4 important steps to know how to open a restaurant

Yet open a restaurant is also an adventure full of pitfalls! Here is a folder to embark on the big bath and conquer Michelin stars. There we give you some basic steps that will help you to know, how to open a restaurant.

How to open a restaurant

Step 1: Define the concept of your restaurant

Do you want to create your restaurant? But are you made for this job? Before you start, the first step is to reflect on his passion and learn about the profession, through readings and reports on the subject. Once convinced of your potential, it is time to define your concept that is to say the universe in which your restaurant will fit.

Passion, the first factor that drives you to start
Passion is often the first motivating factor that drives the entrepreneur to get started. A passion honored by programs like TopChef or Masterchef, where we say that everything is possible. But beware, a strong passion can lead the entrepreneur to idealize a job that ultimately disappoints if one does its job. Before stopping your current job, you must be sure of your motivation and learn about the job in question. Is your passion strong enough for you to sacrifice your current career?

The special case of the Franchise
Franchises are types of catering that are very successful in France. According to the French Franchise Federation, nearly 175 franchise networks were identified in 2014, or 4837 points of sale in the fast food sector for a turnover of 4.21 billion euros. Regarding themed catering, still in the same year, there are 93 networks for 1340 points of sale and a turnover of 1.54 billion euros. Becoming a franchisee can make big money! If you want to create a restaurant franchise, you develop your restaurant independently while benefiting from a concept already created and know-how with proven. From fast food to sushi restaurant or sandwich shop, the principle of Franchise is suitable for all types of restaurants.

Read more: 5 Ways to Give Great Customer Service in Your Restaurant

Define the concept of your restaurant
Write down your ideas in bulk to define the first draft of your concept: the place, the layout, the decoration, the dishes, the map, the type of restoration. The concept is the identity of the project, all the elements that will allow it to exist and differentiate in the face of competition. Whether your concept is innovative or not, you need to learn from your market to understand it. Market research allows you to confront your customers (through observation, face-to-face or online questionnaires) and highlights your environment:

Market trends
The catering market is undergoing changes and new players are constantly appearing. Knowledge of trends is very important, it will allow you to make the right decisions and guide your institution. This is the first phase of your study, sweeping the national market before refocusing the information nearby. What is the state of restoration at national and regional level? The new restaurant business model? The innovations? Average expenditure on catering and outings? Consumption habits on the territory?


The catchment area
The catchment area defines the perimeter where your potential customers are present. To define your area, analyze your market more deeply. Do not hesitate to go several times in this area to acquire a perfect knowledge of places and inhabitants.

If there are several restaurants nearby, analyze their market share, proposed restoration, activities, and their pricing policy. How does he communicate? The actions put in place will give you ideas for your marketing strategy. Take inspiration from the actors around you.

Standards to be respected in the world of catering
Catering is a highly regulated area, not least because it directly affects the health of consumers. Hygiene and safety are essential parameters, you must have a perfect knowledge. What are the regulations in terms of hygiene? Of security? How to trace the quality of your products? Are there any pieces of training to get? Licenses to receive? The results obtained will come to refine your concept so that it can perfectly fit the expectations of the market. This study is an indispensable tool to determine the feasibility of its project! You will be able to define your type of catering, the price policy, the way of receiving your customers, the dishes, the atmosphere, your identity! It is only after your market research that you will be able to tackle more concrete actions such as finding a local or writing the business plan.

What about the name of your restaurant?
Passing by your restaurant, customers will see your storefront, but also your name. It is he who will be typed on the search engines and through which you will communicate. It is what differentiates you from the competition. The name, therefore, requires great attention. This is the finishing touch of your restaurant. A name is a whole: values, an image, a reputation, a marketing, Your name is important and will be associated with you for a long time. Do not hesitate to solicit outside help and brainstorm ideas. What are the values of your restaurant? What does your concept evoke? What is the theme? What adjectives to assign to my restaurant? Among all the ideas given, find synonyms to expand the range of words.

Step 2: Create the business plan for your restaurant

Do you want to open your restaurant? For any financing need or to put some order in its ideas, the business plan will be the essential document. This is proof of the feasibility of your project. To create your business plan, here are the avenues to explore and tips for writing well.

