The Essential Checklist to Opening a Restaurant

The Essential Checklist to Opening a Restaurant

The hospitality sector has been one of the areas severely hit by the pandemic in the past year and a half. From hotels to restaurants, we watched on as a huge number of franchises had to shut down, while others had the chance to strategize and come up with new ways to deliver great products and services. Thankfully, the restaurant industry is picking up now, and with it, the sudden urge for many to venture into the restaurant business. If you’re planning to open a restaurant, this guide covers everything from the conception of your business to scouting for locations and acquiring funds.

Restaurant Theme


The first thing to do before anything else is to work on the branding of your upcoming restaurant to properly understand the message you wish to convey to your customers. This message is exhibited in a myriad of things such as your menu items, interior design, and, finally, you are aesthetic.

When you think of aesthetics for eateries, the best designs are usually the family-style, fast-casual look, fine dining, and a bistro or cafe design. As part of your concept, add a touch of uniqueness to everything your restaurant has to offer. You can do this via curating exotic menu items, a standout ambiance, and working around a theme. If you’re in the Phoenix, AZ area, you can consider catchy painted signs in and around your store. Many exterior painters in Phoenix specialize in using accent color to bring new life to storefronts.


The best way to find and select a suitable neighborhood is by scouting different potential locations. This activity should be done with your chosen target market in mind. The location you pick goes a long way to address how your restaurant will stand out from the competing crowd, so be sure to invest time and resources in selecting the best location. Think about the logistics, from the restaurant equipment lease and overall lease term to accessibility and even parking. Study the community and scope out all competing brands to know how your restaurant can fill in where they are short.

Business Plan

Having an insanely attractive space is great, but you might be setting yourself up for failure without a detailed and workable business plan. Business plans are considered proposals and checklists that help you obtain funding for your project. It features an action plan and a comprehensive description of the important aspects of your business that will be of interest to potential investors.

Your business plan must cover your overall mission statement, the concept guiding your brand, how this concept will be executed, the costs involved, and the expected returns.



This is probably one of the most exciting tasks you’ll undertake on your restaurant-building journey. Curating your menu gives you a great chance to bring your vision for the restaurant to life; after all, food is the reason you’re in business. It’s vital to keep in mind that the foods you choose will largely determine the equipment you’ll need to purchase, as well as how high or low your prices will be set.


Your staff can make or break your business; thus, you must take time in selecting them. Be sure to employ skilled and certified individuals who can walk and talk in a manner that represents your restaurant positively. Depending on the size of your restaurant, you’ll need to fill several positions, from waiters to managers and chefs. It will demand a lot of time and effort, so it’s best to start as early as possible. For the best staff, use referrals, job boards, career sites, or recruitment agencies.

If you want to start a food business this might be the best time, considering the reduced competition and the availability of new modern ways of getting meals to customers. We hope this comprehensive checklist will guide you on what to do before you finally open your restaurant.

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