Our Take

Musings on the Foodservice Industry

A Guide to Opening Your Restaurant

Dec 13 2019

Opening a restaurant requires tremendous passion and planning. Here are some useful tips from RestoHub that will help you through each stage of getting your eatery off the ground so you can immediately start building a loyal community of others.

Before Opening Your Doors

Have a Plan: Writing a solid business plan is crucial for the success of your restaurant. If you’re not sure where to start, look for a businesses plan template designed specifically for restauranteurs. 

Go Digital: Set up your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and use them to start building your brand. Make sure your website is operational and post your menu on it. Make it easy for website viewers to order online and make reservations.

Create a Press Kit: Prepare a press release or other promotional materials to tell your restaurant’s story. Try to get coverage in your neighborhood paper or local food blogs.

Build Anticipation: Generate buzz with a sign in your window. You can countdown the number of days left until the grand opening and advertise your opening special.

Take Reservations: There’s nothing more nerve-wracking than waiting for those first customers, so book them ahead of time. Open your reservations online and put the link on social media. Ask people to join your email list to start building a following.

Your Grand Opening

Have Plenty of Staff: You don’t want people’s first impression of your restaurant to be that you’re in over your head. That means making sure you have enough wait staff, hosts/hostesses, and kitchen help to handle a crowd.

Check In with Guests: Never forget that your first guests will be your most important ambassadors. Walk around often and make sure everyone is having a good time. If there are any issues, deal with them quickly and courteously.

Concentrate on Training: You want your first night to go off without a hitch, and that means training your staff is essential. In the weeks leading up to your launch, emphasize customer service and make sure your employees know the POS system inside and out to prevent any hiccups.

Keep Posting: It’s important to maintain a constant presence on social media, even while you’re busy running the restaurant. Make sure your followers know the big day has arrived at last.

Enjoy the Experience: For a restaurant, the first night of a new location is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There will be plenty of time to fuss over the balance sheet and review what went right or wrong. Focus on making your customers happy and don’t forget to have fun.

After the Big Day

Watch Review Sites: It pays to monitor online reviews closely because it’s the most direct way to get feedback about what works and what doesn’t. Be active online. Thank patrons for their positive impressions and offer to rectify any issues that didn’t go as planned.

Offer a Loyalty Program: Encourage repeat business with an incentive program that rewards loyal customers. This can be especially helpful in the first few months.

Get Your Followers Involved: Inspire your social media audience to spread the word about your restaurant with hashtags and photos. Be sure they know your restaurant’s account and hashtag.

Send Newsletters: Email marketing is a great way to keep your customers in the loop about upcoming specials or events. It also helps drive brand awareness.

Offer Delivery Service: Delivery services like GrubHub, SkipTheDishes, and Uber Eats are changing the restaurant game. If you get online ordering right, you’ll have a whole new source of revenue to grow your business.