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How to start a Restaurant?

At this point, I am guessing that you want to open a restaurant — and you have opened multiple tabs on Google that answer this question, asked questions on Reddit and Quora and are trying every bit to make sure you can gain as much information possible in a limited amount of time. I assure you, you can stop here. Here is everything you need to know about starting a restaurant/café in India. Without further ado, let’s dive right into what we will be looking over in this article.

Step 1: Develop an Idea

You need to have an idea of what you want to be doing. Are you going to start a sit-down restaurant? Are you going to start A café? Or, are you going to start a fast food joint? Alternatively, are you thinking about a specific type of cuisine? Maybe you like Italian cuisine but feel that the Mexican cuisine might run a better business. Perhaps, you just want to offer Indian cuisine — that is totally fine, but you need an idea. These are just some general ideas to get started with before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Think about Funding

While you do not need to have a plan that is that delves deep into specifics, you need to have an idea about how you will fund your idea. Will you use your savings to fund your idea? Are you planning to pitch to investors to fund your idea? Or maybe a hybrid of the previous two combinations? Each option has its pros and cons; however, you need to be aware of the options and the benefits (keep track of the downfalls it could come with too) that come with it.

Step 3: Determine Location and Evaluate Costs

You would have probably read other sites too and seen people talking about location. Believe me, it is not fake hype. As cliché as it sounds, it is important that this is stressed enough that it does not quit your mind. Location does mean a lot. This also does not mean that you choose the most populated area and call it quits. The location must be a good fit to your idea (i.e. your restaurant). A crowded place during business hours might be a good fit for a café, but the same cannot be said for a sit-down restaurant. You need to figure out how well the location fits your idea. Once you figure out a good location, you would need a ‘No Objection Certificate’ from your neighbors. At the same, you should start thinking about costs that you will be incurring by splitting them into fixed costs (registration fees, inventory and others) and variable costs (rent, operating expenses).

Step 4: Make a business plan

As you transition from the previous step, you need to start getting more serious about your finances. As start doing this, you need to think about what makes your business unique, and how your plan makes sense financially. You will need to have answers to questions like these in your business plan. If you are trying to raise money through investors, you will need to show them a business plan that makes sense qualitatively (your idea) and quantitatively (do numbers back up your idea).

Step 5: Branding

I wish you success in the previous step, that is often a big challenge businesses face. If you are successful post that, your path would now become more specific as you are starting to delve into the operations of your restaurant. Now would be a good time to start branding before you hit everyday operations. You need to build a logo and a menu. Some people underestimate the value of a good logo. A good restaurant name and logo will make sure that customers and people walking by your place remember you (they may try your place eventually or talk about your ‘cool’ name with their peers, thus increasing your presence in the neighborhood). Your menu should be aesthetically pleasing to the general public, and easy to comprehend and understand. These small factors, which are often overlooked, can make a huge difference and you should try your best to improve on these.

Step 6: Interior Designing

Your interiors should be a good fit with your idea. For example, you could pull off an urban design for a sit-down restaurant, but that is better suited for a fast food joint. A classic theme could be appropriate for both cafés and sit-down restaurants. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you want to make sure that your customers have a good time at your place and more importantly, remember your place so that they keep coming back for the amazing experience. A good interior design can help achieve part of the goal. Always hire a trusted/reputable designer who can fulfill your goals.

Step 7: Get Licenses

While your place is getting ready for its first day, you might want to start obtaining your licenses and not be idle during this time. There are multiple licenses you want to get such as Trade License from Municipal Corporation, GST Registration among many others. 

You can check out all the requirements in the following link.

Step 8: Hire workforce and suppliers

While your place is almost ready to get started, you should get more serious about hiring your chefs, waiters/waitresses, and managers to run your place. Ideally, you would want to start this at least a month before opening your restaurant. You should negotiate good deals with suppliers, who would supply the raw materials for your chefs to work on and make the most delicious meal out there. There are multiple job sites available online and you should take advantage of them in your recruiting efforts.

Step 9: Marketing

Once you are almost ready to get started, you should think about how you are going to increase your brand awareness. You ideally want more and more people to know that you are out there serving the best food in town — the more the better. Your marketing efforts should primarily be focused on getting more people to know about you, but you also want to make a lasting impression of your brand. You do not want people to just hear about you and throw off the paper they are looking at. You want to drive a sense of inquisitiveness and curiosity about you when you introduce yourself. A good idea would be to hire an experienced marketing team to do the same for you. Additionally, ‘word of mouth’ marketing is probably the best sort of marketing you could get. This is when people who have tried out your place liked it and refer you to their friends. This method has high turnover rates. Factors like location, interior design and your service make a huge impact on all of this.

After going through this tedious process, you should now be ready to start! I wish you all the best in your endeavors. I do understand that this is a very hectic process and totally get if you are overwhelmed at this point. However, SelectDine is a firm that does all these steps for you (and are very good at it!). All you need to do it sit back and track the progress of your work as SelectDine helps you start your franchise. I wish you all the best in starting your restaurant!

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