Ready To Manage Your Own Business? Check Out These Steps

 

Starting your own restaurant can feel like a daunting and exciting process all at once. In this guide, you’ll learn the checklist you should consider before opening your doors and how to manage your business as you get started.

 

Steps to Get You Started

 

Create a Business Plan

A business plan should include an executive summary, company description, industry analysis, geographic analysis, target market research, a food safety plan, potential menu, marketing ideas, management strategy, and financial plan. Anything that pertains to your business should be within the plan and approved by the right people in order to begin your business idea.

 

Know Your Startup Costs

Being aware of startup and operational costs helps you determine how you finance your restaurant. From an investor to a small business loan, make sure to check what options are available to you in order to get your business up off the ground. With an idea about cash flow in the financial plan, you can adjust costs accordingly and prioritize what needs to be done.

 

Get The Necessary Licenses and Permits

There may be multiple licenses and permits you need to attain in order to open your doors. While a standard business license can get you started, there are still food permits and liquor licenses that should be considered. This looks different for every region, which means it is important to do your research and know what you need for specific locations.

 

Register Your Restaurant

Register your business with the IRS to get an Employer Identification Number that is necessary for filing taxes. Consider trademarking the name of your business as well to protect your restaurant from potential poachers who want a piece of your success.

 

Define the Menu, Atmosphere, and Location

Visibility, foot traffic, and the right name can all contribute to the success of your business. Make sure to location scout and know what area may be right for your floor plan idea, the type of customers you plan to attract, and the menu that potentially will be offered. While some of this may change when the doors open, it is important to start out strong.

 

Order the Right Equipment

Equipment is a necessary part of running a business and can be costly for restaurants. Be strategic about whether to buy or lease items and stick to the basics for what you absolutely need. Consult your financial analysis to determine where finances can be allocated.

 

Hire Personable Staff

Make a list of staff members you need in order to run front and back of house efficiently. From there, you can look for personable staff who are the right fit for your team. While payroll can be quite complex with differing laws and regulations that surround tips and wages, you can simplify the process through payroll software that makes it easy to track payments.

 

Manage a Marketing Initiative

A marketing initiative is an important part of spreading awareness about your new restaurant. Google ad placement, social media campaigns, email marketing, and word-of-mouth can all contribute to awareness. Utilize current marketing trends to leverage your business towards success.

 

Create The Ideal Menu

To tie everything together for your restaurant business plan, create the ideal menu you want to serve. The menu should reflect the core ideas of your business and is the centerpiece that draws customers in. Descriptions for menu items should be clear and convey the concept of your restaurant with precision.

 

Where You Fit In The Restaurant Industry

Knowing the competitive landscape you are entering into is an important aspect of strategizing how you plan to open and market your restaurant. Restaurants are categorized into five different types. Depending on your type of restaurant, there may be different expectations and requirements in the industry.

 

Fast Food Restaurant

Fast food restaurants are also called quick-service restaurants, or QSRs. Quick service means fast preparation and casual service with limited seating and customers more often getting takeout.

 

Fast-casual

Fast-casual mirrors fast foodservice by offering freshly prepared food that is high-quality. Establishments like this typically do not offer seating, but do have higher prices due to the ingredients in their food.

 

Casual Dining

Casual dining is a full-service establishment at an affordable price. The atmosphere is often relaxed where customers sit down and enjoy a meal without having to spend too much.

 

Family Dining

Family dining does not serve alcohol and often offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Establishments are similar to casual dining but are often seen open for longer hours due to the wide range of menu options.

 

Fine Dining

Fine dining is an upscale dining experience that has a higher price point. Customers have high expectations for service, top-quality food, and a classy atmosphere. Fine dining usually serves alcohol and can feature multiple course meals.

 

Understand Restaurant Safety and Food Protocol

There are several regional, state, and federal agencies that play a role in safety measures for food handling. The guidelines for handling food and beverages are created to ensure there are no food-borne illnesses and to keep customers safe.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Food Safety and Inspection Services (FSIS) all contribute to the rules that should be abided by. The rules depend on the type of food you serve, as well as what should be in your restaurant to ensure safe food processes.

