Starting a Caribbean Restaurant

This article is a feature on starting a Caribbean restaurant. It offers tools, guides and tips on how to get started in the restaurant business.

The demands and pressure of office work may lead one to explore other economic opportunities such as starting one’s own business. Accordingly, a restaurant business is one of the most profitable business ventures. Everybody loves to eat and they will eat only in the best restaurant they can find.

Caribbean themed restaurants are a unique take on the restaurant business today. Food lovers are taken to the crystal clear waters, white sand and warmth of the sun of the Caribbean islands through the exotic and exciting Caribbean gastronomic experience. To start a Caribbean restaurant, here are some useful tips and guides for new entrepreneurs.

Decide Whether to Establish a New Caribbean Restaurant or to Franchise

First and foremost consideration is to decide whether to establish a new restaurant or to explore franchising options. Franchising may seem to be the easier option. When one franchises an already existing restaurant, he does not have to think of the menu, the look of the restaurant and the manner of service. But this option gives the restaurateur less control on the direction the business will take, and getting acquainted with how the franchise operates.

On the other hand, if one decides to start a new Caribbean restaurant, he needs to think of the food to serve, the look of the restaurant and the restaurant space among others. Although this is the case, the new restaurateur has the control of everything. He can serve any Caribbean food he desires and the manner of catering to the needs of the patrons.

The Menu: Food and Drinks to Serve

The next thing to do is to decide what dishes to include in the menu. The Caribbean cuisine is a fusion of a variety of influences. This includes Spanish, French, Amerindian, African and Indian flavors. The menu must include popular Caribbean dishes such as Caribbean Madras Rice, Pastelillos, Sandwich Cubano, Jamaica Curry Mutton and Caribbean Trinidad Roti. It is also necessary to decide whether or not to include a bar and serve cocktail drinks.

With this, it is important that the restaurateur knows how to cook the dishes he intends to include the menu and the preparation of the cocktail drinks. Knowledge of the Caribbean palate is essential in establishing a Caribbean restaurant business. At least know the preparation and techniques in cooking the Caribbean cuisines.

Find a Suitable Restaurant Space

In finding a space for the Caribbean restaurant, take into consideration the competition, the marketability of the Caribbean food in the area and the convenience to the patrons. It is a plus if a space is provided for customers to park their vehicles.

A restaurant space must be large enough to accommodate customers without sacrificing comfort. It is also vital that the interior organization of the tables and chairs, especially the kitchen, must be efficient and economical.

Paper Works and Legalities

A restaurateur must not forget to settle all the legal issues regarding the restaurant. It is advisable to ask the local authorities for the requirements in getting a business permit. Consult also with the local health officer on how to acquire health and sanitary permits.


  • lazia alicia henry said on October 24, 2013
    I've just started a small catering business at home but i seem to lost the ability to keep focus. My food are great but i believe because i started with a small a cash that's why am not getting up to the right start. What advice can you give me. To make customers come frequently than once in awhile.
  • sharon dunk said on November 19, 2013
    I want to start a caribbean restsurant in plainfield nj
  • Sharon Dunkley said on November 19, 2013
    I am seeking advise on starting a caribbean restaurant
  • shema said on November 22, 2013
    Hi @sharon Dunkley, I am thinking of doing the same thing, we should out our ideas together I am in columbus ohio. We could help each other, plus I am from the caribbean lol


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