Starting a new restaurant business is an ambitious endeavor. Because restaurant businesses are so challenging to run, restaurant owners try as much as they can to save some money where they can. The problem is that a lot of new restaurant owners follow a script that leads to them spending too much money at the outset. Today, we are going to focus on the areas where new restaurant owners are likely to overspend to help them save some money, especially in the startup stage.
Today’s businesses cannot survive in the existing market without taking advantage of the technology available to them. However, new businesses do not need to use the latest, most expensive software and hardware.
New restaurant owners should aim to have the basics before venturing out to find new technologies that help their businesses. For example, bookkeeping software is very important for the smooth running of a business. However, a restaurant can get away with using a free or even a freeware alternative bookkeeping software before it can pay for a paid version.
It is also important to limit the amount of hardware available to customers. For example, there is no need to have an iPad at every table. While iPads make it easy to order, it is a huge financial burden for new businesses that need to be more prudent about their money. If the iPads are important for the customer experience, then doing some research and purchasing a last-generation model can have the same results while helping the business save money.
Buying new equipment for a new restaurant is one area that restaurant owners spend a lot of money before they start operations. Kitchen equipment is relatively expensive, and this is why restaurant owners who want to get the most out of the money spent on their new commercial cooking equipment should ensure they get high-quality equipment that will serve them for a long time without breaking down.
However, in many cases, new restaurant owners do not have the funds to purchase new equipment, and this is where the various alternatives available come in. These include shopping online, second-hand options, and buying only the equipment that the restaurant needs at the time. This last option lets new restaurant owners open their doors before with a smaller menu and add new items as they purchase new equipment.
If a restaurant owner decides to go with second-hand equipment, which is usually the cheapest option, they should do a thorough check to ensure the equipment they bought works as expected. If not, they can replace the defective part by removing it and using its serial or another identification number to find a replacement. Businesses like McCombs Supply Company stock a wide variety of commercial cooking equipment parts so restaurant owners can find the replacement parts they need. They also stock equipment for other types of equipment including refrigerators, water filters, air conditioners, and more.
Sales and Marketing
Sales and marketing are another area where new restaurants can save some money. It is very easy to fall into the thinking that a new restaurant needs to do a lot of expensive marketing to reach its target audience. While marketing is very important, especially at the start-up stage, new restaurant owners should find marketing strategies that lead to as little spending as possible.
New restaurant owners shouldn’t fall into the trap of hiring expensive marketing agencies simply because they have more experience marketing restaurants. Such spending traps are often easy to fall into when restaurants have some funding behind them and mistakenly think that splashy campaigns are the way to go.
To save money, new restaurant owners can use a few low-cost strategies to market their businesses. The cheapest marketing option with a huge return on investment is the internet. Getting started on social media and leveraging a restaurant’s reach to form an email newsletter can do wonders for its reach. Placing low-cost social media adverts on Facebook and Twitter can help increase reach, with this strategy expanded to other social media platforms when the business starts seeing some traction.
Restaurants can also launch websites and blogs that can then be used as marketing vehicles. They can be used to introduce people to the business, posting menus and telling people about what is available at the restaurant on a given day.
Lastly, restaurants can use word of mouth to reach new customers. This can be done by asking the existing customers to refer friends for a discount on their order, using flyers, or even leveraging the reach of friends and family.
Remodeling or Redecorating
Decorating a restaurant is very important, especially because it helps dictate the ambiance plus look and feel of the space. However, new restaurant owners have to think carefully about what they spend money on during this process. There is no need to purchase a chandelier worth a few thousand dollars or art worth tens of thousands at the start. It is possible to find tasteful decorations that are a lot cheaper while spending a lot more on areas that matter.
Instead of trying to make everything perfect at the start, restaurant owners can instead choose a few high-impact items that make the most difference. Restaurant owners can utilize resources such as Pinterest to get some ideas of what to get while keeping things within their budget.
This might surprise many prospective business owners, but you do not have to purchase food from a fancy vendor when starting. Yes, the food has to be of high quality and fresh, but it should also be reasonably priced. Reaching out to local farmers can be a great way of finding what you need at the price you need it at.
Restaurant owners can also evaluate their menus so they can find areas where they can save some money by streamlining their purchasing and preparation.
While opening a restaurant can be expensive, it does not have to be overly so. By examining areas where a lot of restaurants lose money, new restaurant owners can find ways of saving money in their startups.