Starting a new restaurant can be a daunting prospect. There is a great deal of expense entailed in starting up any business, but that expense is even greater in the food service industry.
That's because you have to not only outfit the kitchen and the front of the house, but also hire and pay your staff and purchase food regularly. All of that can add up rather quickly if you're not careful.
When it comes to the restaurant business, managing overhead is the name of the game. You need to find any way you can to keep expenses down so that you can turn a profit. This isn't as easy as it sounds, but there are some steps you can take to help yourself along the way. First and foremost is having a game plan going in and sticking with it as closely as possible.
The first step in starting a new restaurant, after you acquire a building itself, is outfitting the kitchen and the front of the house. You'll need a full range of kitchen equipment from cook top to warming stations and a walk-in refrigerator and freezer to store your food. Costs for this kind of equipment can be quite high, but you can do yourself a considerable favor by shopping wisely and investing in used pieces.
One of the advantages to the restaurant business being so tough is that places close rather quickly, which means you can often find kitchen equipment that is only slightly used and still in good condition. Auctions and industrial merchants will often offer good pieces at affordable prices that can help you when it comes to managing overhead.
This can be key to starting a new restaurant as it can free up working capital for front of the house expenses and for advertising. The look of your restaurant is as important as the taste of the food, so you want to make sure you have it outfitted properly, creating a comfortable and friendly atmosphere that will draw in customers.
Finding customers begins with mounting a proper advertising campaign so that everyone knows what you have to offer. In the entire concept of managing overhead, advertising is often overlooked or shortchanged and in the restaurant business that can spell disaster. Of course, one of the best forms of advertising for restaurants is word of mouth, which means ensuring satisfied customers.
This means having an appetizing menu and making sure that your kitchen staff has the best possible ingredients to work with. When it comes to starting a new restaurant, allowing enough room in the budget for maintaining a proper inventory is crucial. Simply put, without food you can't cook so don't leave yourself shorthanded in the pantry or it will mean sure failure.
There are many details, large and small, that go into opening a restaurant. It can seem like a real challenge but if you go about it the right way, it can be a profitable and enjoyable way of life. Just remember to manage your money wisely and make sure that your business doesn't end up eating all your profits along the way.
The restaurant business is one that embodies the spirit of competition. Those restaurants that survive and make a name for themselves constitute the few, the lucky, the crafty and the proud. When you walk or drive by a place where a restaurant has closed up and moved out what question do you ask yourself? For me it usually has to do with not even remembering the name of the place.
There are locations which, as if by magic, are the home of one failed restaurant after another - so maybe we can blame that. But often it's the food, service, value for the money equation. Unnecessary overhead, especially in the kitchen, their equipment and their employees often shows up in the charges for their meals and not in a good way.
Even the restaurants that are the purveyors of delicious food, the providers of raucous fun, and the protectors of family-friendly environments, often do not survive their first month of opening. Because when opening a restaurant, the startup is what can make or break a potential culinary success. Finances are key. So, if you've got a good idea, even better recipes, and a decent location, then look for some used restaurant equipment for sale.
With the number of new restaurants that go belly-up, there are plenty of good opportunities to save on startup costs and get some used restaurant equipment and appliances. After all, when opening a restaurant, you have monthly lease fees to think about, health inspections, and long-term food supplier contracts to think about - don't burden yourself with buying brand, spanking new equipment.
While the shiny silver of a new pizza oven and fingerprint-free stainless steel, industrial refrigerator can look visually appealing, remember that a slightly used one could get the job done just as well at only a fraction of the price. Plus, the kitchen and restaurant staff will be the only people to lay eyes on the equipment behind the scenes.
If you are looking for nice things to stock your restaurant with, focus on what your customers will be sitting on and eating from.
New pieces of restaurant equipment are like new cars. As spoon as you drive them off the lot, they depreciate in value. So naturally, it makes more fiscal sense to find some used restaurant equipment for sale. Go ahead and shell out for the nice silverware, wine glasses, and table cloths. Look for bargains on the kitchen equipment.
While you may not think of the kitchen hardware your local mom and pop restaurant uses as important to your health, it turns out, it is.
Think about the people working in the kitchen. They are working with food items, them coming out into the dining area and interacting with all the customers. Those customers have come into the restaurant from all sorts of places and could well be carrying any number of bacteria on, or in, their person. If they cough or sneeze on their plate and the server picks it up, they have also picked up those germs.
Additionally, food borne bacteria like Listeria, that makes 3000 people sick a year, killing about 500 of them, can also be spreading from the kitchen to the tables, and on to the customers as the server picks up food items and moves them around.
This only gets compounded when you think of the door that opens and closes from the kitchen to the dining area. Each time someone's hand is on that door, some of the bacteria they may have picked up will be left behind, waiting for the next person to come through in order to hitch a ride.
By the end of the night, the whole restaurant may be a bacteria infested nightmare. It almost makes you leery to go out to eat! But there are some studies that say the push plates these restaurants use on their doors can make all the difference in the world. If you think back, there was a time when all restaurants had swinging doors with pushplates that would flap back and forth as people went in and out of the kitchen. Many kitchens still have them, and it turns out, the right kind of push plate is not friendly to bacteria. Copper pushplates are the answer.
Studies have shown that copper pushplates and bacteria do not get along well. Once the bacteria are on the push plates, the copper reacts with the organism, weakening it, and substantially shortening its lifespan. In many cases the bacteria that have been left on copper push plates will die within an hour. While there are other push plates out there, the bacteria can last longer on the materials those other pushplates are made of. Unfortunately, most restaurants these days use stainless steel push plates, because they're cheaper and they did not think of any possible medical repercussions to this decision. What they don't know is that bacteria can last three days or more on stainless steel push plates.
In restaurants that no longer have the swinging doors, they may rely on traditional doors to do their job. These doors are also a threat, because just as the swinging doors saw bacteria stack up on the push plates, regular doorknobs are the bacteria-breeding zones in this case. The good news is the same thing that works for pushplates will also work for doorknobs. Replacing the standard doorknobs with knobs that are made of copper will substantially lower the chances that those bacteria are being passed on from hand to hand.