The executive summary
The executive summary is the teaser of your project, a summary of one to two pages gathering the essential information of your business. By reading this document only, your interlocutor must understand your service and the essential information. The executive summary must reflect the solution provided following an identified problem, your potential for success, the consistency with your market, your history and your team.

The members of the team
Difficult to talk about yourself and put yourself forward unpretentious. This part is important because it is a loan or a private investor, both rely on a human adventure in addition to a project. You will need to indicate your background, skills, values, and motivation to complete this project. If you are several, introduce each person. Each one has particular skills and that is what shows your complementarity.

The birth of the concept
Why did you decide to create your restaurant? Is it by a passion of the job? Because you have acquired a solid experience in catering and want to become your own chef? Explain the reasons for this project, emphasizing all the elements that inspired you (media, entourage, passion, studies). Through this part, you must demonstrate that your project comes from a desire and not a spite.

The presentation of the project
A simple but detailed presentation of your restaurant. Feel free to add visuals, so that your private investor/public can project visually. An exercise that allows you to clearly define your restaurant. Restoration is a highly competitive field, explain your differentiation. Also, explain the progress of your project. At what stage are you? Have you already found a local? Have you had your first customers? This will help you take stock and know the remaining spots.

Market research
This is where you have to show the results of your market research. All this is to demonstrate your perfect knowledge of the restaurant industry. You must prove that your project fits perfectly into today’s economy and is viable. What are the main trends in catering? How is this market doing today? Is it growing, stagnant, declining? What are the innovations? Consumption habits? Describe the market as a whole to gradually refocus on your business and the sector you want. The customer is a point of attention. Make the profile of your customers by determining their age group, their CSP, income, their habits, their needs. Do not forget the competition, especially as it is tough in the restaurant business. You must have a sharp knowledge of your competition. There are bound to be actors who offer similar solutions to yours and move towards an identical or similar customer target. Make a complete analysis of the competition by insisting on the quantified aspect of the market shares, their price policy.

The strategy of the company
You have general objectives such as the desired market shares within 3 years or 5 years, your profitability, your percentage of growth, the turnover … To reach them, you have established action plans (marketing, resources human, management, communication, with shorter-term objectives that, put together, will help you achieve the main objectives. In this part, detail all of your strategies and the expected results for each of them. Also, detail your pricing policy by emphasizing the calculations to prove the logic of your reasoning.

Your financial arrangement
This is the encrypted part of your business plan, the one that retraces all your financial forecasts and your expenses already made. Do not forget to mention also your budget for your web communication (customer acquisition actions such as paid advertising or retargeting), expenses related to your local, recruitment, equipment Based on forecasts between 3 years and 5 years. Do not be too greedy, all your projections must be realistic, otherwise, your project will lose credibility. Your financial business plan will not only help you to detail your financial plan with future private or public investors, but it will guide you to find out where you are.

Step 3: How to find the premises of his restaurant

The choice of premises is important and will influence the success of your establishment. Synonymous with conviviality, your premises must reflect your values whether it is the front of the establishment or its interior. Which criteria should be used to choose your premises? Should we buy back a business? Rent an empty room?
Focus on these different processes not to be confused: The business, the commercial lease, and the pas-de-Porte.

Find a local: the criteria of choice
Your business represents the image returned to your customers. To find local, several criteria must be taken into account:

The rent
The location
The storefront
The layout of the room
Accessibility to come

The capacity of reception of the carpark
Your premises must be perfectly adapted to your customers and position themselves in a dynamic catchment area. Make sure the size of your space ensures the number of covers you want and that your customers are comfortable and not glued to each other. If your choice is for a particular locale, make sure the area is crowded and your restaurant can adapt to the environment properly. Check back several times, do not hesitate to question the traders around. Be an observer before making any decision.

The right to lease
The right to lease only occurs if you take over an existing lease. It can be part of a business if you want to resume the same activity. On the other hand, if you want a place occupied by a different activity to convert it into open a restaurant, you will only pay the right to the lease. The right to the lease is a rent to the outgoing tenant and not the owner. open a restaurant. This lease also gives you a renewal of the existing lease, called commercial property, which your landlord is obliged to accept otherwise he must indemnify you. If you have to move, your clientele may not follow you. This predatory allowance serves to compensate for this loss.