If you are looking at opening multiple locations, make sure you read and understand the guidelines for each specific location. Your restaurant will go through several inspections around safety and operational compliance. This can include food handling, food storage, employee hygiene, and operational excellence.

 

The Cost of Opening a Business

Restaurant opening costs can vary depending on the location, what you offer, and staff requirements. While starting a business can be costly, it is not impossible with the right steps in place. Remember to keep costs low where you can and keep the budget that is listed in the financial plan. If you are unsure whether you can meet the demands of the costs, consult financing options for a small business loan.

 

Payment Processing

Getting your first sale at your restaurant can be exciting. With the latest technology, you can have a seamless experience through a payment processor and point-of-sale (POS) software. A payment processor is able to handle credit and debit card transitions with no hidden fees.

With intuitive software like Modisoft, you can take payments quickly, which means you have a fast turnover rate for customer retention. An integrated POS system also can include magstripe, EMV chip, and NFC mobile payments that can help make the process smoother.

Make sure your restaurant POS system includes,

  • Inventory tracking
  • Built-in tipping and automatic tip reconciliation
  • Menu adjustment capability
  • Employee timecards and payroll
  • Data analytics
  • Immediate customer insights
  • Multiple menu management
  • Customizable floor plans
  • Effective communication channels between servers and chefs

 

Be a Strong Brand In Your Industry

A restaurant may be a business, but it is also a brand. By creating a strong brand that customers can identify with, you are building a path towards expansion and growth with reliable customers that continually return. Your brand should set you apart from other restaurants in the industry, and be a destination worth visiting. Here are a few steps to get you started in creating a strong brand.

 

Develop a Company Profile

A brand profile starts with the understanding of products, placement, promotion, price, and target market. Identify unique selling points and what sets you apart from other brands in the local area.

 

Pair Concept With Location

Not every concept works with every location. From the type of food you offer to the general atmosphere of the place, it is important to know the accessibility of the restaurant, what locals are looking for, and be aware of who the competitors are in the area.

 

Know What You Stand For

A mission statement can help steer your business where it needs to go. This can include what you do, who you are as a business, and why you enjoy running a restaurant.

 

Communicate With Efficiency

Communication is key when running a business and that includes how you communicate with your customers. Be clear, memorable, and have visual elements that offer an experience. Consider what you want for a name, logo, decor, staff uniforms, website content, and other marketing channels for a clear brand presence.

 

Host a Soft Opening

A soft opening invites people to start talking about your restaurant. It is also a way for staff to have a practice run on what is expected and to receive feedback on menu items. Take time to consider what could really benefit your business and the awareness it can attract with a soft opening that competitors will be buzzing about too.

 

Bring a Voice To Your Marketing

In your initial business plan, there should be a marketing initiative to consider. Take a look at what voice you want to portray in your marketing across social media, content marketing, email newsletter, word-of-mouth, and TV or radio ad placement. By knowing exactly who you want to reach, you can form a marketing plan that brings in more customers and establishes long-term loyalty.

 

Watch For Restaurant Trends

As a restaurant owner, you want to stay ahead of the trends. Technology, in particular, is changing how customers interact with restaurants and that includes online ordering and takeout. Offering a variety of options for pickup, dining-in, and delivery, your customers are able to access the great food you have to offer in whatever way is most comfortable for them.

 

Ask For Feedback

With an online ordering system, you can get instant feedback from customers and ask how they felt the experience and food was. Real-time data can help you determine what menu items to keep, how to optimize the customer experience, and create more positive reviews.

 

Accept Mobile Payments

Mobile payments like Apple Pay have become a vital source of how customers choose to pay. Some of the many benefits include increased security, faster payments, and general convenience.

