Before opening your restaurant, you need to make sure that you are well prepared. It doesn’t matter if it is a small restaurant or a restaurant with lots of tables – the process of getting the restaurant ready and hiring staff members for an effective small restaurant launch can be very difficult.
It takes months of hard work and dedication to get everything in order before opening your restaurant. You need to make sure that you are ready for the challenge and get everything you need before opening your restaurant.
To help you get started, we have prepared a small restaurant opening checklist.
1) Check the licenses and permits:
There are a few licenses you will need to sort out before you are legally allowed to open your business. A Restaurant liquor license, will allow you to sell alcohol at the restaurant. It can be quite costly for this license in the US but it varies significantly around the country. You will also need to acquire a business license to actually operate a restaurant the price of which also varies by state. To serve food your restaurant will need to pass an inspection and be awarded a food service license.
2) Food safety certificate:
A food handler certification shows that restaurant kitchen and food handling procedures are sufficient. There are different levels of restaurant hygiene certificates depending on what kind your restaurant will be. Most restaurant hygiene certificates cost between $800-1200. For an effective small restaurant launch, you will want to ensure your restaurant is hygienic as possible and market this to customers.
3) Health certificates:
These health certificates show that a restaurant is healthy for the customers and employees. It usually doesn’t cost too much to get these health certificates but it depends on your restaurant location. Trustana explains the importance of food certifications for your business to help gain your customer’s trust, giving them the assurance that the food you are serving is certified to be safe.
4) Handicap certificate:
This certificate shows that the restaurant is safe and accessible for handicapped people. This is very important as you want your restaurant to be easily accessed by all and have no complaints.
5) Work permit:
If you are a foreign restaurant owner or restaurant manager, in most cases you will have to apply for a work permit. The US restaurant association is very strict about this and if they find out that the restaurant didn’t apply for work permits they can cancel your restaurant license. Depending on the position of the restaurant staff member who needs a work permit, restaurant opening costs can become much more expensive.
For restaurant staff members who are not US citizens, you need to apply for a work visa. Depending on the employee’s position and salary, restaurant visa costs are between $300-$700 per person.
7) Create restaurant menu:
Plan restaurant menus and see what kind of restaurant you should open. You can’t just go to a restaurant supply store and buy restaurant supplies, kitchen equipment and restaurant furniture before you know exactly what kind of restaurant you want to open. It is very important that you create a restaurant menu because it will show customers what kind of food the restaurant serves.
The restaurant menu can be one of the most important steps in restaurant business. You need to include all meals, drinks and specials on this restaurant menu. Don’t forget to create a thorough restaurant menu before you do your small restaurant launch.
8) Design restaurant interior:
Make sure that your restaurant interior is both functional and beautiful. When deciding on the furniture, make sure that it goes with the restaurant interior design. If your restaurant has seating outside, make sure the furniture is weather resistant and that it fits with the restaurant theme.
9) Design restaurant logo:
Design a logo for the menu, napkins and business cards. In your local area you can get help with designing a good looking restaurant logo. Make sure that it fits not just your restaurant theme but also with the look of the area so your restaurant stands out.
10) Design restaurant website:
Design a website for showing off the menu, pictures and restaurant information. All restaurants need to have their own websites these days so that people can get your information online and you can convince them to come to your restaurant. Don’t forget to include the restaurant logo in the website. The best way to create a good website is looking at other sites for a template.Then customize the website templates to make the site be and look unique to your small restaurant launch.
11) Order restaurant supplies:
Order high quality food beverages and equipment from a restaurant supply store. Make your business have the perfect opening night with the best restaurant supplies. Restaurant supplies need to be of high quality to make sure you can make the best food possible. It may be easier to cut corners and try to save money but if you want repeat customers and to charge a higher price make sure the service and food can’t be improved.
12) Open restaurant:
The last step in restaurant opening is to open your restaurant if all restaurant permits and licenses are ready. Start your restaurant business with an opening day to remember! Make your customers happy and excited about your new restaurant opening. Furthermore, make sure your employees love their job in the new restaurant by providing a good salary, benefits and a great work environment to ensure a great small restaurant launch.