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So you’ve decided to open a restaurant in 2016? It’s time to get started now. From hiring a top-flight chef to narrowing down your target market, a restaurant opening requires months of preparation.

Follow these six steps to ensure your grand opening arrives sooner rather than later.

Create a business plan

Before jumping into the day-to-day operations, outline a roadmap that will help your restaurant achieve success for years to come. Carefully consider details such as what your restaurant’s service style will be. A well-structured business plan will not only help you acquire necessary investment capital, but it will also provide managers with a blueprint for how to run your restaurant.

Choose a location

A key ingredient of any successful restaurant is a great location. Does your target market live within a few miles of your restaurant? If not, they may choose restaurants closer to home no matter how savory your food is. Once you’ve found the right neighborhood for your restaurant, weigh the pros and cons of each space to determine which one is the best fit.

Hire front- and back-of-house staff

The right team can bring your vision of a successful restaurant to life. During the hiring process, single out potential employees with years of customer service experience to establish high standards from day one. An accompanying training program can quickly get all front- and back-of-house staff members up to speed on customer service best practices. Also consider offering professional development opportunities as a way to recruit employees eager to build a career in the restaurant industry.

Write a menu

Another key step leading up to a restaurant opening is writing your menu. Sit down with your back-of-house staff and begin crafting dishes that will satisfy your target market’s appetite. If you’re having trouble putting pen to paper, check out these five tips for writing great menu descriptions.

Market your restaurant

Rather than relying on word-of-mouth to boost awareness, develop a restaurant marketing strategy that will bring diners to your door. The importance of a mobile-optimized website, for example, can’t be understated. According to a research survey from OpenTable, 86 percent of diners regularly view online menus before dining in or ordering out. There are a wide range of restaurant marketing tactics to choose from, including expanding your restaurant’s social media presence, bolstering your SEO efforts, placing print ads, hosting events, and more. Regardless of what you implement, make sure your marketing efforts attract target customers.

Add online ordering and delivery

Partnering with an online ordering provider such as GrubHub will place your restaurant in front of an entirely new segment of customers. Aside from offering increased revenue, the convenience of online ordering and delivery will also enable your staff to spend less time on the phone and more time focusing on the customer experience.

Ready to reach new customers and grow your business with Grubhub? Sign up today!

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