Opening a restaurant; do’s and don’t

Though noone can tell you how to run your business, you can always learn from other people’s mistakes as well as their successes.


  • Understand that the work doesn’t stop when you open your doors and it certainly is not a 9-5. The work literally never stops when you own your own restaurant. This can have significant impacts on your lifestyle including social life, family life as well as every other part that makes your life a routine now.
  • Ask for help; if and when you need help with anything from lifting furniture to balancing the books. There is help available and you should leverage it both for your own sanity and to keep some semblance of a balance.
  • Market using social media and specials; try having two for one or happy hours to draw people in, especially in the early stages of a restaurant opening.
  • Keep a reservoir of cash; having a back up and reserve of money is important in the case of emergency or unexpected situation.
  • Study and understand your competition; this will help you know and understand and therefore leverage the strengths of other restaurants and competition.
  • Decide on a theme or concept; and go with it. From furniture to décor, if you are going to a modern industrial loo, go with it and stick to it, commit to it from floor to ceiling.


  • Expect that if you build it, they will come. This is not the case at all. Many will tell you it is actually quite the opposite. Customers tend to go with what they know and can be hesitant to try brand new restaurants
  • Hire family and friends; this can put a strain on relationships and can be detrimental to your business as well as your relationships.
  • Oversell; let your food and product and staff speak for itself. Being too in people’s face can actually be very off putting for those coming in for a meal.
  • Copy your competition; there is a significant difference between understanding your competition and copying them. Keep your brand and your unique edge and avoid copying your competitors.
  • Overdo your theme or concept; you don’t want to overdo your theme to the point that it is tacky. Stick to your theme but don’t tip the scale.
Opening a restaurant; do’s and don’t

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