 

Self-Serve Ordering

Automation is becoming more popular for contactless ordering and serving. QR codes allow customers to scan to order and pay for food. This takes away the unnecessary risk for servers, as well as creates an encapsulated experience that is changing how restaurants go about business.

 

Delivery and Takeout Options

Food delivery service has increasingly become more popular and is an entirely new market for many businesses. Adding a delivery or pickup option to your restaurant can increase your sales and help you stay ahead of the game in an otherwise competitive market.

Consider the steps in the guide before you open your doors. Keep in mind every restaurant is different, which means you have the opportunity to create a business plan, marketing initiative, and customer experience that is unique to you and your future success.

 

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FAQ

Rest assured that our exceptional customer support is at your service round the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We take great pride in providing you with unwavering assistance, ensuring that any issues or concerns you may encounter are swiftly and effectively addressed. Feel free to reach out to our dedicated support team whenever the need arises, as we are always here to provide you with prompt and reliable solutions.

Modisoft takes pride in providing a comprehensive suite of tools designed to facilitate seamless operations for your restaurant. With our powerful software, you can take advantage of a range of features tailored to enhance your efficiency and customer experience.

One of the standout features of Modisoft is the ability to view live sales data. This real-time visibility empowers you to monitor sales performance as it happens, allowing you to make informed decisions and swiftly address any issues that may arise.

Moreover, our software enables you to create customizable menus for ordering. You have the flexibility to design menus that align with your restaurant’s unique offerings, making it easier for customers to browse and select their desired items. This customization feature ensures a user-friendly ordering experience that caters to your specific requirements.

Additionally, Modisoft supports digital menu boards for pricing. By leveraging this functionality, you can easily update and display pricing information on digital screens within your restaurant. This dynamic approach eliminates the need for manual price changes and enhances the overall aesthetics of your establishment.

We’re pleased to announce that the cost to run the POS system aligns with the subscription for your back-office software. This streamlined approach simplifies your financial management, allowing you to enjoy a unified pricing structure that covers both the hardware and software components.

Maximize the potential of Cartzie Campaigns, our exceptional tool, by harnessing its features to create customer loyalty and drive repeat visits to your store. With Cartzie Campaigns, you can implement robust loyalty programs that incentivize customers to return, fostering a strong and lasting relationship with your brand.

Furthermore, take advantage of the automated customer outreach capabilities of Cartzie Campaigns through text messaging. This powerful feature allows you to engage with your customer base proactively, sending personalized messages, promotions, and updates directly to their mobile devices. By automating this process, you save time and effort while maintaining consistent and effective communication with your valued customers.

Additionally, our software empowers you to offer online ordering, opening up new avenues for sales and customer convenience.

By leveraging Cartzie Campaigns’ loyalty programs, automated customer outreach via text messaging, and online ordering capabilities, you can enhance customer engagement, increase sales, and deliver exceptional customer experiences. Embrace the full potential of these tools to grow your business and establish a strong presence in the digital realm.

About Altria

Altria Group, Inc. is one of the world’s largest producers and marketers of tobacco and related products. They have been the undisputed market leaders in the U.S. tobacco industry for decades.

Altria Group is known for owning the most enduring names in American business including but not limited to Philip Morris USA, John Middleton, and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company.

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Benefits

  • Monitor and track all promotional efforts by directly integrating deals into insights
  • Receive Altria rebates smoothly by sharing scan data reports
  • Generate Altria scan data report program at a click

Pricing

Included in Advanced Plan

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About Cartzie

Cartzie is a loyalty application designed by Modisoft, with you in mind. It is a one-stop loyalty and online ordering solution that is fully equipped with all the tools needed to make your business grow.

With Cartzie, you can do curbside pickups, delivery, and drive-thru ordering. Cartzie has revolutionized the way businesses interact with customers.

