Always fancied the idea of owning a diner? Such establishments are great for those with a passion for food and community that don’t want the high pressures and formality of owning a restaurant. That said, whilst it may be more laid back that owning a traditional restaurant, there are still many challenges to overcome when setting up a diner. Here are just a few tips for making your diner business a success.
Educate yourself in business
Running a diner isn’t just about serving food and entertaining customers – you need to also understand the business side. This includes keeping clear account records, adhering to employment laws and understanding how to market your business. Those that are really committed into turning their diner into a food empire may want to take an online MBA in business intelligence. If you’re looking for something more casual, you may still benefit from doing some homework whether it’s reading books or taking workshops or hiring professional support (it’s worth talking to financial advisors and legal advisors).
Look into funding
Setting up a diner isn’t going to be cheap. Not only do you need to buy all the necessary equipment, you may also need to place down a lease deposit, furnish the interior, hire your first employees and pay for initial marketing. You may have savings that you can use to open your business. Alternatively, you could take out a loan or seek investment – these are two popular forms of funding when starting a diner.
Settle on the right location
Your diner needs to be located somewhere that’s going to attract customers. At the same time, you don’t want to be paying huge lease costs for a prime location unless you’re sure that you can make enough money to cover these expenses. Take your time looking around commercial properties in your area. Properties that were previously food establishments are likely to save you money in the beginning as you’ll have to do less converting, plus you can get be more certain that you’ll get permission to use it for this purpose.
Find your USP
You’ll have lots of already established diner to compete with in your area. Research into what these competitors are offering – whilst you may want to borrow some ideas to appeal to the locals, you should also look for ways to make your diner stand out. This could include offering unique foods and drinks, offering unique entertainment, choosing a unique setting or offering deals that no other diner can compete with.
It’s important that you have all the right licenses so that you diner is legal. A food license is needed in order to serve food, whilst a drinks license is needed to serve alcohol. If you plan to play music in your establishment, you’ll also need a music license. If you plan to put tables or signage on the sidewalk outside your premises, you may even need licenses to do this. You can research into licenses here.