In the last of our series on Starting Your Own Restaurant, especially for budding restaurateurs, we pull everything together in a checklist.
Making a profit is the most important— some might say this is the only objective of a business. Profit measures success. It can be defined simply: revenues less expenses = profit. So, to increase profits, you must raise revenues, lower expenses, or both. To make improvements, you must know what’s going on financially at all times.
Secrets of Success for Restaurateurs
CONTROL (168 hrs./week)
KISS – keep it simple stupid (menu / concept / etc)
WORKING CAPITAL / CASH FLOW
Here’s the checklist:
Plan no profit first year – caveat debt service
Initially request credit – negotiate for 7-30 days
Try to avoid signing personally – especially not for ongoing product and supplies
Negotiate all prices –insist on credit for spoiled food not seen on delivery or goes bad
Do you run a blog for your small business? Blogs are a great way to humanize your company while drawing in new customers, engaging with returning clientele, and offering need-to-know details about your products or services. But what else can your business blog do for you?
Blogging can be a great source of additional income. Even if you aren’t familiar with writing for profit, you can still monetize your blog in a way that speaks to your brand. Here are three ways to stir up funds while still staying true to your audience.
Write for your niche.
They say the best writers start by writing what they know — and the same should go for your business blog. If you’re a printing shop that focuses on creating custom T-shirt designs, you wouldn’t blog about the scrumptious lava cake recipe you found on Pinterest. Why? Because your followers aren’t looking to you for baking advice. They want the latest trends in printing and screening, where to buy new clothing, or tips for creating a fun and unique design.
Pro tip: Stay true to your business and keep your audience in mind — once you find your niche, you can create content that boosts engagement and leads to profit.
Take the time to flesh out every concept. One topic about T-shirts could turn into 20 posts about where to buy, how to shop, and best practices for custom graphics. This type of hyper-specific content is profitable because it speaks to your audience directly. You can link to individual products or services, driving your readers down appropriate marketing channels and boosting revenue.
Secure sponsored posts.
Once you have an established presence online, you might be asked to write guest articles for outside sites (or you can even approach businesses of your own volition). Sponsored posts are a great way to earn extra income while still promoting your company or brand.
If you already have an established business presence, you’ll bring loads of knowledge and accountability to the table — not to mention a strong potential for followers. When it comes to blogging, making connections across the board is vital.
Pro tip: Take the time to develop and foster relationships with others in your industry, and seed your interests over time.
Don’t randomly approach someone with no prior affiliation — they’ll likely turn you down. But if you work toward a solid relationship and create content specific to your target audience, you’ll be in a position to successfully pitch your articles to those around you. And don’t forget to link back to your site!
Don’t be afraid of ads.
Ads are a sticky topic. Most business owners don’t want to bog down their sites with advertisements that could potentially detract from the authenticity of the content. I get that. But in all reality, it’s your site. Your blog. You are the one in control of your content and layout. If you feel like there are too many ads, then scale it back a bit. But don’t avoid them entirely.
Pro tip: You might not know when your blog traffic is going to spike — but if it does and you don’t have ads in place, you’ll miss out on some serious cash.
Pick and choose ads to your liking. Align yourself with other small businesses or companies that you feel speak to your brand. There’s no hard-fast rule saying you have to use one ad over the other, so continue to control your space by being selective. That way, you’re not distracting your readers from the purpose of your blog while still giving yourself the opportunity to make a little extra. Next time a big traffic spike hits, your bank account will thank you.
Taking some money home
There are plenty of ways to engage your customers while monetizing your business blog. And when you’re a small business owner looking for extra ways to bring in a little cash, turning your thoughts into profit is a good way to go. Don’t have a blog yet? No worries — they’re pretty easy to start. And if you’ve got a blog in the works but need a little help boosting your traffic, you can check out these tips to get your business booming. Happy blogging!
About the Author:
Maxym Martineau is a content writer for Professional Web Services at GoDaddy and a freelance writer based out of Arizona. She’s an avid reader with a love for social media and blogging. Connect with Maxym on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.
We at SCORE are dedicated to helping you get started and become successful business owners. As we continue with the “So You Want to Start a New Restaurant” series, we deal with construction. Construction is always a challenge — not matter what you’re building!
Building Your New Restaurant
If you are going to build or remodel a restaurant, your general contractor will need a set of scaled construction documents, often called “working drawings” for submittal to your local building and health department.
Here is a list of typical drawings you’ll need for your contractor:
Cover Sheet with site and project information
Demolition Plan, if applicable
Store Front Elevations, if applicable
Floor Plan with FF&E (Furniture, fixtures and equipment)
Environmental Plans for Health Department
Finish Plans and Schedules
Kitchen Equipment Elevations
Exhaust and Make-up Air Plan
Refrigeration and Curb Plans
Plumbing and Electrical Rough in Plans
Detail Drawings for custom cabinetry and fixtures
Furniture and Equipment Specifications
Reflected Ceiling Plan
Electrical and Telephone plans
Mechanical Plan/ HVAC Plan
Door, Window and Ceiling Details
All your plans, drawings and specifications must be in compliance with the building and health codes that are applicable to your location and be approved by the following regulatory agencies.
