5 Things Every Restaurateur Should Know Before Starting Out

Know Your Role

While ultimately you are responsible for everything that happens in your restaurant, you need to know the role you will be playing. Are you the executive chef, the financial guy, the front-of-the-house manager or hands off owner? Regardless of what responsibilities you decide are yours, make certain they align with your skill sets and that you hire and/or partner with people who compliment you.


That’s right, you’re going to be the boss. Your employees and your customers will expect a lot from you. There is no better way to turn them away than being an arrogant, self-serving a-hole. It won’t work without a solid team in place who has respect for you and wants to help your vision come true. When your employees respect you they will create customers that rave about your food, your service and the whole experience. By showing your team and your customers that you value their opinions, that you listen to their wants and needs and most of all that you care about them, you will be way ahead of the competition before you even start.

Financials & Business Smarts

You may know your way around the kitchen better than anyone, but knowing how to manage your business is just as important. If you don’t know how to read a P&L, how to manage cash flow, or what those terms mean, you need to find a partner who can assist with the business side of the restaurant.

Inventory Management, Spoilage & Shrinkage

Restaurants operate on razor thin margins. Knowing how to control your costs and make sure you don’t over order is key to your success. Additionally, knowing how to creatively sell items that are nearing their expiration is an art form that you must know intimately. Understanding when, where and how customers and employees can and will steal from you is a must. If you get these things in order your profit margin will certainly show it.

Your Market

Before you open a restaurant you need to know your market. Having a great concept is only a small piece of the puzzle. Knowing where your concept will work is a much harder thing to figure out. Make sure you know everything about your target customer, the demographics around your chosen location, the size of the market and more. For help understanding your market use a service like OnTapReport.com to research sales trends and understand market share.

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