Compeat’s Guide To Starting A Restaurant

The Complete Guide to starting a Restaurant reviews some critical considerations for opening a new restaurant.

  1. Opening timeline and checklist
  2. How to create your restaurant’s business plan
  3. Restaurant accounting 101
  4. Restaurant concept and design
  5.  Naming your restaurant
  6.  Choosing the right layout and suppliers
  7.  Pricing out your menu
  8. How to select the right POS for your restaurant
  9. How to create the perfect schedule
  10. Restaurant opening day checklist

Learn some of the characteristics that make a successful restaurant owner.

At some point, we have all wondered why some of the best restaurants fail, and why some of the mediocre restaurants thrive. While there are many hinging factors, one of the most important is leadership.


Many entrepreneurs dream about opening their own restaurant. Some are skilled chefs who want to share their talent with the world, and others might be seasoned industry personnel who feel that they could have a successful brand of their own. Regardless of their backgrounds, good leaders in the restaurant industry tend to share a few common characteristics, which include:


Commitment. This may be the most important factor. Without a true passion for and commitment to the industry, you simply will not be driven to put in the time and energy necessary to succeed. The service industry is not for one that a person can “dabble” in because more of a lifestyle than a job.


Ingenuity. Restaurant owners always need to be at the top of their game. This is a highly competitive market with extremely low margins, so you need to be able to think on your feet. If something is not working, it needs to be fixed quickly and wisely. Whether it be your menu prices, your catering hours, how to beat the new competitor down the street, or even how to maintain the temperature in your walk-in cooler until the repair gets there; you always need to be ready to problem-solve.


Stamina. Restaurant owners are infamous for putting in 12-hour (or more) days. And right when you are ready to head out the door for dinner, your child’s soccer game, or bed, you get pulled right back in to put out the latest fire. Owning a restaurant is more of a lifestyle than a job – be ready for some long days and sleepless nights.


Delegation. Even if you put in 12-15-hour days, there will always be more to be done. You must be able to delegate to survive. It may be a good idea to team yourself with managers that are strong in the areas you are lacking to make a better-rounded leadership team. For example, if you know that you lack an accounting or organizational skills, then hire someone you trust to help with your bookkeeping, inventory, or ordering. Even once you have the place running smoothly, delegating daily tasks to others will give you time to focus on the big picture, and continue to grow.


Communication. Good communication skills are important to both your customers and your employees. Building a customer base is an essential part of making your living, so you need to be able to make every person who walks through that door feel as if they are important and that you are genuinely glad that they are there. Your employees also need to understand your vision of the restaurant, and exactly what is expected from them each day to get there. A good communicator is charismatic and will lead employees; not push them.


Whether you are a natural-born leader, or you are still working on your leadership skills, think about the list above as the basis for a successful restaurateur. It is a big investment and a tough business, but many have seen their dreams come true. Is it right for you?

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