Opening a restaurant:

a 9 step survival guide and master checklist

Opening a restaurant: a 9 step survival guide and master checklist

So you’re dreaming of opening a restaurant, and everyone is asking: Are you serious? You’re starting to wonder if you’re really making the right decision.

The key to going from confusion to setting a plan in motion, is research. You already know that restaurants are rarely get-rich-quick schemes. They’re a lot of hard work with an extremely high rate of failure. Recent stats show 60% fail in the first three years. So why do it? Ask successful owners and they’ll tell you: passion. The life of a restaurateur is like no other, and when you do well — you do really well. But “successful” is the key word here. You don’t enter the game to fail. So how can you ensure success?

Based on the rise and fall of thousands of restaurants over the years, we know that success is the result of many factors, some within and some beyond an owner’s control.

Great food and an original concept are fundamental, but at the end of the day a restaurant is a business like any other — revenues battle expenses for the upper hand. The product is the dining experience as a whole, including food, service, atmosphere, neighborhood and every other conceivable aspect. A restaurant is truly a venture with a thousand moving parts.

With careful research and planning, you can make intelligent decisions about the things within your control, and learn about the risks that are beyond your control. To help you put your best foot forward, Lightspeed has created a master checklist for opening your first restaurant.

To help you organize those thousand moving parts, we’ve separated your planning process into nine main concepts…