How to Plan for Opening a Restaurant


Around 60 percent of new restaurants fail within the first year. The number grows to about 80 percent by 5 years. Numerous factors contribute to the failure of a restaurant, such as poorly trained staff, too high goods cost, and poor management.

Most restaurant problems narrow down to one major flaw: poor planning. Restaurants need to go through an in-depth planning process before even applying for funding. Let us help you navigate how to start planning for your restaurant.

Pick a Niche

A great restaurant focuses on one major theme and builds upon it. Start by picking your cuisine. You may enjoy cooking all different types of food from varying cultures, but you definitely prefer one over the other, or cook one type better than another.

Determine the style that best fits your food. Do you cook quick grab and go food, or do you create an entire dining experience? Choose between starting a quick-service, casual dining, or upscale restaurant.

Find a Target Market

Research to find out what age groups eat at more quick-service, casual dining, or upscale places. Additionally, study what types of food attracts that age group most. Generally, teens are more likely to frequent cheap, quick-service restaurants. Adults over 40 are more likely to dine at upscale restaurants.

Envision the type of people that you want to dine at your business. Do you want families eating your food on a Sunday morning? Do you see inspiring artists hanging out there as they develop projects? Your clear vision of your dream customer gives your restaurant more purpose.


The right restaurant location has a lot to do with the traffic of customers. Search for a location that hits your target market. Also pick a place that offers affordable rent. You don’t want to lose all your money in just renting a place.

Think about opening a restaurant at a place with low competition for your type or style of food. Avoid places overpopulated with restaurants, and consider ones in a neighborhood often ignored by major dining spots.

Supply and Food Distributors

A restaurant depends on its food distributors to survive. Research and test out a few local food distributors to find fresh ingredients that meet your standards. Consider buying different ingredients from different sources, including foreign markets and companies that offer free-range products.

For kitchen equipment, partner with companies that offer products that elevate your kitchen’s cooking process. Get supply costs down by negotiating with distributors, and using coupons at major supply companies like Grainger.

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