Preparing and cooking food for a hundred people was not something that I was prepared to do. I didn't have the supplies, kitchen space or energy to even consider doing so. As I was talking with some friends trying to get them to help, we decided to start looking into some catering options instead of doing all of the work ourselves. I had no idea that there were so many types of caterers that prepared such a wide variety of foods. That is why I created my blog to help others considering using a catering service to prepare the food for their next party.
You wouldn't guess it from watching restaurant reality shows, but you don't have to have a million bucks to open your own place. With careful planning and a lot of ingenuity and elbow grease, you can open a restaurant on the cheap. Here's three steps to get you started on your adventure.
Decide Your Theme
What kind of restaurant do you want? Whether it's a casual taco stand, a diner, or an intimate affair, keep it simple.
That means having a limited menu to start. Many successful restaurants are known for basically one thing. They have the best smoked ribs or an awesome fried chicken plate. They do one thing, and they do it well. When people want BBQ ribs, potato salad, baked beans, and corn bread, they come to you. A fine-dining restaurant that only offers one nightly set meal or a diner that is known for a homemade soup and sandwich each day means you have control over your inventory. When the grocery list is small, you save money.
Think back to the restaurant rescue shows you've seen. Almost all of them are trying to be everything to everyone. They have huge, eight page menus, filled with everything from steaks to spaghetti to Mexican, and none of it is memorable. Stake your reputation and your restaurant on what you do best and where your passion lies.
Choose Your Spot
Look for a small joint. You can always upgrade later when the dough is rolling in. Some of the best restaurants are tiny, seating only 20 people.
Pick a place that was a restaurant previously. New commercial refrigerators and broilers and fryers aren't cheap, plus refrigerator and broiler repair can be expensive. It's more cost effective to find a place already equipped with the basics. They can always be power washed, and the restaurant equipment guy can come in and repair anything that needs some maintenance.
Clean up the existing chairs and tables. A coat of paint and some new fabric doesn't cost a lot. Get your friends and family to help you in exchange for a meal or two down the road. Scour the thrift stores for some decorations. Write your menu on a chalkboard.
Physical location is important, but not as important as you'd think. As long as there are people mulling around, they'll give you at least one chance. It's your job to get them back in the door.
Don't pay for expensive television ads when you can use social media. Make sure the outside of the building shows who you are and that you're open. Have a logo made, design some flyers, and take them to every office building, factory, and house in the neighborhood. Hold an open-mic night and open the windows and door. Do whatever you have to do to let people know you're there and excited to check you out.
Opening a restaurant can be a risky venture, but if it's always been your dream, you can do it without having to spend a ton if you make fiscally smart decisions.Share