County Health Department
Department of Building and Safety
Most restaurants must comply with the “Americans with Disabilities Act” (Mossier)
Build out cost for a new restaurant +/- $80-150 per sq.ft
Furniture, Fixtures, Equipment +/- $20-30 per sq.ft. , consider used.
New, hot location rents = $28-38 per sq.ft.
Tenant Improvement allowance (TI) allowance (negotiable) up to of 20% rent.
Build Cost should not exceed 25% projected sales
Caveat gray vs. vanilla shell (gray totally unfinished) as well as allowance issues.
Caveat concept impulse (requires high traffic) vs. destination.
To project income calculate number of seats ( 2800 sq. ft. -> 100 seats incl. kitchen – total build out costs & fixtures = +/-_ 450k or $160/ft. furniture & equipment = 20-22% of total)
By David Spindell, Certified SCORE Business Mentor
I was born in Brooklyn, New York. My neighborhood was the slum of Brooklyn. In my school they were trying a new system of education. They were going to let the students learn at their own pace — in other words, not to follow any school curriculum. I was learning how to go from writing print to script.
We moved to a new neighborhood and a new school. The students were reading a book a week, and doing a book report. I became the dumbest student in the school. I had to work extra hard to move ahead in life. My father was a Local 3 Union electrician. So I got into the union because it was a father and son union.
Life was extra hard for me. I was saved by my business smarts. Which I want to share with you.
I was a successful electrical contractor who ran a multi-million dollar electrical company for 35 years. I’ve had a plumbing business, a bar, a bagel store, a jewelry store and a pawn shop. I am a very diversified entrepreneur.
I was very lucky to learn all bout business, from my first partner and I want to share with you what he shared with me that made me very successful ,
And show you where you can find a partner like I had. I want to teach you how you will know to find the right answers to all your business questions. I want to give you the confidence, to know that you can be successful at any business you go in to.
You are a very bright person, you can over come any obstacle. From my experience you will learn all you need to know to become successful.
I will teach you:
How to find a business
How to fund a business
How to run a business
How to start a business with very little money,even no money
How to go from the dumbest student to the smartest
How a billionaire made all his money with out paying any taxes – Legally
How to get a amazing partner like I did
How to do the right thing
How to continue your success
Confidence is the key to becoming a successful entrepreneur. If you have the confidence nothing can stop you. You know how to handle any situation that could come up. I want to give you the confidence. And watch you grow into the business giant you could be.
If you want to run your own business you have to look at the good:
You control your own destiny
You can make a lot of money.
You are respected by your peers.
You have full control if your life.
You can help others
Hopefully, you will become a very confident human being!
Develop detailed process flows and checklists that document the steps of how you do business. This is the first step in building a restaurant capable of producing consistent products efficiently with the financial results expected. These processes and checklists should be designed to use as a guide in deciding what the restaurant should be doing in the following key operational areas:
Manager’s shift change
Preparing Menus andSetting the Right Price
Plan your menu carefully.
Know what items your customers prefer and how they like them prepared. Provide variety while maintaining stable cost averages.
Menu prices are a combination of food costs and what is needed to meet expenses and realize a profit. Generally, the price of an item is approximately more then three times the food costs, depending on restaurant type, operating expenses and competitors’ prices.
To establish pricing:
Estimate your sales—counter-balance higher cost items tagged with lower mark-up, with higher mark-ups on lower cost items;
Maintain a desired overall food cost percentage including waste and shrinkage, usually 30% or less of gross sales to obtain a normal margin of profit;
Balance items ranging in popularity—monitor high demand items which can determine your success.
In the restaurant business, you must have procedures for controlling inventory and costs. Ask people in the industry for information about procedures for:
Purchasing and Inventory Control. Develop centralized control over all buying and physical inventory that is easily defined and integral to the profit and expense control process. Know exactly what minimum inventory exists and needs to be maintained. This capability can be obtained with QuickBooks and other equivalent software programs – but it must be kept current to be effective.
Most of the time, purchasing is done over the telephone, by fax, or online. Often no contract is signed between the purchaser and the supplier; therefore, it is essential that you choose your supplier carefully.
Develop specifications on food brand names, size, quantity, grade/weight, delivery time/place, emergency deliveries, availability and policies for substitutes or damaged goods. Entertain bids from multiple sources and get the best product for the lowest price. Use a Purchasing and Receiving Form.
Receiving. Check all deliveries against the Purchasing and Receiving Form, focusing on three things: quantity, price and quality (i.e., temperature: frozen goods must be frozen); packaging should be intact. Make sure specifications are met. Careful recording will show short shipments, price variations and weight differences.
Budgeting and Projecting. Establish a cash budget and maintain cash flow projections on a continual basis.
Calculating Monthly Food Costs. Determine the actual cost of food consumed and the actual cost of food sold. This is a combination of opening inventories, purchases, adjustments and closing inventories. This ratio should remain relatively constant.
Calculating Beverage Costs. Record all bottle deliveries and purchases.
Preparing Food. Make sure staff understand portion sizes (photograph entrees or give written instructions) and set up a recipe reference file to list dishes, portions and supplies needed.
Ensure refrigerated and frozen products are quickly placed in a cold storage – storage temperature for dry goods (between 10-21 C) and frozen goods (-18 C or less). Rotate your stock to ensure that oldest items are used first before the new stock.