Starting a restaurant is a potentially lucrative business. After all, people need and want food. It’s a constant demand, and it pays to be one of the suppliers. But before you can envision the profits you’ll be pocketing from your newfound business, you’ll need a couple of things to get you started. Here is a checklist of the five things you will need to start a restaurant biz:

Menu

Obviously, food is the main product of a restaurant business. Thus, you cannot start a restaurant without having a clear understanding of what dishes are to be featured on the menu. It is simply impractical and cost-inefficient to try and cover all possible dishes from all types of cuisines. Instead, limit your menu to a dozen or so entrees and appetizers. This will make your kitchen more organized, plus it limits the ingredients you need to order from your sources in advance. Whether you’re planning to feature Asian Fusion dishes, Italian comfort foods, or American classics, draft a menu and stick with it.

Funding

Restaurants are a low-risk business, but even then don’t expect angel investors to come flocking your way and giving you their money. You’ll need to convince people that your business can survive at least long enough for their investments to see modest growth. Business loans are a viable alternative for those failing to attract any investments, but it comes with the cost of higher interests and a more stringent application and interview process. Peer-to-peer lending sites and low-interest loans from family and relatives are other ways you can fund your dream restaurant business.

People

From waiters to chefs, you need people to help you run a restaurant. No one man can commandeer the kitchen and prepare the hundreds of pounds of food ordered by guests on a daily basis. When hiring chefs, defer to your chosen menu to find line cooks and chefs who are experienced working with these dishes and ingredients. It takes years to master something as simple as chicken fillet or baked salmon, and you’ll need someone who has that experience under their belt to keep the kitchen running smoothly.

Equipment

Your restaurant supply and equipment are essential day-to-day assets. You cannot afford even the slightest mishaps on your pans, pots, and ladles. If your restaurant equipment keeps breaking and you keep needing to replace it, the costs can easily eat up any profits you manage to make. Find a good supplier that you can buy high-quality, durable supplies at bulk pricing. The web is perhaps the best starting point to find viable suppliers. Most of them have websites that list equipment information, pricing, and contact details. Send an email expressing your interest to buy in bulk and wait for a representative to contact you.

Business Permit

To make your business official, you’ll need a permit and license to operate the restaurant in the state where you plan on opening it. When it comes to restaurants, the licensing process is usually more protracted and stringent, given that the state wants to make sure that the public’s health and safety are protected from bad food quality and preparation practices. To get a business license for your restaurant, use your state or location as the keyword when searching on Google or any other search engine i.e. “New York City business license”. This should bring you to the state government’s web portal that details the application procedures.

Final Thoughts

Similar with any other kind of business, your restaurant will either thrive or suffer depending on how you start it. Business permits and licenses, commercial kitchen appliances and equipment, and the right customer service staff are all integral to your day-to-day operations. Once you’ve secured the five things mentioned above, then you can confidently open your doors to the public.

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