There's a whole lot involved in opening a home-based restaurant. There's a lot to know and think about, from suppliers and vendors to branding, zoning, and local health boards before opening for business. But the work can be rewarding, and the perks of entrepreneurship worth it if you're willing to do your homework. If you're considering opening a home-based restaurant and are looking for additional information on 'how-to,' read on.
Supplies and Setup
Before you do anything, start with a business plan. This will serve as your guide as you navigate the things you'll need to start your business and keep you true to your brand. Like with any business plan, you need a mission statement and the finer logistical details like vendors, suppliers, costs, and projected revenues, too.
Because of the pandemic, many people with talent in the culinary arts turn toward a home-based business model for opening or reimagining restaurants. It's causing a wave of business plans like the one you're ready to start now. If you've never owned a restaurant before, you'll want first to do some research on start-up costs. One area to look at is supplies.
Even with a restaurant based out of your home, you'll want a commercial kitchen and the tools all professionals use. Visit Go!Foodservice for the latest pricing, deals, and picks for restaurant equipment. Familiar with all brands and cooking specialties, they'll be able to talk you through every step of the way when considering what you'll need to get your kitchen ready.
Financing and Costs
Any business based out of a home needs to start with a home. If you don't already own a home and are renting instead, it might be time to reconsider that. By securing a mortgage, you'll have more control over how your house is used than you would as a tenant.
If you have money saved for a down payment, consider calling a realtor now to start exploring your home loan options. Your good credit will help lock down a reasonable, low-interest monthly payment, and a professional realtor will be able to help you find a home with a large kitchen.
If you haven't been a homeowner before, ask about an FHA loan. Eligibility for these loans is generally simple with excellent credit. This type of loan will require a smaller down payment and leave that lump sum cash for supplies, marketing, memberships and other expenses down the road.
When shopping for your home, or determining if opening an eatery out of your own is even legal, be sure to check with the town about zoning laws. InYouan't run a commercial business out of your home without the home being located in a mixed zoning or commercial zone. You must be sure of this before applying for the permits you'll need to run your restaurant from home in some places. Again, this is something a realtor can help with. If you already own your home, give your town hall a call and ask about local rules and regulations. Zoning could make a huge difference on what you can and can't do with your business.
Business Plan and Brand
After taking the time to set your home-based business up with supplies and in the right location, you'll want to consider brand and marketing. These items should be written into your business plan. Zoning may come into play again. In a mixed zoning zone, there are requirements for signs and other forms of marketing. If you can't throw up signs in your front yard, or don't want to, branding and marketing will be even more important.
Use the internet to build a website, reach out to your Chamber of Commerce or local business clubs, advertise in newspapers, and get word out on community boards and bulletins. Letting the world know about your home-based kitchen and what makes it different will be vital to your new business's overall success. If you aren't sure how to go about this, hire someone. Professionals who specialize in branding and marketing will make a world of difference.
In the end, if you do your research and stick to your business plan with an open mind for changes along the way, you'll soon have a home-based restaurant or eatery you can be proud of. Hard work, a good plan, and smart choices always pay off and the success that will come will be as delicious as the food on your menu. Happy planning to you and congratulations on your new business!