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If you want to open a restaurant, cafe or pub checklist If you want to open a restaurant, cafe or pub checklist
by Joseph Gatt
2021-07-21 09:15:17
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So, you want to open a restaurant, pub or café. Perhaps you make delicious pancakes, or you're a master at coffee brewing, or you love that pub atmosphere, or you can cook the best steak. Don't get too excited. Here's the checklist before you open a restaurant or café or pub.

First off, you need to know that the first few days will be very busy (usually). If you open your restaurant, café or pub in a crowded neighborhood, lots of people are going to check in out of curiosity. But that first visit will make or break your restaurant, café or pub.

So here's the checklist.

newredt001_400-First point: residential area, or business area? If you open a café in a residential area, you need to focus on morning coffee, and afternoons and evenings are going to be very calm. If you open a restaurant in a residential area, dinner should be busy but no one will come for lunch.

If you open a restaurant in a residential area summer should be busy and winter should be calm. Spring and fall will also be calm. If you open a restaurant in a business area, winter should be busy, spring and fall should be average, and summer should be boring. Same goes for cafés and pubs. Budget accordingly.

If you open a restaurant in a residential area, you want the atmosphere to be quiet and discreet. People are tired after a long day at work. If you open a restaurant in a business area, you want noise to cover people's conversation, because business people don't want other people listening into their business.

So, before you open your restaurant, you want to study the area. Could be an area where lots of students live. Or an area where lots of families live. Or an area where it's mostly businessmen.

*Very important point* Don't ever open a restaurant, café or pub in areas dedicated to restaurants, cafés and pubs. You know those crowded streets full of restaurants, cafés and pubs. Two reasons. First of all, those crowded restaurant venues rely heavily on tourists, so your client base will be tourists and visitors and no one else. That's a tough crowd to handle. Tourists tend to be very hard to satisfy.

Second reason is that, when tourism is off-season, what are you going to do? Locals are not going to visit that crowded area. So you're going to have to rely on the owners of other restaurants eating at your restaurant.

-Which brings me to the second point. How much time do people have for a cup of coffee, a meal, or a few drinks. You need to study this one very carefully.

In most business areas, people have a one-hour lunch break. Some business areas like financial districts or media companies don't really have lunch breaks and only have time for a sandwich. Other business districts like trading companies tend to allow up to three hours or more for lunch and dinner, because that's the nature of their business. A friend of mine opened a sandwich shop in a trading business area, he wasn't getting any visitors.

Same goes for residential areas. Some residential areas are full of young bachelors who spend the entire evening at the restaurant or pub. Other residential districts are full of large families, or smaller families who seldom go out for a meal or a drink. Keep that in mind.

-Other important factor: social factors. The older people get, the less money they tend to spend at cafés, pubs and restaurants (usually). Men usually spend more at restaurants than women. Rich people tend to spend more at restaurants or pubs than those with modest means. First generation immigrants tend to eat more at restaurants than local populations. Young couples tend to spend more at restaurants than single men and women. Married couples tend to spend less at restaurants than dating couples. Young professionals tend to spend more at restaurants than experienced professionals. And so on. You do the math.

-Satisfying people's palate. You need people to enjoy your food, coffee or drinks. There's no perfect recipe or combination. It's all trial and error. But errors are very costly.

So you want to test, test, test your recipes before you serve them. Test them every day for a month or two to make sure most people would be satisfied with the meal. Most people tend to agree about what makes a good meal or a good drink.

-Beating competition by being different, not lousy. To beat competition in the restaurant, café or pub industry you need to study surrounding restaurants. Then you offer something those restaurants don't have. Something different.

-Hygiene, security and environment. Be clean. Offer a pleasant environment. And offer a safe environment. Those are important factors.

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