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The ingredients to success for small restaurants

24 Nov 2016

CBX Restaurant Business


The way we dine out has been transformed in the last decade with independent cafes and restaurants opening on every corner and food stalls booming throughout multiple UK cities.

If you are an entrepreneur who is thinking of opening a restaurant, it is important to consider the time, money, legalities and commitment needed to start a food business.

Here are our 7 ingredients for a profitable restaurant start-up:


1.      Deciding on a concept

You may have an idea already in mind or you may still be at the drawing board, but choosing what type of restaurant you want to offer, your target audience and its unique selling point are important to think about when creating a restaurant concept.


2.      Market research: Competitor analysis

Having an idea for a business is all well and good, but without sufficient research you could be opening a restaurant that your target market has no interest in, there’s no guarantee that you will receive a return on your investment.

It’s important for anyone with a business concept to research their competition, customers, funding options and profitability as a business prior to investing hard work and time into an idea that may already be out there or isn’t profitable.


3.      Business plan

Business plans are essential for structuring your business model, clarifying direction, attracting financing and team members, as well as being a document that you are able to refer back to during the everyday management of your restaurant.

A business plan doesn’t need to be excessively long, it is acceptable to write just a few pages if it includes everything yourself, your employees and your investors would need to know about your concept, finance and marketplace.

Read more: 5 tips to help first-time business owners


4.      Funding

Finding the funding to get your food business off the ground can be difficult. An entrepreneur is simply someone willing to take the steps to crafting their dreams when others aren’t, or are intimidated by the financial commitment. However the financial injection you put into your business idea doesn’t need to be excessive.


 5.      Premises

Finding the perfect premises for your business can be a challenge as its dependent on many factors: where you want your restaurant to be, the type of building you want your restaurant to be in, where your customers are mostly likely to be based and how much money you have to purchase or rent.

If the purpose of your business is to offer fast, healthy and easily accessible meals to workers at lunchtime, it would be sensible to find premises in a city centre where your target market is likely to be.


6.      Promotion

Similar to competing for staff, you are also against other restaurants when it comes to promoting your brand. It’s important to remember that as a small, startup food business, you’re speaking to an interested audience!

By communicating the passion and ethic of your brand through your marketing materials, you can draw them in your direction, and once these steps are in place, you can concentrate on the part you know best – the food.


7.      Regulations/licenses

There are several licenses that you may require to start your restaurant business:

PRS for Music license if you or anyone else plays music for customers, you need permission from the relevant copyright owners. It can be obtained at: PRS

Alcohol License proves that you are aware of and operate under the appropriate food hygiene and health and safety regulations.

Public Liability protects you if your customers suffer personal injury or property damage because of your business.

Building permit allows you to construct your premises or add to your existing structures.

Food premises approval allows your restaurant to handle meat, fish, egg or dairy products, you must be inspected and approved by your local council.


At CBX we support small business owners. With our Business Insurance you can protect your commercial building and/or contents from fire, theft, storm, flood, escape of water and much more! Give us a call on 020 8587 1073 today!


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