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Startup & Growth

Restaurant Startup & Growth

There no denying it, opening a new restaurant whether it’s your first or fortieth entails risk, usually lots of it. It’s estimated that of the half million or so restaurants in the U.S. around 10 to 15 percent are forced to close each year. Most of these failures are restaurants that have been open fewer than 3 years.

It takes lots of planning, capital, hard work, perseverance, and a little luck doesn’t hurt either, to launch a new restaurant that hits the mark and becomes a financial success.

There are many factors that can increase a new restaurant’s chances for success in the areas of planning, location, market analysis, concept, menu, financial feasibility, staffing, operating systems and more. We are focused on bring content in a variety of formats to these areas with the objective of providing you with resources that will enhance your ability to better plan the opening process, evaluate the financial feasibility, make more informed decisions and go into the development process with tools to stay organized and on track with your plan.

The Startup & Growth section is our newest addition to the Toolkit. Please give us your thoughts and ideas of what other materials would be useful in this area and how we can make it better.

How to Avoid 10 Common Restaurant Architectural Mistakes How to Avoid 10 Common Restaurant Architectural Mistakes
by Stephani Robson
Here are the 10 most common architectural design mistakes the author sees in new restaurants. Each of these problems can be prevented if your architect has a good understanding of what you need the restaurant to be able to do and if you have selected the right space to lease to begin with. more >>

What to Consider BEFORE Going From One to Two Restaurants What to Consider BEFORE Going From One to Two Restaurants
by Jay Goldstein
Now that you have one successful restaurant you may be contemplating #2. Before you jump in with both feet, there are several key principals required for successful growth. Learn what you need to consider, how to be sure you're ready, and who can help you more >>

How to Steer Around the Legal, Marketing and Operational Challenges of Modern Mobile Foodservice How to Steer Around the Legal, Marketing and Operational Challenges of Modern Mobile Foodservice
by Amelia Levin
With the mobile food truck craze sweeping the nation, wannabe restaurateurs and even longtime operators are looking to expand beyond the confines of the brick-and-mortar restaurant. This article examines a number of "rules of the road" to consider before getting behind the wheel. more >>

How to Design the Seating Capacity of a Restaurant Dining Room How to Design the Seating Capacity of a Restaurant Dining Room
by Chris Tripoli
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 >>

DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Mission Statement Worksheet DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Mission Statement Worksheet
The right mission statement, properly used, can be one of the most powerful ingredients in creating and sustaining success. For many companies it's an invaluable tool in providing direction, focus and consistency throughout their organization. Use this worksheet for crafting or improving your mission. more >>

DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Startup Checklist DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Startup Checklist
Opening 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 >>

How to Find the Right Location for Your Next Restaurant How to Find the Right Location for Your Next Restaurant
by Chris Tripoli
You can revamp your menu, your concept, and your operational methods;however, your location is almost impossible to change, so it's important to get it right from the start. Learn how to determine the right spot for your next location more >>

How the Chains Research Restaurant Locations and What You Can Learn From Them How the Chains Research Restaurant Locations and What You Can Learn From Them
by Howard Riell
As the old real estate saw goes, the three most important selling points of a property are "Location, location, location." Chains have resources and systems that give them many advantages in site locations, independents wanting to compete need to employ some of the same systems. more >>

Grab Your Brand by the Horns: How to Build Your Brand Grab Your Brand by the Horns: How to Build Your Brand
by Patricia Luebke
Branding is not just for huge companies. Independent restaurants need to develop a brand too. Learn why establishing your own unique brand is important to your success. more >>

DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Business Plan Template DOWNLOAD: Restaurant Business Plan Template
Includes 2014 Industry Analysis 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 >>

Planning the Opening of Your Restaurant: Unless You Have Your 'Ducks in a Row,' Opt for a Soft Opening Planning the Opening of Your Restaurant: Unless You Have Your 'Ducks in a Row,' Opt for a Soft Opening
by Chris Tripoli
We find that many restaurant operators open to the public before they are fully prepared. Unlike other businesses, restaurants cannot simply open when the construction is over. You only get one chance to open and there is so much at stake. more >>

AUDIO: Are You Ready to Grow? What Every Operator Should Know BEFORE Expanding Their Concept
It's natural for successful restaurant operators to want to expand and grow their business. But along with new opportunities, growth rarely comes without a host of new challenges and inherent risks. This audio program addresses these issues and some key elements of a successful growth plan. more >>

How to Make a Good Impression with Outdoor Signage How to Make a Good Impression with Outdoor Signage
by Patricia Luebke
Your restaurant sign does so much more than announce the name of your restaurant. Your sign can hinder or help you attract new customer. Find out how to maximize the value of your exterior signage. more >>

Finding the Right Blender: Mixer Savvy Includes Using the Right Tool for the Job and a Bias for Safety Finding the Right Blender: Mixer Savvy Includes Using the Right Tool for the Job and a Bias for Safety
One of the most useful and timesaving appliances found in the kitchen is the mixer. Whether it's used for pastry or pizza crust, meatloaf or meringue, soup stock or spaghetti sauce, the ubiquitous mixer shaves hours off what would be laborious and time-consuming kitchen work. more >>

How to Create a Winning Restaurant Business Plan How to Create a Winning Restaurant Business Plan
Many RO.com members cite 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 >>

Restaurant Failure Rates Recounted: Where Do They Get Those Numbers? Restaurant Failure Rates Recounted: Where Do They Get Those Numbers?
by G. Sidney
Failure and attrition is a fact of life in business. Painting an unrealistic picture of restaurant startups may build drama on television (NBC's "The Restaurant"), but it does little to support the hopes and dreams of those wanting to enter and improve the restaurant landscape. more >>