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How to Open a Restaurant Resource Guide

One of the most often asked questions we get is on how to open a restaurant. Whether you are a newbie to the industry or a seasoned veteran, the requirements for running a restaurant differ from those needed to open a restaurant.

The How to Open a Restaurant Resource Guide is a listing of resources and tools we offer to help would-be restaurateurs systematically prepare and execute a successful restaurant opening.

Here is a step-by-step listing of resources to help you plan your restaurant opening.




Restaurant Startup Checklist Starting a restaurant means dealing with a myriad of details and activities. Missing a critical step or activity can mean delays, cost overruns or worse. Use this 300+ point checklist from 12 months out to opening day to better plan and manage the process. . . . more >>
Restaurant Business Plan Template A professional, well-conceived restaurant business plan is absolutely essential for an independent restaurant venture to obtain funding and have any real chance for success. Our business plan templates will provide you with the tools to develop & communicate your plan in a professional, compelling format that will enhance your chances of securing capital and making your plan a reality. . . . more >>
Restaurant Business Plan Financial Models To the majority of potential lenders and investors, the financial section will be the most important part of your business plan. Even if the other sections of your plan are impeccable, the financials will still make or break your presentation. Use this series of Excel worksheets to prepare a comprehensive, professional and convincing financial section for your business plan. . . . more >>
How to Create a Winning Restaurant Business Plan Many of RO.com members site that having a sound business plan was the single most important ingredient in making their new business a reality. During the startup phase, your business plan will have a direct bearing on your ability to get a loan, obtain investors and even secure a lease. Learn how to prepare an impactful restaurant business plan. . . . more >>
How to Create Realistic Financial Projections for Your New Restaurant Some would argue that the financial projection is the business plan. Why bother building a restaurant if it's not going to make any money? For potential investors and lenders, the financials are often viewed as the heart of the business plan . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: New Restaurant Opening Manual While every new restaurant opening has it's unique requirements, this 50 page manual can be a useful guide to anticipate, organize and plan the primary activities that every new restaurant must execute well to have a successful opening. Includes weekly checklists, forms, schedules for procuring products, services, marketing activities, employee hiring, training & more. . . . more >>
How to Reduce the Risk of Opening a New Restaurant Understanding and considering this one ratio may be the key to keeping you from making an unwise startup decision. Learn how chain operators use this ratio to identify marginal locations and reduce the risk of failure. . . . more >>
10 Common Startup Mistakes and How to Avoid Them In any new business venture good decision-making is vital. Opening a new restaurant requires so many decisions that it's not hard to make some bloopers along the way. The key is not totally missing the mark on the really important issues that can make or break your chances for success. Here are 10 of the most common & potentially fatal missteps new owners make and what you can do to avoid making them. . . . more >>
A License and Permit Checklist for Startup Restaurants Starting a restaurant entails obtaining numerous licenses and permits before opening the doors. Unfortunately, you may not know all that are required for your location. A checklist is a good place to start . . . more >>
AUDIO: How to Choose the Right Location for Your Next Restaurant Many operators, large and small rely on professionals to guide them with the crucially important decision of where to open their next (or first) restaurant. Listen to site selection expert Jim Fisher, who assists restaurant and other retail operators with analyzing potential new store locations throughout the country. Learn what site selection pros consider and look for before putting their client's cash and their reputations on the line. . . . more >>
How to Design Your Restaurant's Floorplan Getting from the dream to a solid concept and then to an operating restaurant is a challenge. Don't let the excitement and energy of creating your new restaurant cause you to overlook or rush by design issues that will be crucial to your success. . . . more >>
Ordering the Right Number of Smallwares Do you have 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife? Get some proven benchmarks and rules of thumb for stocking silverware, glassware, china and barwares from a pro that knows. . . . more >>
Survey Results: What Does it Cost to Open a Restaurant? If you're planning on opening a restaurant you'll want to learn from the opening experiences of over 400 operators. These independents reveal, in detail, what it cost to open their restaurant as well as other highly insightful opening information. . . . more >>
Survey Results: How Independent Operators Finance Their Restaurants Financing or raising enough startup capital is often the biggest challenge in making your first restaurant a reality. Find out how over 400 independent operators financed their restaurant and what advice they offer prospective first-time restaurant owners. . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Leasing Checklist A real estate lease agreement is one of the most important and far-reaching document you'll ever sign. Our Restaurant Real Estate Leasing Checklist is designed to help you ask the right questions and obtain the necessary information you need to obtain the best possible terms. . . . more >>
Managing the Restaurant Opening Process: Why You Can't Afford to Lose Control & How to Do It Opening a restaurant can be overwhelming, ESPECIALLY if you've never done it before! Learn what restaurant pros, involved in hundreds of openings, do and the tools they use to stay organized and dramatically enhance the odds of an on-time, on-budget start . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant 90-Day Preopening Planning Chart The final 90 days before the scheduled opening are considered the most critical to achieve a successful debut. Use this Gantt chart style form to create your own 90-day critical path plan for managing the opening timeline . . . more >>
DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Opening Weekly Task Sheet The key to keeping your restaurant's opening schedule on track is to take it one week at a time. Project managers who excel in weekly planning are more likely to make a predetermined opening date than those with poor planning skills. This form is useful for creating weekly agendas and tracking construction and operations deadlines . . . more >>
How to Overcome Typical Startup Challenges in the First Six Months of Operations Issues at recently opened restaurants are often unique situations but by listening to numerous voices of experience the author has seen many of the same challenges over and over again. This article will increase your awareness of and prepare you to deal with these common problems. . . . more >>
How to Design the Seating Capacity of a Restaurant Dining Room How do you configure a new dining room? One of the industry's top startup consultants shows how to make the most of what you have and avoid making any major mistakes. . . . more >>
How to Find Investors & Raise Startup Capital for Your First Restaurant If you have a restaurant concept that will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to open, then chances are you'll need more capital than what a bank is willing to loan you. The logical alternative is to find an investment partner for your restaurant that believes in your chances for success and wants to be a part of it . . . more >>



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