Buy a business
If you decide to take over an existing open a restaurant, you will have to buy back the business from the former operator. A business is transferred to a person who must perform the same activity. The business consists of the corporeal elements that are to say a right to lease for a period of 9 years and renewable once, equipment, tools and intangibles as the customer, the Ensign. It is more desirable to own the walls because it gives you more freedom. In all cases, before signing, you must inquire about the financial health of the restaurant of the previous operator. You may need to do some restaurant work to give it a new lease on life. If you see the turnover down for a few months/years, ask the reasons for this decline and try to understand the difficulties.

The doorway
In case you want to rent an unoccupied room, you will be obliged to pay compensation called “no door”. This is, in other words, a right of entry into the premises. The amount is set freely between the parties and differs from the rent payable. Unlike the right to the lease, the pas-de-Porte is paid to the owner of the walls of the premises.

Step 4: Open a restaurant: administrative and legal formalities

Choose the right status, get your license, meet the different standards, all these legal and administrative formalities can lose you if you are not accompanied or informed. Zoom on the various statuses at your disposal and the administrative procedures required.

Choose the status of your restaurant?
The status will depend on several factors, such as the number of founders, the capital of the company or the desired level of responsibility. Choosing the wrong status can put your school at risk. Before making any decision, seek advice from a lawyer.

To be the only creator
If you want to start alone, you can choose between different statuses: SASU, EI, EIRL, and EURL. Creating an Individual Company is the simplest legal form and does not require the drafting of statutes. Nevertheless, your wealth will be linked to the capital of the company. A risky commitment especially in case of indebtedness and inability to pay. In addition, you are subject to income tax and are taxed on the profit of your restaurant. The sole proprietorship with limited liability (EIRL) allows creating a patrimony of assignment for your professional activity. Thus, no liability to your personal property, a big advantage. To create an EIRL, you will have to determine the elements essential to your activity (movable property, real estate, patents, right to lease and write a declaration of assignment.

The One-Person Private Limited Company (EURL) is also a solution that allows you to get started on your own. Comfortable status, it separates your personal wealth from your company, covering you in case of dispute. By creating an EURL, you distinguish between your company and yourself. This is not the case of an EIRL where you can not create a legal person. The Simplified Joint Stock Company (SASU) operates as the SAS with a single partner (natural or legal person). This status allows you to limit the risks up to your contributions and requires no minimum capital. Another advantage is that you have the flexibility to write the articles of association.

Create multiple
If you are more than one to start the creation of your restaurant, the Limited Liability Company (LLC) will be the most suitable status for your situation. The starting capital is € 1 minimum, even if this amount is not appropriate when starting a business. In case of litigation, the responsibility of the partners in their contributions. The company Anonyme is more restrictive in the sense that you must be a minimum of seven partners and bring a capital of 37000 €. Generally, this case does not occur if you start at your restaurant. The Simplified Joint Stock Company is enjoying growing success. Nearly 39% of business creators chose this status in 2014. It offers a great deal of flexibility to associates, who can set the rules for the operation of the company. It facilitates the entry of investors and will be favorable if you choose to raise funds.

Obtaining the license
To qualify for the right to serve alcoholic beverages during the meal, a restaurant license is required. To obtain it, you must pass a formation of 2 days and a half or a single day for those who justify an old license to renew. The license obtained is valid for 10 years. This training aims to make you aware of the rules of hygiene, safety, smoking, maintenance of an establishment, alcoholism.

Standards to be respected
Hygiene rules: Whether you open or takes over a restaurant, you must declare it to the Veterinary Services of the Prefecture of the place of establishment. It is also important to ensure that your restaurant complies with the health and safety rules defined in the decree of December 21, 2009. Safety and accessibility standards: Your restaurant must meet standards, especially for people with disabilities. Security includes electrical installation, hardware. Respect of the opening hours: The schedules are fixed by prefectural decree and must be respected to the letter. Compliance with the smoking ban: Since 2008, it is forbidden to smoke in enclosed spaces. You must report this ban on your premises.

Do not forget: Minimum 15 days before the opening of your restaurant, you must go to the town hall of your place to make an opening administrative declaration.


Open a restaurant is not an easy task. for that reason, you have to do a lot of works. If you want to make can make your restaurant more profitable you have to know about the basic theme of the restaurant. Here you knew about opening a restaurant. I think you will be helped. Thank You.