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Benefits

  • Add delivery options for your customers
  • Boost your marketing efforts through targeted campaigns
  • Take your business online in a few clicks
  • Receive payments online for your orders

Pricing

+$59 per month with Retail Plans

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About Comdata

COMDATA has been serving businesses for over 45 years and is recognized as a leading provider of commercial payment solutions. They specialize in serving the trucking industry and are known as an issuer of fleet fuel cards, trucking permits, corporate spend cards, and paperless payroll cards.

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Benefits

  • Automatically transfer sales data from the Comdata POS into Modisoft back-office software
  • Get an all-in-one solution to monitor and track your sales separately
  • Easy accessibility to manage all your fuel sales

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Included in Advanced Plan

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About DoorDash

DoorDash, Inc. is a food ordering and delivery platform based in San Francisco. It is the largest food delivery company in the United States with more than 50% of the market share in the convenience delivery category. It provides an on-demand food delivery service to restaurants and stores. Their services help businesses innovate, grow, and reach more customers.

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Benefits

  • Receive order directly into your POS System
  • Manage your online DoorDash menu
  • Enable DoorDash orders for your customers

Pricing

+$69 per month for Third-Party Order Management

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About Fintech

Fintech has been dedicated to serving the beverage alcohol industry for the last 30+ years. Established in 1991, Fintech operates from its headquarters based in Tampa, Florida. Supported by TA Associates and General Atlantic, Fintech automates alcohol invoice payment, streamlines payment collections, and facilitates comprehensive data capture for 1 million B2B business relationships.

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Benefits

  • Import vendor invoices directly into your back office
  • Optimize purchase order management
  • Improve your alcohol vendor management

Pricing

+$5 per month

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About Gilbarco Veeder-Root

Gilbarco Inc. is a supplier of fueling equipment including fuel dispensers, payment systems, point-of-sales systems, and support services. The company operates from Greensboro, North Carolina.

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Benefits

  • Effortlessly connect your POS data from the Gilbarco system to Modisoft Insights

Pricing

Included in Advanced Plan

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About Instacart

Instacart is a delivery company that operates a grocery delivery and pick-up service in Canada, and the United States. It is one of the largest grocery marketplaces in North America. Instacart makes the delivery process easy for store owners.

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Benefits

  • Monitor and manage your Instacart inventory levels from Modisoft Insights
  • Updated Instacart inventory levels in real-time
  • Avoid stockouts by ensuring accurate inventory levels

Pricing

+$15 per month

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About Retalix

Retalix Ltd was established in 1982 and is now owned by NCR Corporations. It develops licensed and supported software applications for retailers, wholesalers, and distributors of fast-moving consumer goods.

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Benefits

  • Easily Import sales data for reports and analytics from the Retalix POS system
  • Monitor sales in real-time

Pricing

Included in Advanced Plan

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About Paycue

Paycue is Modisoft’s preferred payment processing provider. It helps businesses to streamline their setup process to be faster and more efficient. Paycue assists businesses with faster payments and smoother customer interaction.

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Benefits

  • Enjoy minimal fees on transactions
  • Seamless integration
  • Speedy transactions
  • Secure payments

Pricing

No monthly fee. Only pay when you sell.

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About Plaid

Plaid Inc. is a financial service company that builds a data transfer network that powers digital finance and fintech products. Plaid assists businesses in connecting their financial accounts to fintech services. The company's product enables applications to seamlessly connect with the user's bank account.

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Benefits

  • Build a quick and secure connection to your bank account
  • Easily manage your bank reconciliation to match your book records
  • Experience an easier way to connect with your bank account

Pricing

Included in Advanced Plan

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About RJ Reynolds

R.J. Reynolds is a leading tobacco manufacturing company in the United States. Founded by R.J. Reynolds in 1875, the company is a subsidiary of Reynolds American. RJR holds the largest brand portfolio including but not limited to Kent, Pall Mall, Camel, and Newport. The company is based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

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Benefits

  • Offer tobacco loyalty from the industry's leading brands
  • Monitor all promotional efforts in just a few clicks
  • Get your rebates easily

Pricing

Included in Advanced Plan

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