Have you ever dreamed of opening a restaurant of your very own? This is a worthy dream because restaurants are a great place to show off your culinary skills and meet new people at the same time. If done properly it can be a lucrative investment. But as great a dream as it is, the current pandemic can make it a difficult prospect. There are new ways of doing things. There are also new social norms when it comes to dining. Opening a restaurant can be a challenge, but it is not impossible. You just need a set plan. Here are 5 Great tips for opening a restaurant in the new normal.
1. Double up on your marketing
In the new normal, people are reluctant to try out new restaurants. Trying new restaurants is considered risky. The health standards and quality of food have yet to be tested. In these times of uncertainty, most diners would rather eat somewhere they already know. This is why you should make your marketing a top priority. Remember that no matter how good your food is, if your marketing is lacking, then you will have a hard time getting customers. Here are some marketing tips to get you started.
- A majority of people use social media on a daily basis. So make sure that you consistently tweet about your restaurant. It is also a good idea to post about your restaurant through Facebook. You can reach out to Facebook friends and ask them to give reviews about your food and service. Remember that word of mouth marketing is still a potent marketing strategy.
- Set up an attractive website for your restaurant. Your website will represent your restaurant online. Should potential customers have questions or look for the location of your restaurant, your website should have all the necessary information. It is also a good idea to post your menu and enticing pictures of your food. Overall, your website is key if you want to stay competitive.
2. Choose a specific theme
If you want your restaurant to stand out, it should have a specific theme. Don’t just open a restaurant and say “we sell food”. This won’t help you make an impact on potential customers. It will also make the menu planning process a nightmare. Not to mention your restaurant’s overall design will look disheveled and disorganized. So before you finalize your restaurant’s plans, you should choose a specific theme. Your theme could be Hawaiian, Italian, Korean, or Asian Fusion. It could be practically anything, what matters is that you have a single overlying theme that you can follow. This will simplify things and allow you to focus on the next stage of opening your restaurant.
3. Have the right tools and equipment
Before you set out to open your restaurant, you should make sure that your kitchen is well-equipped. You don’t want to open your restaurant and have your kitchen staff complaining that they don’t have the tools to do their job right. So do your research and make a list.
First and foremost, you will need a wide assortment of knives, pans, plates, chopping boards, and other accouterments. Make sure that they are of good quality. Refrain from buying cheap brands. You think you may be saving up on expenses now, but it will cost you more if you have to buy a new set of knives every week because they keep chipping.
This also goes for large scale equipment such as stoves, salamanders, and mixers to name but a few. Mixers are particularly important because they are used for food processing such as the creation of jams or the mixing of sauces. There are various types of mixers needed in the kitchen, and you will need to be careful of the type and quality you purchase. Luckily there are companies such as Ginhong.com that sell customizable mixers for various needs.
Overall, setting up a kitchen can be a challenge. But if you want your restaurant to succeed, your kitchen staff, from Executive Chef to dishwasher should be provided all they need in order to do their job with efficiency and effectiveness.
4. Hire the right people
It goes without saying that your kitchen staff is an integral part of your restaurant. If you want your restaurant to succeed, you will need a cohesive kitchen staff. It might be easy to just hire the first applicants that show up, but do yourself a favor and take the hiring process as seriously as possible. This is especially true for the Executive Chef position.
When you hire an Executive Chef, you should take a look at their track record. Were the restaurants that he or she supervised doing well when he left? Or were they in a worst state? Did he or she have any problems or inconsistencies with finances? Remember that your executive chef is the one who handles the overall operations of the restaurant. So you will need to hire someone you can trust completely.
5. Know the right protocols for the new normal
We are going through a pandemic. This means that new ways of living are being established. New regulations are being set up for restaurants. They are designed to keep you and your customers safe. So before you even think of opening your restaurant, you should be familiar with them. Here are some key tips to remember.
- Practice social distancing. Customers should stand 6 feet away from one another.
- The kitchen staff should wear disposable gloves and face masks.
- The restaurant and the kitchen should be cleaned and disinfected thoroughly, before and after shifts.
- Place hand sanitizer stations in specific areas of the restaurant.
The restaurant business has suffered in the past few months. But as new ways of living are being established, things are slowly going back to normal. Luckily, you are now armed with the knowledge to open your restaurant with a renewed sense of confidence.