Michael Maxwell – Partner, Blue Orbit Restaurant Consulting
Opening a restaurant should be a passion, not just a business venture you hope will make you money. The best kind of business to invest in is one you truly believe in, and that matches your personality and interests. For those with a passion for food and dining, a restaurant can be a very satisfying endeavor.
However, you don’t need to be a chef to open a restaurant. Business entrepreneurs with a passion for providing customers a great food experience can find great solace in opening a restaurant. You can focus on ways to provide customers with the best possible experience. You can collaborate with others who share your vision. A restaurant is also a creative project that can evolve as you introduce new dishes and expand your menu. It’s also a way to be your own boss and gain control of your career.
The idea of owning a restaurant has always had a widespread appeal. There are several reasons for this.
No Need to Sell Customers on a Restaurant Concept
Everyone has to eat. Not everyone has the time to cook. In a world where people have busy schedules, many appreciate the convenience of a prepared meal or having food to go. Of course, you have to market your particular restaurant, and that is true of any business venture. The point is that a large percentage of the population already favors eating out regularly.
There are Many Proven Restaurant Models
There are dine-ins, takeouts, food stands, drive-thrus, and food trucks. Restaurants can be of almost any size and can run the gamut when it comes to the type of food served, atmosphere, and price. There are niches for every taste. Other new restaurant models include virtual kitchens and ghost kitchens. All of this means more restaurant models to invest in, allowing you to specialize in the kind of restaurant that fits your preferences and experience.
Restaurants are an Important Part of Modern Culture
In recent years, the food culture exploded in the United States and elsewhere. The popularity of reality TV shows involving cooking and baking is only one example of this. Others include the massive appeal of cookbooks, websites, and courses teaching various aspects of cooking.
New food and restaurant trends, such as farm-to-table, vegan, paleo, and keto have been on the rise. Customers are embracing a wider variety of ethnic foods than ever before, as well as fusion cuisines that combine different traditions. Opening your own restaurant allows you to participate in this exciting food subculture.
Americans Prefer Dining Out to Eating at Home
Studies show that Americans spend more on dining out than grocery shopping. This reveals a strong foundation for the restaurant industry. While 2020 was a challenging year for many businesses, including restaurants, there’s little doubt that customers have a long-standing attachment to eating out (and, increasingly, ordering takeout and getting meals delivered). Unlike some industries or businesses, you can be sure that restaurants aren’t a temporary fad.
New Technology Makes Opening A Restaurant A Smart Investment
The restaurant and food delivery industries are changing rapidly. New apps such as Grubhub, Uber Eats, and many others make it simpler than ever for customers to order meals on their phones for delivery or pickup. This is an expanding opportunity for new types of restaurants. While many restaurants started offering curbside pickup because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this model is becoming more permanent as customers enjoy the convenience of having food ready when they arrive.
Tips for Restaurant Developers
Investing in a restaurant can be an excellent choice for both your career path and personal growth. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
You Can Choose the Type of Investment You Make
When you invest in a restaurant, you aren’t limited to a single choice. You can choose the configuration that best suits your needs and financial situation. For example:
- You may have a restaurant concept and want to open it as the sole owner.
- You can invest in a new or existing restaurant with partners. This lightens your load in terms of investment and responsibility as long as you choose the right partner/s.
- You can invest in a franchise rather than opening a standalone restaurant.
Study the Numbers
When investing in a restaurant, it’s important to look at the business plan and key metrics such as projected cash flow and expenses. Create a sales forecast that gives you an idea of what you can expect to make and factor in all of your costs. If you’re considering a new restaurant, do market research and study the demographics of the neighborhood.
Look at the competition, which isn’t only restaurants in your niche but also anything within your restaurant’s surrounding area. A particular location may look ideal, but if there’s too much competition or the occupancy costs are too high to make a profit, you may need to look elsewhere.
Work with a Consultant
Investing in a restaurant can be the start of an exciting and profitable journey. However, it can also be overwhelming to do everything yourself. Working with an experienced restaurant development consultant can make the task easier. Blue Orbit is a restaurant consulting firm helping restaurateurs with restaurant concept development, finding the right location, developing the perfect menus, and taking existing restaurants to the next level. To learn more about our services, contact us.