Starting Your Own BBQ Restaurant
Perhaps you are pondering on engaging in the profitable business of grills and barbecues. We would like to tell you are into a promising venture that will help you financially. One of the things to consider is, of course, the quality and taste of your food offerings aside from the ambiance, price rates, and the variety of choices available.
This article is meant to help you put up your very own BBQ restaurant.
Start with the Basics
Unlike common restaurants, a bbq restaurant is much simpler although not less taxing to run. You need to showcase your basic business skills such as accounting, record keeping, HR management and marketing. On top of this, you need to have at least exceptional love for food, specifically grilled and barbecued ones. To some extent, home-made and family recipes seem to capture a large chunk of the market as well as those that promise added health benefits. A good location for a restaurant is characterized by ample human traffic and often visited by potential customers such as office/government workers and students. If you're renting a space, search out landlords offering agreeable rates and terms. Register your business and obtain applicable licenses/permits. Visit the U.S. Internal Revenue Service office and State Revenue Agency regarding business registration.
Secure BBQ Equipment/Materials
You may actually utilize what extras your kitchen provides. It is always an advantage to start small especially when you don't have much experience or overwhelming capital to spend yet. The family's griller or grill-oven can be used for your restaurant, as well as your extra refrigerator/freezer for storing your meat, vegetables and other ingredients. Condiments, saucers, plates, spoons, forks, knives and other kitchen utensils are also needed. A couple of tables and chairs would do for a small restaurant. If you can't find any extra stuff in the house, you may secure less expensive materials from discount stores and on-line. Recipes and techniques are also highly available from the Internet for your disposal. A computer with Internet connection, a telephone and/or fax machine, cash register, receipt and document printer and a calculating tool are also some of the essential stuff for your restaurant. You may also use your car for running errands, small deliveries and purchasing items for the restaurant.
You may purchase grill&smoker equipment for as low as $100 to as high as $1,500. Prices of some freezers and refrigerators are more or less the same as most grill&smoker. To sum up, a start-up capital of $15,000 to $20,000 may be sufficient for a small-scale BBQ restaurant.
To market your product, you may use classified ads, posters and/or fliers, combined with enticing music and eye-catching signboard. But the best method of all is the favorable commendation by your satisfied customers. Keep them all coming back for more of your mouth-watering, fall-off-the-bone and high quality grills and barbecues.
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My constantly being told I should open a place, but I don't want to leave my full-time employment.
Do you have any ideas how I could start out without leaving my current income employment?
Key areas include:
- Finding new customers and keeping existing business / Marketing
- Food Logistics
- Staff Management
- Table/booking management & billing
- Financial reporting, Accounts payable and Accounting.
If you are like me, being gen Y or X, then you'll be sweet with leveraging internet tools as a way to promote and run your business - i've found working with older restaurant owners that they are less likely to be adopters of technology, but this doesn't help in a competitive and financially challenging environment. For me the most time consuming area has been food logistics and staff management, you really need a hands on approach for this. For marketing, tables/booking management and the financial area I use web and iphone applications.
The most useful tool for me which has been a godsend is yumtable.com - a last minute restaurant booking service, essentially allows you to post tables and deals online where you have quiet time periods, eg Mon/Tuesday evenings or for last minute cancellations. But because you can tailor your own offers at any time period for any number of tables, i've also used it for specials as well, eg I got a good deal on snapper and offered 5 tables a night for a special sitting at 5pm with a movie ticket with a snapper main. It's great fun and new and old customers have used it - Offers are also automatically posted to your facebook and twitter accounts 2 hours before they expire - which leverages the social network of my cafe. I also get bookings from text messages so it's very efficient and with no equipment costs and it's free to use for the first 20 bookings to see if it works.
opentable.com has also been handy but I find that most of my customers have bookmarked my phone number to call for a booking rather than bothering online. For accounting I'm using xero.com, it's an amazing tool that literally takes your purchases from your bank feeds and after you teach it, will remember what transaction should go to what account - this is truly a huuuuge time saver. Being online, at any point i can log in and see the status of my business and it's health - without minimal need for a bookkeeper. Costs around $50 a month but worth it for you not having to think about your accounts, whenever i log in it's all there without the need to spend early hours of the morning entering in receipts, etc.
The last tool i've found useful is billstrust.com - this nifty online business is awesome for businesses that get lots of bills from lots of sources - you can simply grab any bill including hand written ones and fax/email or take a pic with your camera phone and email it - and this service will handle data entry and queue up the bill for payment by the due date - you can view at any one time your liabilities due over coming months. I get stacks of supplier bills as well as your standard electricity/gas bills so all my bills are in one place - and i can sync it with my xero account to have a real time picture of where my business is at - again this saves on the need for a bookkeeper. The only thing i'd like to be easier is payroll management, but i'm looking into solutions at the moment for that.