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If you love cooking and consider yourself a cut above the average home chef, chances are you’ve thought about opening your own restaurant.

The truth is that starting a restaurant requires capital, careful planning, a clear concept, and a whole lot of dedication. Knowing what you’re getting into from the very beginning can help you make your business a success.

1. You’ll Need a Significant Amount of Capital to Open a Restaurant

To open a restaurant, you’ll need to put a considerable amount of money into your investment. Exactly how much money you will need will largely depend on the restaurant’s size and location, but getting into the restaurant business is not cheap.

On average, a restaurant costs around $175,500 to get started. Moreover, this amount can climb into the six-figure range rather quickly.

You’ll need to rent or renovate a space, buy equipment, and purchase furniture from an establishment such as Adage Restaurant Furniture. Finally, you’ll have to hire employees. And that’s all before your business even begins to make money.

If you don’t have the outlay needed to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant, consider catering or purchasing a food truck.

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2. You’ll Need a Business Plan

Before you open a restaurant, you’ll need to create a business plan. But keep in mind that a comprehensive business plan is not just for attracting investors. It is also a way to determine exactly where you stand in the market, analyze your competitors, and highlight any pitfalls you may encounter.

Creating a business plan will allow you to put your research and ideas to paper. It will also help you spot any potential obstacles, such as health code violations, food costs, wage requirements, and tax laws.

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3. Before You Start Decide on a Clear Concept

Having a clear concept for the restaurant you want to open will increase its chances of being a success. When creating your concept, bear in mind that people don’t just eat out at restaurants for the food. They go for the experience.

Good starting points for a concept are focusing on how you will serve your food, the style of your interior, and your company’s core values. Coming up with a brand-forward concept will differentiate you from the competition and help you build the right customer base.

Bear in mind, though, you shouldn’t only focus on what you want to do or provide only what your customers want. You want to create a balance between your personal tastes and what consumers want. This is key to opening a successful restaurant.

 4. Carefully Consider Where You Will Open Your Restaurant

According to studies, 52% of consumers say that convenience plays a big role in what restaurants they choose to visit. In fact, the location can make or break your restaurant.

Locations with more foot traffic will attract more customers. On the other hand, restaurants on the second floor of a building or in an out-of-the-way location tend to suffer unless they offer a truly unique experience.

When you decide to open a restaurant, make sure the location is easy for your customers to find and that there are no obstacles when they get there.

5. Running a Restaurant Is Not for Everyone

It’s a fact that more than 90% of new restaurants are destined to fail within the first year. Opening and running a restaurant is not for the faint of heart, no matter how much you love food and cooking.

To give your restaurant the best chance of becoming successful, you’ll need a tremendous amount of dedication. If working long hours and sacrificing your personal life isn’t something you want to do, you should think long and hard about whether opening a restaurant is the right choice for you.

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