How to Set Up A Restaurant On a Budget
by Mashum Mollah Small Business 23 July 2018
Setting up your dream restaurant can be equally exciting and overwhelming, as you must work to deadlines, conjure up a superlative menu, get the supplies and furniture in order, and do it all within a predetermined budget.
While there are many tips and tricks to cut costs when investing in your long-awaited culinary dream, industry experts advise new restaurateurs against compromising quality for the sake of keeping costs down. If you’re looking for ways to save on your setup costs but also maintain a certain level of service standard, you’ll find most if not all of the following tips useful.
Borrow from family instead of taking out a loan :
If you’re just testing waters and wish to start small, it may make sense to borrow a sum or a portion of it from your loved ones rather than get caught in the hassle of securing a business loan and paying unnecessary interest to the lender. Start small and keep a tight rein on your overheads and running costs until the restaurant becomes profitable.
If borrowing money from family is not an option, try getting your dream funded by a venture capitalist or look for a small-business loan with low-interest rates and friendly repayment options.
Buy your supplies online :
Buy restaurant supplies such as tableware, flatware, and linen from a reputed online seller that specializes in high-quality restaurant and hotel supplies and can offer you a wide range of choices at affordable prices. For instance, VegaDirect.ca is a trusted name in the hospitality industry for their large collection of stylish yet affordable dinnerware, kitchen equipment, steel furniture, staff clothing, and more. The best part about purchasing your restaurant ware from a virtual store is that you get to view the entire range without having to travel to the store, and the products are delivered at your doorstep usually at no extra charge.
Online wholesale suppliers often have great offers and discounts for bulk and repeat purchases. So get going and don’t shy away from requesting for a discount.
Consider buying pre-used kitchen equipment :
While this may not be what you intended to do when you first thought of opening a restaurant, buying pre-used heavy-duty cooking equipment for your kitchen can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars in set-up costs. There are plenty of online and local forums where you can get a good deal on second-hand restaurant equipment—just make sure to have the equipment inspected by a professional before you pay for it.
Doing this will help you kickstart the kitchen, and as you grow and your little joint starts making money, you can always upgrade to the latest high-tech cooking equipment you’ve eyed from the start.
Keep the décor simple yet classy :
Sophisticated restaurant décor may not necessarily be expensive. By choosing the right materials, colors and accessories, you can save tons of money when purchasing the furniture, serving ware and decorative items for your restaurant. Take ideas from the web on how to set up a warm little eatery on a budget or get help from a budding designer in the family to help you with creating the ambiance you want within your budget.
When it comes to restaurant décor, customers generally don’t mind a simple, earthy décor as long as the food is outstanding. At the same time, remember to maintain the fine line between tacky and affordably stylish.
Avoid these extravagances :
According to industry experts, startup restaurants and cafes often end up overspending in key areas where they can easily make big savings. These are: buying brand-new equipment; buying more equipment than the kitchen currently needs; going all tech-savvy with the day-to-day operations and investing in all sorts of gadgets and devices right at the start; spending excessively on marketing and promotion while ignoring the cheaper marketing tools to attract customers (such as online marketing and social media); overspending on decorative pieces; not having a food budget and not looking for cost savings when making bulk purchases.
Just because your startup has secured the funding does not mean you must spend it all on setting up the place. Every penny saved at the start will help your restaurant sail through the unavoidable ups and downs of a hospitality business.
To conclude, there are several ways to bring down the initial and operational costs of a budding restaurant. The first crucial step is, of course, making a robust and practical plan as a team and sticking with it no matter what.
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