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Keeping Your Start Up Costs Low

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 7 Apr 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Start Up Costs New Business Profit

When you launch your own restaurant it is important to keep your start up costs low, unless you are rolling in money or have some wealthy financial backer.

Most people who start their own new business need to keep start up costs low, but it is amazing how many people say that the budget just ran away and they lost all control of it. Don’t let that happen to you – over 30 per cent of new restaurants fold within the first year, but this is mainly to do with bad planning and a lack of cash flow.

So, if you’ve planned for these potential situations and go into you new business with your eyes wide open, you can be one of the majority that succeeds.

Get a Good Deal on a Lease

If you are looking to use a leased property, make sure you get a good deal. Landlords are falling over themselves in the current climate to get their properties leases, rather than sitting there empty costing them money, so use it to your advantage.

Landlords expect a degree of haggling, so don’t think you just have to go with the asking price. Bare in mind that they would rather have the place full, so think about offering a slight reduction in the price, but perhaps with a rent free period, rather than a far cheaper monthly offer.

Shop Around for Equipment

Buying professional restaurant cooking equipment can cost whatever you want to spend – the high end of the market can go into six figures! Rather than simply go with whatever your rep sells you, shop around. Online auction sites can be a great place to find bargains, as can your local free ads newspaper.

Also remember that there are some excellent deals to be had on second hand equipment – make sure you see it working though, and that it is what you need for the type of cooking in your restaurant. Don’t just buy something because it is cheap.

Save Money on a Great Décor

How your restaurant looks is almost as important as the menu. In a competitive market you can’t just sling a few tables around and think that paying customers are going to return. Think about the mood that you want to set and the theme of your restaurant and plan the décor accordingly. You don’t need to pay for an expensive interior designer though – approach your local design college and see if they would like to design it as a project. Although you will get some wacky student ideas, you will also have some excellent suggestions that won’t eat into your profit margin.

Keeping Staff Recruitment Costs Low

You will need to recruit staff for your new restaurant, but don’t wait until the last minute and then have to pay extortionate recruitment agency rates because you’re desperate.

A good way to see a few people at once, rather than seeing people one at a time and taking up your valuable time, is to have an open day. This is especially effective if you have a higher education college where pupils will be over eighteen, if you have a liquor licence. Put up posters at the college and in your local library, ten have a day set aside to briefly interview people, with a more detailed second interview later, if required.

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