If you’ve always dreamed of opening an Italian Bistro—whether you’ve just always had a passion for the food or a hereditary tie to the culture—taking the first steps on your restaurateur journey is quite an exciting time. You probably have a specific vision for what kind of food you want to feature and may even be coming into this with one of your grandmother’s famous recipes in tow. You’ve got the cooking on lock, and now it’s time to fill in the rest of the blanks. The trickiest part of running a restaurant for beginners is making sound management decisions. Here’s your beginner’s guide that will help you get to your opening and beyond.
Equip yourself for success.
Even if you’re going for an eclectic style bistro, there’s still so much you need in order to make the restaurant run smoothly and efficiently. From refrigeration and commercial cooking equipment to janitorial supplies and other disposables, like napkins, there’s a lot of equipment you need to run a successful restaurant that’s up to par and code. You can purchase all of the equipment you need in one place, by looking specifically at restaurant supply companies.
You want the best in the business, and by shopping with one company; you’ll ensure that you don’t sacrifice quality or overlook an important need. GoFoodservice understands that the restaurant industry is constantly changing. Their thirty years of experience has certainly taught them to be adaptable and always looking for cutting edge and innovative supplies that can grow with your business. They’re only interested in supplying you with the best products available to keep your business safe, efficient, reliable, and as environmentally friendly as possible. Make your restaurant space the best it can be by going through a trusted supplier for all of your needs.
Find a professional to manage the books.
If you’ve ever seen an episode of Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares, you know there’s a lot that can go wrong in the management of a restaurant. If crunching the numbers, budgeting, and payroll aren’t your strong suit, it’s very important that you hire someone who’s experienced to take over that part of the job.
Even if you can only pay someone part-time to help you, having another set of eyes on the finances will make the day-to-day run more smoothly. Hiring someone else to get started, will give you time to get more experience and maybe even go back to school for your graduate-level business degree. That way you can eventually take over the full responsibility of management with complete knowledge and experience in the restaurant industry. Don’t be afraid to hire people to fill in the gaps in your experience. You’ll learn a lot and your business with thrive.
Be able to parse through the “advice” you’re given.
Everyone has opinions on how you should open your bistro; from well-meaning family members to designers who may try to upcharge you if you’re not diligent. Although listening to advice isn’t a bad idea, because you might actually learn something, trying to take everyone’s advice is ultimately going to get you farther away from your vision. In an interview with Forbes, chef Chris Dupont encourages restaurant openers to “tune out advice,” because you’ll end up spending a lot more than you budgeted to accomplish everyone’s “great” ideas. Make a plan and stick to it. You can always add on later if something isn’t working.
Find what makes you unique and advertise it.
There’s more than one Italian Bistro in almost every city. However, don’t let that stop you from following your dream. You just need to find what makes your restaurant different than all of the others in the area. Is it that family recipe? Are you going for a more upscale ambiance? Go and dine at the others in the area. You’ll learn quickly where your vision differs. Now, go and tell the world about your exciting, new restaurant.
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