During the pandemic, families spent far more time cooking meals from scratch, finding a renewed appreciation for well-cooked food made with passion. When the pandemic started to wind down and restrictions lifted, there were hundreds of cooks that decided to turn their passions into a business and open their own independent restaurants.
Given the growing trend of diners turning away from big brands and towards more authentic independent restaurants, there has never been a better time to start a restaurant business. But opening a restaurant in the UK is far from easy. So, allow us to provide a few quick tips to get you started.
Choose the Right Cuisine
The first step, of course, is figuring out what sort of food you want to serve. There are three factors to consider here – the food you are best at cooking, the food that’s most popular in the local area and the local competition.
For example, Indian might be the most popular style of food in your area but if there are already dozens of Balti houses, maybe you could pivot and start a vegan alternative? Veganism is a major trend right now that is only going to grow in popularity in coming years. Authenticity is going to play a part here too. Few people will take a Thai restaurant seriously if it’s run by a Mexican or Greek owner, after all.
Sort the Finances
There are dozens of costs to consider when opening a restaurant. Not only do you need to pay rental costs for the premises but there will be pots, frying pans and skillets to buy, renovations to take care of and employees to hire. Then there are the energy bills and the marketing costs to think about.
There are several options to consider for financing, of course, including bank loans and asking friends and family members to invest. You could even try to court angel investors, though they will ask for a share in the company.
Concept and Location
Simply having a style of food and a city in mind is not enough. You need to think about where specifically you’re going to set up shop and the theming and story behind your restaurant. For location, think about how easy it is to access, how close it is to other similar restaurants and what the rental prices in the area look like.
Every restaurant also has a story to tell that’s reflected in the décor, the menu and the atmosphere. Think about what inspires you and your food and work with designers to figure out how everything is going to fit together in the space.
Finally, think about how you’re going to market the restaurant and build a buzz for it. Focus on what makes your restaurant stand out and what you’re offering the local community. A strong social media presence is ideal and host pre-launch events and listen to feedback from your first guests. A good restaurant should always be willing to evolve, after all!
Jason is the Marketing Manager at a local advertising company in Australia. He moved to Australia 10 years back for his passion for advertising. Jason recently joined BFA as a volunteer writer and contributes by sharing his valuable experience and knowledge.