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To many people, opening and running a new restaurant is the dream job. There are many reasons for this dream. It could be your love of food, a passion for cooking, or perhaps, even the money that can be made from establishing a successful, popular restaurant. The UK restaurant industry is worth £16.4 billion. It’s natural to want a slice of the pie (pardon the pun.)

However, reality often can crush these dreams. An estimated 59% of new restaurants fail within the first 3 years of trading. To help avoid you becoming another statistic, WestWon has drafted the following 5 essential things to consider when setting up your new restaurant.


Choose The Right Staff

When you open a new restaurant, finding the right employees for the business can be a very stressful and time consuming task. The biggest problem in recruitment for all industries is finding the right employees for your business.  A high turnover of staff can be detrimental to your restaurant succeeding and can affect your new business’s reputation.

How do you get the right staff?

For new restaurants, it is common to initially employ friends and family members – people you can trust who are loyal and are willing to put in that extra effort to help you out.

Your restaurant’s concept is also important to consider when choosing the right staff. You need someone who has the right skill set and experience for the type of food you are cooking. They should also have great time management skills and a real passion for what the restaurant is looking to achieve.

Choosing the right front of house staff is equally as important as those in the kitchen. You need people who are reliable, good with people and willing to make the extra effort! A delicious meal, no matter how perfect, served by a grumpy or sullen server is unlikely to be remembered fondly.


Research, Research, Research

Researching the industry and writing a business plan is possibly the most important thing to do when setting up a new restaurant. Your business plan should be detailed and clearly outline who you are, why you are doing this, and what you are aiming to achieve.

A few points to research include:

  • Your USP (Unique Selling Point) – What makes you different?
  • Competitors – Who are your competitors in the local market?
  • Suppliers – Who are you going to use and why?
  • Location – Where will you be based? Why have you chosen this place?
  • Local Marketplace – Do people eat out in the area? Is there parking or access to public transport? Easy foot traffic? Other local attractions nearby?
  • Cash Flow Forecast – Your estimated sales and expenses for the first two years


Choose The Right Equipment

You may have a wealth of experience in the hospitality sector and know what equipment you want and where to get it. However, not everyone is in such a fortunate position.

For the less fortunate, choosing the wrong catering equipment for your business can be catastrophic. The catering equipment has to be right for your restaurant. You must consider how many covers you plan on doing per day and the type of food you are going to prepare.

When choosing equipment, consider if it will fulfil the food safety standards. What happens if the equipment breaks down or is damaged? You need a supplier who can offer you maintenance and service to ensure that your business does not lose money.

How do you find the right catering equipment supplier for you? There are a multitude of distributors out there who can provide the full range of equipment for all sizes of companies, from new starts to well-established restaurants. WestWon have worked with many of these companies and can help guide you towards the catering equipment supplier who best suits your particular requirements.


Plan Your Finances

Planning your finances is one of the most important things to organise when starting up a new restaurant. It is estimated, depending on your businesses concept, that the cost to set up a new restaurant is around £500,000. This estimation includes rent, rates, equipment, recruitment, advertising, etc.

Naturally, not everyone has a spare £500,000 in their bank account. It’s common and practical for new companies to lease equipment in order to save money.


Consider Leasing

Leasing is a great way to keep the money in your business. With structured payment plans, you know exactly how much is going out and when it is going out. It makes sense to pay for the equipment as you are using it, and making money yourself right? Did you know that tax benefits from leasing equipment often makes leasing the cheaper option than paying cash?

WestWon specialise in catering equipment leasing. We can even fund the full project including other collateral such as furniture, IT/EPOS, lighting, even the fit out of your restaurant! With over 25 years’ experience in this industry, we can help all sizes of company save money and make your dreams a reality. Bon appetit!

For more information, give us a call and speak to our catering specialists on 01494 611 456.

Written by George Shillingford.

Have you read our blog about Choosing the Right Leasing Company?