Opening a restaurant requires juggling many moving parts and can feel like a difficult undertaking. But the procedure is a more manageable feat when broken down. If you’re curious about how to open a restaurant, check out this 11-step guide to navigate you through the process as extracted from


  1. Choose a Restaurant Concept and Brand

When starting a restaurant, it’s important to have a clear concept and brand. Your restaurant concept includes the service style of your restaurant, the food you serve, and the ambiance of your restaurant. This goes hand-in-hand with your brand, which forms your restaurant’s identity, personality, and mission. Your brand is the intangible force behind your restaurant concept, and your restaurant concept is kind of like your brand in action.


  1. Form Your Menu Items

Before you open your restaurant, you’ll want to establish some basic food items that your menu will feature. Deciding what will be on your menu is important when figuring out the equipment you need, the staff you will hire, and the crowd you hope to draw.


  1. Write a Restaurant Business Plan

Having a thorough business plan is essential when reaching out to investors and applying for restaurant loans to start your restaurant. It will also help you develop your strategy and flesh out the feasibility of your restaurant’s details. Below are the main components of a restaurant business plan.


  1. Obtain Funding

Estimate the total startup costs you will need to get your restaurant started and the amount needed to keep your restaurant functioning on a day-to-day basis. You should then create a budget and predict the next year to know how much you will need to stay in business.


  1. Choose a Location and Lease a Commercial Space

When choosing a location for your new restaurant, the following features are among the most important –

Visibility and accessibility: Select a spot that can be seen by those driving or walking by. You should also look for an area that gets plenty of passersby on foot or in cars. In addition, consider if there is parking and ease of access by foot or car.

The demographics: Ensure the target market of your restaurant matches the demographics of the area.

The competition of the area: Some nearby competition can help with marketing. But it’s wise to have enough of a distance that you can still guarantee a solid pool of customers who won’t be easily drawn to another similar place.


  1. Permits and Licenses

To open a new restaurant, you’ll need to obtain several federal, state, and local permits and licenses. It can be worthwhile to have legal counsel when filing for restaurant permits and licenses to make sure you complete every necessary step.


  1. Find an Equipment and Food Supplier

A constant, reliable source of equipment and ingredients at reasonable prices must be established and maintained to ensure restaurant success. A wholesale restaurant supplier, like us, can help you find many of your needs in one place. We specialize in high-quality restaurant equipment and have a full-time customer service team who are experts on our products.


  1. Hire the Right Staff

One major step of opening a restaurant is hiring staff to carry out the operation of your restaurant every day. Consider all roles that need to be filled at your particular restaurant before hiring staff. This may include human resources management and supervisors, food and beverage purchasing, receiving and storing products, food preparation, foodservice, food cleaning and dishwashing, marketing and sales, public relations, accounting and auditing, and bar services.


  1. Advertise Your Restaurant

Advertising is critical for various reasons. First and foremost, prospective customers should be able to find basic information about your restaurant. Secondly, they should feel enthused to try out your new eatery. Below are some tips to create excitement around your restaurant:

  • Use social media
  • Build an attractive website
  • Place ads in the local paper
  • Offer promotions to new guests


  1. Host a Soft Opening

You’ve heard the old adage “Practice makes perfect.” The same goes for restaurant openings. Consider hosting a soft opening for a limited number of people before opening your restaurant’s doors to the public. This “test run” strategy allows you to home in on specific mealtimes to see where your staff could be more efficient.


Getting your new restaurant off the ground can feel like a daunting task. However, as the restaurant industry continues to grow, and foodservice trends continue to diversify, there is always room for another extraordinary eatery. With detailed planning and successful execution of your unique ideas, your restaurant business can flourish.


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Clayton Durant


The premier source for insight, advice and guides from Sri Lanka’s most influential entrepreneurs.