on-demand in emergencies. Overtime pay or even gift cards may help out here.
- Start Training – Your employees need to be well trained before you open up. Get your wait staff trained professionally, and ensure your cooks and chefs are all high-quality and prepared.
- Understand Your Payroll – What kind of payroll situation do you need to handle your financial needs? Make sure that you balance your demands here and work with your employees to get them paid.
- Teach About Hospitality – Some of your employees might be rough with knowing how to talk to and handle rude customers. Train them in hospitality to minimize this problem and keep them happy.
These steps help to get your staff ready and make your transition much easier. However, you still have many steps to take to get ready for the big day. These straightforward processes help to cut back on confusion and ensure that you are satisfied with your opening. They also help your employees and customers transition to your new operation. These steps include how you must:
- Talk to food delivery and production companies to set up regular deliveries for your restaurant
- Create your menu and gauge what kind of portions are suitable for each meal that you serve
- Produce safety programs and medical procedures to protect everyone in your restaurant
- Plan what kind of dishes can be prepared the day before and which must be done prepared freshly
- Use thermometers and temperature charts to help keep your food safe and adequately protected
- Make a list of various special orders that may be useful for your food supplier and restaurant
- Decide what kind of hours you want to be open and let your vendors understand these hours
- Set up a regular cleaning schedule with a professional team who can keep your facility clean
You’ll also be trying to handle things like marketing for your opening night during this period. It would help if you focused on social media and much more to reach out to potential customers. Create a website and build it up by sharing information about your food with interested individuals.
During the 4-6 weeks before your restaurant opens, you’ll also be busy with the last few steps on your opening up a restaurant checklist. These include finishing all hires, creating work schedules, producing uniforms, displaying employment laws, buying safety equipment, and much more.
Don’t neglect steps like sanitation certification, buying sanitation equipment, printing out recipes and station cards, setting up inventory spaces, and training everybody. Order all your food, set up your kitchen, and prepare for the challenging week leading up to your opening day.
The Last Week of Preparation
You have one week to open up, and your opening up a restaurant checklist is just about done! Next, you’ll need to receive and inspect all products you receive, including your food. Next, test all of your station equipment and double-check the location of small wares and all other kitchen elements.
Now, you need to prepare your station to include menus, to-go stations, and any goods you’ve created to sell your restaurant. For example, various types of shirts, hats, and much more all produce excellent marketing opportunities that help to make your business more exciting and successful.
Hype up your business on marketing channels, focusing on your opening day and any exciting events you’ve planned. For instance, you can integrate bands, performances, and other types of unique opportunities to produce a fun and unforgettable opening day for your customers.
Some might find that a test run a few days before opening is a great way to spot potential issues. Invest friends, family members, and even the media to your test run. Then, do an entire shift and see where any problems might develop, such as wait staff competency and food quality concerns.
Tweak your experience based on this feedback, focus on improving the quality of your food, and continually seek out different high-quality restaurant situations that your customers will enjoy. Then, take advantage of this last week to polish your product and make the opening day an obvious success.
Did you finish our opening up a restaurant checklist correctly? If so, your business should be booming, and you’ll likely feel entirely comfortable with your financial situation. However, you might need to spend a little extra time on things like marketing and community outreach to get the best results. Pay attention to these elements, work with a team you trust, and you should thrive and succeed at a high level.