Balancing Budget and Quality: Tips for Opening and Maintaining a Restaurant
Opening a restaurant is always a gamble, even for a restaurateur with a strong, unique vision. It’s an extremely expensive business to go into: the median cost of opening a restaurant is $375,5000, which amounts to $113 per square foot. The high cost places particular importance on having a budget and doing everything possible to remain within it.
You need to micromanage nearly every aspect of your business, at least in the beginning, to avoid budget overruns and manage payroll and staff effectively. Most new restaurants exceed their budgets by a considerable amount, which may help account for why so many fail to make it past their fifth year.
JBD Bookkeeping Services.has put together the following tips to help you begin thinking of your new business in a truly cost-conscious manner.
So you’ve got this great idea for a restaurant — let’s say, a Scottish-Filipino fusion place — with all kinds of awesome dishes lined up for your menu. As a restaurant owner and food expert, you know very well that great menu items are all about choosing the right ingredients. As the new guy on the block, you want to make a real splash and grab the town’s attention. You go all out on freshness and quality and end up spending too much. It’s understandable — but it’s also unsustainable. You’ll quickly run through your available resources doing business this way. Instead, look to area farmers, food co-ops, and other food sources. You can still get the freshness you’re looking for, but for half as much as you’d pay high-end suppliers. Remember, it’s all about balancing quality and taste with affordable food costs.
Bear in mind that business loans can be difficult to obtain when you’re just starting out. A personal loan is probably a more practical funding option. It’s a form of debt that impacts your bottom line, so make certain you understand how it works and select the best, most affordable option for you.
Like food quality, marketing is an indispensable part of doing business as a new player in the foodservice industry. You could end up blowing through a budget very quickly with an ambitious marketing campaign if you’re not careful. Fortunately, there are many ways to get the word out about a restaurant these days; you’re not constrained to paying for magazine ads or radio spots, which can be prohibitively expensive for a new restaurant owner.
Social media was practically made for restaurant owners. It’s a perfect, low-cost way to reach a vast amount of people affordably and quickly — and to generate some good word-of-mouth referrals. In fact, a great many restaurants post menus and other information on Facebook and communicate with clientele via Twitter and Instagram. You can help spread the word by creating a captivating banner on your social media pages. Instead of hiring a graphic designer, a budget-friendly solution is to use a banner generator and customize your banner to include text, video, and your logo.
You can also “go guerilla” by opening a pop-up restaurant in a location or at an event that lets you introduce lots of new people to your food. Public relations is another effective, lost-cost method of marketing yourself. Media interviews, blogs, published articles, and reviews (preferably positive ones) are all good ways to do marketing cost-consciously. It also pays to develop a good presence on social media (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc).
Decor is another aspect of the restaurant business that can easily get out of hand. You can greet customers with an appealing and memorable design by spending some time researching on Pinterest and other online informational resources. Some of the most inviting restaurant interiors are those that were conceived by people without any training or experience in design, but who had a concept in mind aimed at attracting a certain demographic and reflecting the kind of cuisine in which you specialize.
Out of the box alternative
One of the most effective ways to get a restaurant started is to try a pop-up restaurant. The cost-effectiveness of a pop-up makes it the ideal choice for starting up during an ongoing pandemic. Having the flexibility to choose businesses with safe COVID-19 measures will ensure your pop-ups are safe and successful. Additionally, you’ll be able to use your host’s business to further your social media reach and increase your presence among local restaurants. Just be sure to check your state and local laws to find out how a pop-up should properly operate. Having a business service help your business registration application will ensure you waste no time getting your business off the ground.
Opening a restaurant doesn’t have to mean massive spending. You can make a go of it by looking for less expensive ways to prepare menu items and promote yourself with low-/no-cost marketing tactics, which are readily available. Maintaining a budget-conscious mindset is your best bet for making your restaurant a long-term success.
Let the pros at JBD Bookkeeping Services handle all your bookkeeping needs so you can focus on running your business. 647-850-7256
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