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Is There a Right Time to Open a Restaurant?

By: Maggie Lonsdale BA (hons) - Updated: 18 May 2015 | comments*Discuss
Restaurant Business Business Restaurant

Just as there are certainly bad time to open a restaurant – Christmas Eve, the middle of a recession and the first day of the World Cup spring to mind – so there are particularly good times.

Although essentially you will need to accept that whenever you choose to open your own restaurant there will be something that conspires to make things a little bit tricky for you, you can try to aim to open your restaurant business at the best possible time with a little forethought and some strategic hospitality research.

Spring and Autumn

Spring and autumn are good times to open a restaurant as they give you a little breathing space before the next major event – summer and Christmas. You do not want to start a business in the restaurant trade at these times because any issues can be far worse at a busy period. By opening your restaurant in spring or autumn you can deal with any teething problems before you are at your busiest, so you will not forfeit great chunks of much needed profit.

Local Boom Time

By concentrating some of your hospitality research on understanding when your target area (or perhaps why you choose a particular target area) is going to be enjoying an especially up beat time. Perhaps your local region is going to be featured in a magazine, or a celebrity chef has opened a restaurant there. Whatever is going on locally, make sure you know about it and make it work to your advantage.

No Family Worries

Of course, when you have a family there is never really a time without any worries at all, but some times are certainly less fraught than others. Do not choose to open a restaurant when a close family member is seriously ill or when your wife is about to give birth to your first child. Any family issues that you are aware of should be taken into account, although you cannot plan for every eventuality.

No Money Worries

Again, that golden time when you have plenty of money and plenty of time to enjoy it is not all that likely, the best we can hope for is to grab the good times as they come along. However, starting a restaurant business will take up a large amount of your ready cash, so try to plan it around children starting at university or your daughters wedding.

Buoyant Economy

Rather like the ‘local boom time’ option, think about the current economic climate when you research restaurant trends. Are people tightening their purse strings because less good times are predicted, or are people able to enjoy a little more disposable income at the moment?

Either way, a restaurant can still be a positive business venture as long as you take social issues into account. Maybe people still want a blow-out for their birthday, or are keen to treat themselves with a decent pizza every now and then – as long as you are in tune with the economic climate you can tailor your marketing to suit.

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@Paul - I have included the North Somerset Council funding and grants link here. I hope this helps.
RunARestaurant - 22-May-15 @ 11:47 AM
Hi there I'm looking to start a restaurant I'm a chef of 18 years Ive been working on a business plan for awhile I want to do it in a seaside town of Weston super mare in north somerset if you can advise me on where and if I qualify to grants or funding I'm 34 so princes of trust is out of the question. Many thanks Paul
Paul - 18-May-15 @ 5:35 PM
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