Tips for opening a business in the restaurant and bar industry

Tips for opening a business in the restaurant and bar industry

Getting started in the catering industry is a lot easier than it used to be. After being locked down for months, many people are very keen to enjoy eating out or a drink with friends. So, there is plenty of demand.

Consider starting small

There are several easy food business formats you could use. Ones that do not cost a fortune to set up. For example, it is now possible to lease a food truck or cart. Or to sell food products from a market stall or food truck. Taking a spot in a food hall is also a relatively cheap way to start a bar, café, or restaurant. Pop-ups or only selling at special events are also good ways to get started to see if the food industry is right for you.

Tap into local startup schemes

In some areas, councils and local authorities are trying very hard to revive their shopping areas. Often, there are opportunities for would-be bar and restaurant owners to take advantage of. Some councils, for example, Dumfries in Scotland are experimenting with community-owned ventures. Getting involved in these is a great way to gain experience, start building a reputation for making delicious food, and get a better understanding of what people like the most.

Think outside the box when raising cash

Starting a restaurant or café business is rarely cheap. Most people have to borrow at least some of the cash. So, it makes sense to use cheap funding if it is available. Don t only consider traditional ways of raising finance. This article suggests 100 ways any would-be business owner could raise the cash they need, including peer-to-peer borrowing, bartering, and selling what you know. Of course, before using each one you will have to do a bit of research, but there are some really good suggestions in there.

Lease or buy your equipment second hand

The equipment you need to run a bar or restaurant is not cheap. So, it makes sense to source at least some of it from second-hand catering equipment dealers. Many will also offer you the option to lease before you buy. This insider s guide explains what restaurant owners need to think about when deciding whether to lease or buy. Including understanding the lease agreement and avoiding the most common pitfalls.

Invest in digital signage

Buying or leasing digital display screens that have been designed for use in retail outlets is a particularly good idea. The use of digital signs for bars and restaurants is becoming increasingly widespread. They are a highly effective way to share laser-targeted promotions with diners and drinkers. Plus, there is the potential to use them as digital menus. An approach that improves the look and feel of a restaurant, bar, or café. In addition, the graphics and images used can be instantly updated to fit in with new branding or for special events.

But, more importantly, what is on the menu can be edited in live time. So, if a dish runs out it can be removed to avoid disappointment. Pricing can also be adjusted to reflect increases or decreases in the price of raw ingredients. Plus, if something is not selling well and there is a danger of some of it ending up in the bin, it can be instantly put on promotion to make sure it sells through.

They can also be used to draw people into a restaurant or bar. If things are quiet, one of the display screens can quickly be mounted on an independent power source sandwich board. That can be used to show passersby a tempting offer. With attractive signages, audio and visual systems, your bar atmosphere can look and feel appealing to your customers. You can take advantage of the technologies that companies like Atmosphere ( make available for their customers.

Hire experienced staff

Experienced staff are an invaluable asset for someone who is just getting started in the industry. They understand that the work is hard and have chosen to carry on doing it, which means they are not likely to leave after just a few weeks. Plus, they will have invaluable knowledge to share, including an insight into what is likely to work best for customers.

Get involved in the community

Successful bars and restaurants are close to the communities they serve. Seek out ways to help out without overstretching yourself. Simple things like turning up to a local sports event with free snacks for the parents who are watching their kids play will make a hugely positive impression.

Using the above tips will stand you in good stead. But, if you want a more comprehensive guide, click here.

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