You’ve probably heard this line before. “It takes a year to make any money on a restaurant.” The truth is, sometimes it takes longer. It depends on your experience in the industry, the creativity of your menu, and the location of your restaurant, but opening a new kitchen is always tough—no matter who you are.
These days, a lot of entrepreneurs are starting creative food businesses to get started in the business. With the internet, social media, and trendy food culture, it is possible to make money and get off the ground quickly if you know what you are doing. Below are some tips for getting started as a restaurateur.
Start a Food Truck
A great way to start as a restaurant owner is to first own a food truck. Operating a food truck has become a popular way to get your food to people. There are many benefits to owning a food truck. You can drive your truck and set up anywhere that allows you. The overhead is low, meaning that you will make more from your food and be able to keep your prices low. You need a minimal crew. With all these benefits, you can start serving a creative, affordable menu to your followers online and anyone who happens to walk by.
Of course, there are some drawbacks of a food truck. Not every city is open to food trucks. You will have to find the right spots to set up. Sometimes you are forced to set up next to other food trucks, which increases competition. Still, people are coming around on food trucks and you just may have the ability to take your business to the next level after starting a food truck.
Open a Delivery Business
A similar option is to open a food delivery business. There have been some kitchens that have opened only as a delivery service. Since the pandemic began, food delivery sales have gone way up, and they seem to be staying near where they were when all this began. Famous chef David Chang even started a delivery-only business in Austin, Texas.
Getting started by only offering delivery gives you a way to explore a new menu without the pressure of a full dining room. It provides freedom and grace. If you have an idea for a menu that would be good for delivery, you should think about starting out that way.
Go for a Ghost Kitchen
Delivery businesses often use a ghost kitchen, which means that is a partial set up compared to a full restaurant. Ghost kitchens are designed for restaurants that are just starting up. This is ideal for a delivery or pick-up service. If you want to start a food business but don’t want to serve customers in the traditional way, you can think outside the box with a ghost kitchen. Ghost kitchens lower the overhead, require less employees, and have a higher return on investment. It’s a great way to get started in the restaurant business.
Do a Pop-Up
A hip and trendy way to get your food business started is to do pop-ups. Pop-ups can be anywhere. They are often in a warehouse, a vacant stall, a concert, or at other events. Pop-ups have become very successful for a lot of chefs, restaurateurs, and other food business owners. You can try out your menu and get feedback. You can see what works and what does it. More importantly, you can start making money to save up for your brick-and-mortar restaurant or another food business.
When you are trying to get started as a restaurateur, the road ahead can seem tough. It seems long and arduous. Most of the time, it is but if you have a creative plan to start with a lower overhead and ability to make some money, your small food business could blossom into a full-blown restaurant. The sky’s the limit.
It isn’t easy to have a hit restaurant, but once you do your ability to cultivate further success increases. You might be starting with baby steps, but then you will walk, and then you will run. In the restaurant business, you must start somewhere. If this is your passion, it’s time to begin!