- 1. How do I get a loan to open a restaurant?
Financing is often the biggest obstacle when trying to open a new restaurant. With a high failure rate, banks are not always eager to dole out hundreds of thousands of dollars to would-be restaurateurs. To help get an initial loan for financing, you should start with a through restaurant business plan. A business plan is a blueprint for success. It helps identify your core customer base, examine your competition and create a budget. More on Restaurant Business plans.
2. How do I choose a restaurant location?
Location, location, location. It can make or break a restaurant. If no one can find your restaurant, it doesn’t matter how great your food and service are. Before you settle on any location first examine the area population base, to determine if there are enough potential customers in the area. Another indicator of a good location is the other businesses in the area. Is the restaurant location in a thriving downtown or is it more like a forgotten ghost town. More about choosing the right restaurant location.
3. How long of a lease should I sign if I am renting my restaurant location?
Start with a year long lease, two years at the most. Any longer and you can run into serious legal trouble with your landlord if you can’t make rent. A year to two years will give you more than enough time to determine if the location is a good choice for a restaurant. More on negotiating a restaurant lease.
4. How do I choose a restaurant name?
Naming a restaurant is like naming a child; it should be given careful consideration. A restaurant name can reflect its location, theme, or local history. It can be play on words, like The Bag Lady (Paula Deen’s first catering business). More about choosing the perfect restaurant name.
5. Should I buy new or used restaurant equipment?
It depends on the piece of equipment and how used it is. Some commercial kitchen equipment have short life spans, like ice makers, and are better suited to leasing or buying new with a warranty. Other pieces of kitchen equipment, like gas ranges, are like dinosaurs that live forever with minimal repairs and can be bought used with confidence. More about buying new and used equipment.