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  1. Language selection
  2. Business Affairs and Consumer Protection
  3. Checklists and guides for starting a business
  4. City of Chicago :: Starting Your Business

Additionally, people with non-culinary backgrounds can get into the industry easily by opening a home bakery. Opening a bakery presents many unique challenges that are different from other types of businesses. We will take you through the process of opening a bakery from writing a business plan and getting funding to filing for permits and choosing the right equipment for your new bakery.

You can also use the links below to jump to specific sections of the bakery opening process. Buffets are a popular type of restaurant in the United States, and you can find buffets all over the country serving a variety of foods. Buffets are different than other types of restaurants, though, due to the amount of food they have to produce, which presents many unique challenges.

As a result, there are some differences when opening a buffet as opposed to opening a traditional restaurant. We'll break down everything you need to know, such as how buffets make money, the different types of buffets, and the 8 steps you need to complete to open a buffet restaurant. What Is a Buffet? Buffets are a type of restaurant that offers a fixed price, and then allows customers to fill their plates with food and eat as much as they like.

Buffets may. See below for a complete guide to starting your pizza business. Opening a Pizza Shop Whether you are ready to open your pizza shop or are deciding if you want to open one, it's important to understand what is necessary to start a successful pizza-serving business. Receive coupon codes , industry tips, great deals, and more right to your inbox. Based in Lancaster, PA, WebstaurantStore is the largest online restaurant supply store serving food service professionals and individual customers worldwide.

With thousands of available products and over 5. Over the years we have expanded our selection of wholesale supplies and commercial equipment to include healthcare, educational, and hotel supplies.


Our focus is your convenience — order online from your laptop, desktop, or smartphone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our fast shipping, low prices, and outstanding customer service make WebstaurantStore the best choice to meet all of your professional and food service supply needs. Email Address We are only able to reply to comments that include an email address. We will be unable to respond to your comments without your email address. If you wish to submit your comment without an email address, please click "Give Feedback".

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How to Start a Restaurant Opening a restaurant requires juggling many moving parts and can feel like a difficult undertaking. Choose a Restaurant Concept and Brand When starting a restaurant, it's important to have a clear concept and brand. Form Your Menu Items Before you open your restaurant, you'll want to establish some basic food items that your menu will feature.

Write a Restaurant Business Plan Having a thorough business plan is essential when reaching out to investors and applying for restaurant loans to start your restaurant. Obtain Funding Estimate the total startup costs you will need to get your restaurant started and the amount needed to keep your restaurant functioning on a day-to-day basis. Choose a Location and Lease a Commercial Space When choosing a location for your new restaurant, the following features are among the most important: Visibility and accessibility.

Select a spot that can be seen by those driving or walking by. You should also look for an area that gets plenty of passersby on foot or in cars. In addition, consider if there is parking and ease of access by foot or car.

Business Affairs and Consumer Protection

The demographics. Ensure the target market of your restaurant matches the demographics of the area. Labor costs and minimum wage. You will also want to have an idea of what employees might expect to make based on the location. The competition of the area. Some nearby competition can help with marketing.

Permits and Licenses To open a new restaurant, you'll need to obtain several federal, state, and local permits and licenses. Find an Equipment and Food Supplier A constant, reliable source of equipment and ingredients at reasonable prices must be established and maintained to ensure restaurant success. Design a Restaurant Layout When starting a restaurant, you'll want to put careful thought into how you can organize your entire layout to meet the goals set forth in your menu and theme.

Hire the Right Staff One major step of opening a restaurant is hiring staff to carry out the operation of your restaurant every day. Though the list will vary based on the unique needs of your restaurant business, there are a few fundamental positions you will likely need to fill when opening your restaurant: Executive chef General manager Sous chef Prep cooks Servers Bartenders Hosts Food runners and bussers Dishwasher Advertise Your Restaurant Advertising is critical for various reasons.

Below are some tips to create excitement around your restaurant: Use social media. Create Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to share news, photos, and tidbits about your restaurant.

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The photos and descriptions should communicate your brand. Consider including images of food or behind-the-scene processes to draw in potential guests. Make sure to use high-quality photos. Build an attractive website.

Your site should be easy to navigate, and the design should represent your brand. Include basic information about your restaurant, including your address, phone number, hours, and menu. Create a Yelp account for your restaurant. Guests can also leave opinions after visiting. Since it is a well-known website, joining Yelp will also increase your authority, especially if you have a high rating and positive feedback.

Checklists and guides for starting a business

Put an ad in the local paper. This will help create awareness about your new restaurant.

You could even try and get a featured story or mention in an article. Use a mobile loyalty program. You can sign your restaurant up for a mobile app loyalty program that will appeal to the growing number of consumers who use smartphones. Through this app, you can engage guests by rewarding them for continued business. Create an email list. For example, sending dine-in specials to reservation customers or sending delivery coupons to online ordering customers are both great ideas.

Offer promotions to new guests. Give first-time guests a free drink or small dessert. Customers will remember your exceptional hospitality, and they will be more likely to recommend your restaurant and to return themselves. Consider hosting a grand opening and other events. This can take place after your soft opening or in place of it. You can host other events to create continued buzz around your restaurant, such as wine tastings, live music, cooking classes, or themed fixed menus.

Host a Soft Opening You've heard the old adage "Practice makes perfect. Here are a few popular ones: Offer a "beta" menu that offers half of what is on your complete menu. It reduces stress on new staff, and encourages customers to come back to see the full menu reveal.

City of Chicago :: Starting Your Business

Don't operate all day. Consider offering just breakfast and lunch for 4 days, then dinner on the fifth. Host a "sneak peek" happy hour with select menu items and signature drinks. Hold a friends and family only opening with complimentary dishes, with the intent of inviting them to help train your staff. Hold a soft opening for neighboring homes and businesses. This will help you gain local fans, in hopes that they will return and suggest your restaurant to visiting friends and colleagues.

It's a collaborative partnership. Home-based business: some food items can legally be produced and sold right from your domestic kitchen, but look into the regulations surrounding your chosen product. Shared commercial kitchens: many facilities offer shared or co-op kitchen space that you can rent hourly or monthly, depending on your production needs. The benefits are reduced costs and paperwork the facilities are already registered as commercial space. There are several region-specific directories for shared kitchen space:.

Set up your own commercial facility: be sure to check with your local food governing agency to ensure your facility is properly registered and meets code. We did not move out until we were bursting at the seams and knew we had a big enough business to support the move. We did look for co-packers—another company to manufacture our products for us—but because the mandate for our products are so specific no grains, no gluten, peanut-free, dairy-free, kosher there were too many issues with cross contamination with every other facility we met with.

In the end we had to manufacture it all ourselves and now we do some co-packing and private label for other companies. Work with an existing manufacturer: this option is great for hands-off entrepreneurs who are more interested in the business than the production. It is really impressive how much diligence goes into running a USDA inspected facility and it really isn't something most people will be able to do straight out of the gate.

Ecommerce is especially challenging for food, because the most important decision-making sense—taste—is in the dark.