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Whether or not you’ve been in the food and hospitality business for a long time – you’ve decided to open your own restaurant. This is great, and will be a very exciting new chapter of your life. Having said that though, don’t think that it will be all fun and games – there is a lot of hard work that goes into it, and you will have plenty of moments where you question why you ever had this idea. But those times will pass, and you will realise what a rewarding industry this is to be in.
If you’re just starting out, here’s what you will need.
This where all your diners will be eating. Depending on the kind of restaurant you want will determine the space and the layout. The most important thing is that you want it to look clean and visually attractive so that customers want to come and eat there. Think about your target audience, and then create a theme around that. So for example, if you were creating a real American style diner like back in the day, you may want the vintage black and white tiled floor, with a vinyl feature wall and some Elvis playing in the background… Get the drift?
You will, of course, need a kitchen otherwise you will have nowhere for your chefs to prepare the food. You will need to have ovens, flat top cookers, stainless steel work surfaces, traulsen refrigerators and freezers, deep fryers, and large deep set sinks. These are the basics. And the reason that most things are flat and made out of stainless steel is so that they are easy to wipe down and disinfect so that no bacteria is able to be spread around.
Hiring the right staff is so important for any business because they’re essentially the face of it. If even just one of them is rude one day to a customer, that will tarnish your whole restaurant forever because whatever they do reflects you. So never make a decision lightly – it’s a big deal.
You’ll need staff for the front of house. This means hosts/hostesses, waiters/waitresses and someone behind the bar too. They should all have great interpersonal and communication skills as they will have to engage with the customers.
Then you’ll need a team in the back that are working to create the best food possible. Make sure you search long and hard for your chefs so you’re sure that they have the experience that is required to work for you.
Depending on the type of restaurant will determine what kind of licence you need. It all varies in what state you’re in so make sure you do the right research before being disappointed. In some places, you only have the right to serve spirits with food, whereas other places you can serve what you like, when you like. Think about what’s important to you, and then do everything through the rulebook so nothing can come back to bite you in the future.