Brewery Point of Sale

So, you want to be a restaurateur?

There are many variables that come into play when opening a business. In the restaurant industry, it can be that much harder to survive. You’ve likely seen restaurant opening statistics like, 60 percent of restaurants don’t make it past the first year of their opening, and 80 percent go under in five years. While alarming and hard to ignore, these numbers aren’t exactly accurate. We’ve done some research, and that just isn’t true.

Still, you should make sure you’re prepared.

Here are the list of restaurant survey questions before opening:

1. Where will your restaurant be located?

When you’re thinking about how to start a restaurant, it’s location, location, location. Find a scene that is easy to grow with, gets decent crowds, and, of course, fits within your budget.

When it comes to location, it’s also important to consider design as well. Want more information on designing a restaurant? Check out this guide. 

2. How much will it cost to open?

When thinking about finances required to open your restaurant, it is not just a matter of identifying opening costs alone. Figuring out the total operating costs of your restaurant will allow you to manage your business appropriately.

Most of us are in it for the passion, the guests and the food. However, the restaurant business is still a business. We’ve got some tools to help you get your finances in order. 

The 90% Restaurant Failure Rate Just Isn't True

3. What makes you different?

Take a step back and think, “What is my voice?” This means your values, goals and your unique characteristics. Show guests that you are not just another restaurant on the strip.

Download Our How to Start A Restaurant Guide

4. What will your website look like?

When creating a website, think of what will bring in the most guests. Instead of just having your menu, hours and physical address, think about integrating your online reservations to allow guests the opportunity to plan their night, right from your site.

For more on reputation management and developing a website when starting a restaurant, check out this guide. 

waitress tying on her apron

Running a restaurant is no easy task. Wishing it came with a manual? Get the restaurant owner's startup kit.

Download The Guide

5. Have you tested out your idea?

When thinking about how to start a restaurant, first think about testing our your concept. Create sample dishes and menus for a small group of people. Offer images of the proposed location, along with interior design ideas for feedback. These kinds of trials are a good way to gauge your guests’ experiences and empower you to make a great first impression at your opening.

It’s not just a matter of opening costs but recognizing the operating costs of your restaurant that will allow you to manage your business appropriately.

Once you’ve got your idea, you need a menu to showcase it.  The average time a guest spends looking at your menu is about 109 seconds. Make the most of your menu with the help of this guide. 

6. Have you talked to your neighbors?

Your soon-to-be neighbors know the area better than you. If you are moving to a place where another restaurant was located previously, ask neighboring restaurants about performance and why they left.

eating outside body image

7. Do you have industry experience?

Before jumping into a business, be sure that you really know what you are getting into. It may seem awesome to be the next top chef in your city, but not everything is that glamourous.

Experience is key, but hiring a dream team is even more important. Here is your guide to hiring your restaurant management dream team. 

8. Who is going to work here?

Hire staff that has passion and experience like you. This goes for everyone, from your line cooks and waiters to other managers.

Hiring great staff can be difficult. We’ve talked to restaurant owners nationwide and uncovered their best tips to hire a good team and keep them too.

Instead of just having your menu, hours, and physical address, think about integrating your online reservations to allow guests the opportunity to plan their night, right from your site.

9. Should you rent space or buy?

Arguably one of the best investments you can make in your restaurant is the building that it is in. No matter how your restaurant does, it is an asset that you can sell.

10. Is your food good?

With 616,008 restaurants nationwide, guests have plenty of options when it comes to where they eat. Be sure that your food stands out and exceeds guest expectations. Stick to a theme, and stick to what you are good at. You’ve got this.

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Hannah can be found riding the slopes of New Hampshire by winter and riding the waves of Rhode Island by summer. In order to satisfy a constant sweet tooth, you can find her bouncing between Ellie's Bakery and Pastiche, both in Providence, RI.