By Roger Robinson, Ph.D., SCORE, Mentor

In the last of our series on Starting Your Own Restaurant, especially for budding restaurateurs, we pull everything together in a checklist.

Making a profit is the most important some might say this is the only objective of a business. Profit measures success. It can be defined simply: revenues less expenses = profit. So, to increase profits, you must raise revenues, lower expenses, or both. To make improvements, you must know what’s going on financially at all times.

Secrets of Success for Restaurateurs

  • CONTROL (168 hrs./week)
  • KISS – keep it simple stupid (menu / concept / etc)
  • WORKING CAPITAL / CASH FLOW

Here’s the checklist:

  1. Plan no profit first year – caveat debt service
  2. Initially request credit – negotiate for 7-30 days
  3. Try to avoid signing personally – especially not for ongoing product and supplies
  4. Negotiate all prices –insist on credit for spoiled food not seen on delivery or goes bad
  5. Good accounting system important (QuickBooks – we hold regular classes on using Quickbooks. Check out the schedule here.)
  6. Sandwich shops belong in industrial / commercial area
  7. Take out food service important potential source of income.
  8. Caveat location / competition / competitive advantage
  9. Should change menu every three months if possible
  10. Permit / license consultants available
  11. County courses available for bar employees re. Dram Act responsibilities / liabilities
  12. Employee food – 50% discount (on selected items) or special separate food free
  13. Caveat theft and waste / use of leftovers
  14. Portion control (advanced preparation) particularly for sandwiches (Subway model)
  15. Request credit on bad food
  16. Weigh / check in all food delivery – especially produce (check bottom layer of box)
  17. Caveat Health Dept. (utilize former Health Dept. employee to ensure up to code)
  18. Remember food handler’s card
  19. Advertising Resources – ValPak, local/weekly papers, Guerilla Marketing, social media, videos

If you’re thinking of start a restaurant or any type of business, get FREE Business Mentoring at a convenient location in the Phoenix Valley.

About the Author:

Roger_Robinson Roger Robinson, Ph.D. has been a SCORE mentor for over 16 years. His specialties include non-profits, business planning, specifically in restaurants and hospitality, recreational and arts and Entertainment verticals. Read more about Roger hereClick here to schedule a free mentoring session with Roger or another SCORE mentor.