After years of dreaming of opening your own restaurant, you are finally ready to make a move. It’s time to bring your passion for food to the world and you are excited at the prospect of finally being a restaurateur. Whether you have worked the front or back end of a restaurant, owning and operating a business puts you in a whole new league. If this is your first endeavor, here are 5 tips to help you out.

1. Location Is Everything

While you know right off the bat that you need a location with plenty of parking and enough traffic to be visible, you may not yet understand the need to research the location you are interested in. The first thing you should do is research the market to make sure your menu will ‘work’ with the type of clientele you are likely to draw. The wrong cuisine in the wrong area of town is one of the biggest mistakes many new restaurant owners make.

2. Write a Solid Business Plan

If you will need funding or financing, a solid business plan is an absolute must. This will be the roadmap to success and one that will guide you the rest of the way on your journey. Not only will a lender want to see how you plan to succeed in your prospective new business, but you will be able to follow your plan to ensure everything is happening as it should and in a timely manner. You don’t want to forget a crucial element such as obtaining a food safety certificate as this could mean your opening is pushed back. This is why you might want to consider hiring a company like Sentient for HR advice as well as any health and safety support your business requires.

3. Get the Funding You Need

Now it’s time to decide if you want to take out a small business loan or seek partners in your new restaurant. Some restaurateurs are financed by ‘silent partners‘ who believe in their vision and culinary expertise. Other new restaurant owners prefer not to have any partners because it can create problems down the line. In either case, make sure you have that business plan in hand as mentioned above. It’s a vital step in getting the financing you’ll need.

4. Find Affordable Equipment

Before you can even dream of training staff or ordering food and beverages, you’ll need affordable equipment. Then, based on your seating plan, you’ll need front-of-the-house equipment as well. This includes such things as counters, cash registers, tables, chairs and other furnishings necessary for the comfort of guests. If you are going to have a counter as well as table seating, you’ll need to find commercial bar stools for sale as well. Look around to choose the best products for the best prices because you probably have a limited budget when first starting out. You also want to make sure that you have a solid POS system in place for when you open the restaurant. Using a company like Revel Systems is a great choice because it is cloud-based, and you can find more out about all of their hardware at the previous link.

5. Understand the Necessity of Marketing

Don’t forget that you will also need to set aside a budget for marketing. If no one knows you’ve just opened a new restaurant, it is unlikely you’ll get enough business off the street. Even in busy neighborhoods people go about their business and many are not aware of what is going on around them! From online marketing to more traditional local marketing, this is an absolute necessity if you want to get off to a great start. You need to learn more about your customer base and by creating a free account on Qualtrics, you can start to find out who your audience is to better know how to target them

So, now it’s time to open your doors. You have a lovely new restaurant, you’ve trained your staff well and your menu is well-suited to the type of clientele you hope to attract. With these 5 tips you should have the tools you need to make a real go of it, so open those doors for business. Your dream has finally come true.