Your New Restaurant

From concept to three months of operation – The series.

Part 1 – Beginnings of an idea

So here you are you have decided to take the plunge in one way shape or form to start a new restaurant.

How do you start the planning process, where do you go to get expert advice, unfettered from commercial considerations, well welcome to thefoodshub.

Come with us while we go with you on a journey, one filled with wonder, experiences, pitfalls and achievements all the while adhering to the goal of arming you with all the information and practical experience we have acquired over many years from living and breathing the hospitality industry in many roles and positions, from workers to stakeholders. 

Create a concept

Food and Beverage Consulting

There are certain steps and processes that need to be taken into consideration when creating a concept for your new restaurant.

Firstly, what type, style, size and then location of your new restaurant.

Let’s think about type first. Would it be a bistro, grill, salad bar or strictly a la carte?

Secondly, think about the style of your new restaurant. It could be Italian, French, Japanese or a myriad of other choices.

Thirdly, what size should your new restaurant be? Are you an experienced restaurateur or is this your first venture. What capital do you have to invest and use as operational capital. Do you have partners or is it a solo or family venture.

Part 1.1 The concept meeting

So you are ready to sit down and start planning your concept.

Concept development for restaurants involves planning details for many practical issues instead of just choosing a style of cuisine. 

Choosing whether a restaurant focuses on upscale, casual or fast food is important, but other critical issues in developing your concept include planning restaurant design, studying competitive challenges, researching market demographics, and developing a financing strategy. 

A strong concept exploits culinary trends, develops a branding strategy, identifies suppliers, and analyzes whether to franchise the concept.

Choose a Theme

Choosing your restaurant theme influences your business plan, and you make other decisions based on the style of cuisine, targeted customers and available locations. 

Restaurants attract customers through Internet media, so develop a clear, engaging philosophy and unique personality for your restaurant.

Reinforce your concept with complementary kitchen, bar and dining room designs. 

Research your style of cuisine and industry financial predictions before settling on a concept or theme.

Research the Market

Industry competition will continue to intensify, according to the National Restaurant Association, and successful concepts increasingly need technological embellishments, dynamic mission statements, and elevated levels of service. 

Great plans fall short if there are too many similar restaurants in the area drawing from the same pool of potential customers. 

Analyze your competitors, and determine what unique benefits your restaurant can provide to attract customers. 

Identify possible commercial suppliers and local farms that provide the types of foods and supplies you’ll need for your chosen concept.

Consider Equipment, Location and Design

Your concept affects what kind of equipment you buy, whether your staff wears uniforms, types of table settings, and logistical issues such as neighbourhood, parking and access to commuter traffic. 

Upscale restaurants might offer valet parking or parking validation, but fast-food operations need a substantial foot or vehicle traffic and convenient parking. 

Your concept must appeal to nearby residents, commuters or workers. 

Putting an upscale restaurant in a poverty-stricken urban neighbourhood would never work no matter how affordable the property or creative the concept. 

Successful concepts make targeted customers comfortable by creating a complete experience. 

For example, health-food or sustainable restaurants consider exacting details such as energy efficiency, minimal use of plastics, and clean, straight architectural lines.

Write a Complete Business Plan

Financing your restaurant involves impressing pragmatic bankers or investors, and a well-written business plan includes concept details, market analysis and break-even projections. 

It also takes into account possible problems, such as licensing, zoning, competitors, industry trends, and how evergreen the concept is. 

The more detailed you make your business plan, the better your chances for success will be because you’ve already identified many of the pitfalls to avoid and proved that you understand business realities. 

Include details that will impress investors, including all your research, projected earnings, franchising timetable if applicable, restaurant design, and personal restaurant experience.

Now go ahead and set an agenda for your concept planning meeting taking into consideration all of the elements mentioned above.

We will post a video of how a concept meeting is carried out and how to develop action plans for each of the elements mentioned above.

The restaurant action plan is widely used to work on areas of opportunities using areas of strength.

In addition, you can determine what is an area of opportunity, it is the focus of this action plan.

When filling out the restaurant action plan, it might be a good idea to have other managers or employees involved in the process.

Be Objective and Set Goals

Sometimes getting another perspective on the situation can pinpoint the issues more accurately.

It can also give you a more objective perspective.

Create a game plan on how to fix the issue. Then, assign to the focus areas for each action plan.

When creating any restaurant action plan, always remember that the goals need to be sensible and attainable.

Include a reasonable time frame to complete the assignment or goal.

The manager and employee meet weekly.

The meeting is upbeat, positive and not negative. Ideally, you will focus on what success was achieved in the last week.

Be professional, consistent and fair.

How to Create a Restaurant Action Plan that Works

Here is a step-by-step guide for creating an effective restaurant action plan.

With a well-designed plan and daily action, you can achieve virtually any goal you set out to accomplish.

Know where you’re going

Successful leaders and professionals understand a simple idea, “If you don’t plan where you’re going, you’re likely to wind up anywhere.”

Be specific.

Not only must your goal be specific, but you must also create a specific intention.

Also, create very specific tasks or steps that move toward the completion of that goal.

Create measurable milestones

Once you have a clear picture of what to accomplish, then create specific goals.

Next, set targets to hit throughout the time span of the project or period, the next step is to create measurable milestones.

Make a list 

Create a list and accompanying timeline of specific action items or tasks to complete in order to hit those milestones.

Break large tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks

Some tasks or milestones may seem more daunting to achieve than others.

That’s when it makes sense to break larger tasks down into smaller, more manageable chunks.

Put time lines on everything

Without specific time frames and deadlines, work will definitely expand to fill the time allotted, and some tasks may never get completed.

Create a Visual Representation

Once you’ve created your action items and set a specific timeline, the next step is to create some type of visual representation of your plan. 

You might use a flowchart, a Gantt chart, a spreadsheet, or some other type of business tool to accomplish.

Schedule out your accomplishments 

Have each person involved, grab their schedule or smartphone.

Record small steps each day that leads up to accomplish their goals.

Work your plan and don’t stop until it’s complete 

Once your plan is established, then share it with the team, managers, or individual employee.

The next step is simple. Take daily action and follow-up with each person involved to ensure that everyone is doing their part.

Change the date if you must, but never give up on the goal 

Occasionally, things happen that throw a wrench in your ability to complete tasks to achieve your goal.

If this happens, do not get discouraged.

Simply revise your plan and continue working to meet targets.

When you are conducting a one-on-one with an employee or a meeting with the team, be positive, not negative.

Tell them what they are doing well.  

The purpose of the meeting is to record the progress. If things stopped progress, determine what the issues are.

Then decide the cause of the issues and how to correct it. It’s that simple.


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Written by Marc

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