Basics of starting and running a restaurant
I am going to write my experience and what I learnt during
the pop up restaurant project. This was my first ever practical project in
Restaurant and Hospitality field. Though I have some previous experience of
customer service which helped me a lot to interact during the project. By doing
this project I have gathered deep knowledge about starting and running a
restaurant, means planning to building the whole restaurant. In this project we
worked as multicultural team. We are from different countries, which was unique
experience. In the beginning and during the project we faced lots of obstacles
but by leaning by development method we tackled all the problems. From this
experience I will write an essay on How to start and run restaurant. I will
follow the following books Restaurant success by the numbers (Roger Fields) and
everything guide to starting and running a catering business (Joyce Weinberg)
2 Plan For success-
Before putting our hand into the restaurant business we have
to plan properly. At first we have to keep in mind that restaurant business is
competitive. There is huge chance of fail than succeed. So one must have the
courage to face if he is a loser.
Another important thing is needed is patience. It’s always a challenge
to be an independent restaurant owner. But the ratio of success will get bigger
if with right approach which includes comprehensive market research and
analysis and proper planning. In our Pop up restaurant project we also did the
same thing. In the beginning we discussed about what and how we will do. There
is huge possibility of getting failed as we were complete beginners. But we
still stepped our foot in this project.
3 Restaurant concept-
The most important thing is what kind of restaurant you want
to build. Is it fast food, Pizzeria, Lunch bar, Fine dining etc. So before
building or buying a restaurant one should remember
What type it will be?
Where will it be located?
How big will it be?
How will it be furnished, equipped, and
So the location is
really important for running a business. We have to keep in mind that it’s
easily accessible by all type of transports.
It should be near of some crowdie place like shopping mall, Train or bus
station or offices. The total area of the restaurant also maters. As it will
determines how you have to invest. Bigger the restaurant will increase the
cost. It also depends what type of restaurant we want to open and do you need
bigger space or not. During our pop project we also Followed this rules. As
it’s not real life restaurant, but still we tried to make it like real life. We
decided to open a coffee shop. Our shop location was really good as it’s in the
heart of Helsinki centre. We also did some decantation and keep the stuffs what
we will need to operate the restaurant. As it was a pop restaurant we didn’t
had the opportunity to bake the cakes on spot, so we baked the cakes at our
4 Target market-
The biggest mistake what first time restaurant owners do is
not conducting research on their target market. Even though you have great
concept, good neighbourhood, catchy menu but still you will fail if you don’t
determine who is your potential customers are. Your restaurant concept
And price structure.
Should be selected to attract a particular type or types of
customers. Understanding peoples eating habit will also help to determine
target market. There are few steps to for doing research on target market-
4.1 Analysing the market demographic-
Firstly we have to consider what kind of people living in
the city or working in the area or visiting the city where the future
restaurant will locate. Like we sold quite well as our stalls was in the heart
of Helsinki centre. Another important
steps was identifying the Demographic groups and potential target customers of
the area which are average age, marital status, average income, home ownership,
level of education etc. This things highly influence the sell. Like if there
are more children’s in the area an attractive playing corners in the restaurant
will increase the sell. If there are more married couples than single fine
dining and exotic food will increase the sell than only burger kebab and pizza.
Income also plays a vital role. If income increases the consumption increases
by the customers. While
planning our restaurant we also kept in mind this things like we made caked as
in the fair there were different age groups peoples. Adult and children’s all
like cakes. For Finnish people we baked special salmiakki liquor cake. There
are chocolate and carrot cakes for all other people. And it will be cold in the
morning so we kept coffee and gloggi.
Analyzing other factors-
factor consists of traffic volume of the area, population density, what kind of
retail or industries it have. Some location like in downtown of a large city
will provide good breakfast and lunch but not dinner. As people work there 8 to
up your competition-
determining your target customer’s next step will be understanding your
competitor. The easiest way to do it to visit all the restaurant of the area
and check there menu, price, atmosphere and food. While visiting the competitor
one should keep this things in mind
is there USP?
restaurant’s serves the similar menu?
the restaurant’s formal or casual?
they have full bar or half?
close they are from your location?
they are offering fair value of price?
they have delivery or take out?
is the atmosphere they have? etc.
We also did
similar things but in short scale. We analyzed our competitor’s menu and price
and then decided our menu and price.
The key of
success to any restaurant is Location. But you have to keep remember that the
chosen location will be perfect if the restaurant concept fit the site. While
choosing the location one should keep in mind this factors
visibility and accessibility.
restaurant was in meet the above factors. It was accessible by all means of
transport. It had good parking options. It was located in good visibility area.
requirement and estimating the budget-
important that the budget should be realistic. Like if you plane to take a loan
from bank or investors you must have a plan to pay them back. Not having a
realistic budget is the main reason of early restaurant failure. A succefull restaurant could easily be a
disaster for poor budget plan .Proper budget plan will also allow you to open
the restaurant in minimum of hassle and time. Which is really important as if
you are late to open the restaurant your loan repayment, rent, insurance will
going to be burden on you. In our
project you planned our budget realistically. We didn’t spent on unnecessary
things. As it was just a one day project we bought things according to that. We
also bought things from whole sale markets for cheap price
time to study the forecast of sales and estimate the expenses in order to
expenses is important. Expense are divided into fixed and variable costs. It is
necessary to differentiate the fixed costs and variable costs. Fixed generally
remains same. Fixed costs are costs rent, insurance, license fees and loan
repayment. And variable costs are other
than those like raw materials for the food, payroll etc. During our project we
didn’t had fixed cost, we only had variable costs.
If you planned to star a business in abroad or even in-home country, you
should be prepared to work in multicultural groups. The hardest part of working
in a multicultural group is communication problem. And in some extent cultural
problems also make some issues. In our group we also had this kind of problems.
But we overcame this problem and stay focused to our goal. Most of the we dis
agreed in various topics but after doing discussions we solved the issues.
7 Hiring stuffs and chefs-
Its very important to finding the right person.
Its because every time you hire someone you are adding him to your marketing
team. Hiring a qualified chef is a back bone of a restaurant. He can add value
to the restaurant. Hiring stuffs with the right attitude is the first step to
provide a great customer service experience. In our restaurant group all are
qualified and well mannered hardworking. That’s why we made the restaurant day
7.1 Train the stuffs- Hiring qualified stuffs
is not the end you should polish their qualifications and make the more