How to cut down restaurant opening costs?
There are no two ways about it; opening a restaurant is an expensive undertaking. The median cost to open a restaurant is $375,500, or $3586 per seat. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the costs are unavoidable. Rent, equipment, and hiring staff are all expenditures that you will have to swallow before serving your first customer.
However, that doesn't mean that you can't get savvy. Just because you have to invest a considerable amount into your restaurant concept upfront, it doesn't mean that there aren't savings to be made.
By merely asking yourself the question "What do you need to open a restaurant?" you'll soon discover that some items you previously classified as "'must-haves" are avoidable costs. You'll also find that for the aspects you simply have to invest in, there are savings to be made.
With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the ways you can cut down restaurant opening costs.
Buy Used Instead of New Kitchen Equipment
It's tempting when opening a restaurant to buy everything brand new for your kitchen, but there is no need to do this at all. Many devices in the kitchen operate just as well after a couple of years of use as they did when they were brand new, especially if the previous owners looked after them.
Brand new commercial kitchen ranges, ovens, and kitchenware items are expensive, so shop around for good value second-hand and nearly-new examples. You can do so by approaching restaurant equipment suppliers who may have excess stock on hand that they took on as part of a trade-in deal. Or you can contact other local establishments that are closing down to pick up equipment with plenty of years of use left in them for bargain prices.
Ditch Fabric Coverings and Invest in High-Quality and Durable Dining Furniture
This may seem like a counterintuitive suggestion when looking at restaurant cost-saving ideas, but this measure will continue to pay dividends long into the future. Many new restaurant owners make the mistake of cheaping out on dining furniture and then covering it up with table cloths and chair coverings.
The more cost-effective solution is to invest in high-quality, durable tables and chairs. Not only will they look great, and fit in with the modern trend of using bare furniture, but they will save you a fortune in laundry bills for your table cloths (and seat coverings if you have them). Restaurant owners frequently overlook the investment in items such as tablecloths and the subsequent laundry costs, so don't get caught out and make savings by investing more upfront for your dining tables (and chairs).
The added benefit is that you'll also dramatically reduce your environmental footprint by simply cleaning tables and chairs after each service rather than using energy-intensive commercial laundry services.
Spend as Much Time as Possible Researching and Receiving Quotes from Contractors
Even if you are only refurbishing, one of the most significant costs involved in opening a new restaurant is building it out. That's why you're going to have to invest a considerable chunk of your time researching and making inquiries with multiple contractors; to see who provides the best value for money.
You should never just choose the first contractor you come across, even if they seem professional and capable. You need to let all consulted parties know that they are in a competitive bidding process, which will help you achieve cost savings.
That doesn't mean you should choose the cheapest. In fact, in almost all cases, you should probably steer clear of the most affordable contractor. Instead, you should be focusing on which outfit provides the most value within their quotation, since they might not all be quoting for the same specification of works.
Hold Off On That Fancy Website
It can be tempting in today's online-first world to go all-in on a state-of-the-art website to accompany your physical location. While you're right to be concerned with being found by customers online, you can piggyback other popular sites to let the world know you're open, rather than spending thousands on a website before you've even fired up your first skillet.
Facebook is an excellent option as it has close to three billion monthly active users. A restaurant can set up a business page with all the pertinent information such as menus, opening hours, location, and even your chosen cuisine style and price range. The best part? It's totally free!
Furthermore, Facebook offers some of the most cost-effective and targeted online advertising out there. You can target adverts to appear in your location to a clientele with specific earnings, ages, genders, and interests. With cost-per-customer (CPC) values as low as a couple of dollars, this is an excellent place to start building your online presence.
Make Smart Choices with your POS System
If you're new to the restaurant industry and wondering, "what is POS?" then it's essential to understand the acronym refers to your operation's beating heart. Today, the software and devices that form your point of sale (POS) offer so much more than merely processing payments. They can run customer loyalty programs, handle inventory management, and even administer staffing hours and performance.
As you can imagine, a system that manages this many aspects of your business and more, might not come cheap. It's a similar scenario to your build-out contractors. While you know you have to invest in the software and hardware to run both the payments and management of critical aspects of your restaurant, by shopping around, you can find a better value.
Don't forget to check what's included with your POS package. Some providers may only offer restaurant merchant services, as opposed to a full suite of customer, staff, and inventory management software.
Cut Down Restaurant Opening Costs by Making Smart Decisions
While successful restaurant businesses secure millions in revenue each year, their start-up costs are considerable. Fitting out the new establishment, hiring staff, and paying rent are just a few unavoidable expenditures. But that doesn't mean you can't be smart with your decision-making on those factors, as well as with more peripheral items such as the dining furniture you choose.
One of the most significant savings you can make is with your POS system. By choosing POSTRON, you can benefit from devices with an entry-level price that effectively pays for their associated software costs. This way, you can scale much quicker than if you invested heavily in hardware and software systems upfront before opening your doors.
If you want to learn more about how you can save costs by choosing POSTRON as your POS provider, then simply contact a member of our team to discuss your business requirements.