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Starting A Restaurant? Avoid Epic Fail

epic fail architectureBringing a restaurant concept from dream to reality is one of the most stressful, mind-boggling projects any restaurateur will attempt in their career.  There are literally thousands of things, dozens of people, and weeks of work that must fall into place to make a restaurant opening successful – and that’s not even thinking about the money.

If you’re thinking about opening a restaurant or even remodeling your existing establishment, here are the top 5 things you should consider in order to avoid EPIC FAIL:

1)  Get The Business Plan & The Money Out Of The Way First – Don’t start looking at spaces, lining up contractors, and getting yourself deeper into the rabbit hole of preparing for opening day until you absolutely have your ducks in a row when it comes to the money.  You know what they say – money talks and you-know-what walks so don’t start talking until you’ve honed that business plan until it’s razor sharp and convinced some smart people (preferably of the banking variety) to put some real money down.  Learn more about writing a good restaurant business plan here.

2) Assemble Your Team & Define Roles It’s never too early to start assembling the team of people who will run your restaurant.  Getting them lined up early means they’re involved from the start and able to help you down the road when the going gets rough.  This is also the time to determine the role your investors will play – and this is important because you’ll be surprised how much people have to say when their money is on the line.  Make sure you understand how much they will be involved before you start getting too many cooks in the proverbial kitchen.

3) Don’t Skimp On Design – Putting together a clear schematic of the entire floor plan of your restaurant before you start is crucial to a proper build-out.  Most aspiring restaurateurs hire an architect to help them convert a commercial space into their dream concept – but even more important is to find a restaurant designer who can either work with your architect or design the space from scratch for you.  A designer with food service experience is essential to your success because there are many considerations that come into play when designing a restaurant space that are not part of a typical commercial space (food safety, anyone?) design.  See how Tundra can help you with professional design services.

4) Don’t Buy Equipment & Supplies Piecemeal – It’s entirely possible that you’ll be able to save a little cash here and there by shopping around for the equipment and supplies you need for opening day and buying up what you need when you find the absolutely lowest price.  The downside to piecemeal is that you’re going to be very, very, very busy in those few months leading up to opening day, and if there isn’t someone paying attention to the big picture when comes to buying exactly what you need, then you’re going to find yourself scrambling to fill gaps when you start firing up the kitchen for test runs.  See how Tundra can help you with equipment & smallwares packages.

Then what happens is you expedite stuff you need yesterday and all your savings go to overnight shipping.  Don’t do it piecemeal.  Get a complete opening package and let someone else worry about making sure you have every single tool you need, from an 8 burner range to color coded tongs.

5) Don’t Start Marketing On Opening Day – There’s nothing quite as exciting for customers as walking buy a new restaurant space before it opens.  What will they serve?  How will the atmosphere be?  When you’re the new kid in town you have a unique opportunity to win over a lot of customers fast.  Don’t forget that while you’re trying to take care of everything else that comes with opening a new restaurant.  Get active on social media, contact the local press, and share your restaurant opening story with potential customers to build buzz.  Get more marketing tips here.

Okay!  Ready To Get Started?  Tundra Can Help!

Tundra has a long history of supporting entrepreneurs in the food service industry.  For years we have handled complete smallwares & equipment opening packages for restaurants large and small.

Starting in January, however, our suite of restaurant opening and remodel services just got a whole lot better.

That’s because Tundra brought Jeff Katz – a restaurant designer with 30 years of experience – on board to head up our new Tundra Design Group.  Jeff has worked with restaurants all over Colorado and across the U.S., including internationally known establishments like Matsuhisa and local gems like The Kitchen Cafe.

Here’s what the Tundra Design Group can do for you:

  • Refine your concept and clarify operating procedures
  • Develop schematics so you can see design options visually
  • Help you select the right equipment and smallwares that fit your operation
  • Collaborate with your architect or use our own resources to develop construction documents
  • Manage your equipment package, from purchase to installation
  • Provide a complete smallwares and table top package

From start to finish, we’re here to help you make your restaurant concept a reality!

More about Jeff Katz

More about Tundra equipment & smallwares packages

With over 50,000 products, a dedicated equipment and smallwares package team, and long-standing relationships with the top vendors and manufacturers in the food service industry, Tundra has all of the resources you need to start a new restaurant, from concept to reality!

About Greg McGuire

Greg has blogged about the food service industry for years and has been published in industry magazines, like Independent Restaurateur and industry blogs like Restaurant SmartBrief. He lives in Colorado with his wife and two sons and enjoys reading, live music, and the great outdoors.

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