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4 Tips to Help You Open a Restaurant With Zero Industry Experience

There has been a restaurant boom in major cities throughout the Philippines over the last five years. Restaurants of all shapes, sizes, and cuisines have been popping up in our malls, parks, and neighborhoods–and it’s not hard to see why. Filipinos love great food. As such, it only makes sense that so many restaurants have opened in recent years. In fact, you may have considered starting a restaurant of your own despite not having experience in the industry.
Contrary to what some people may believe, one doesn’t necessarily need to have experience in the food industry to open a restaurant. In fact, a good number of restaurant owners are active in the other aspects of running a restaurant and leave the kitchen to their head chef.
Of course, determination can only get you so far. There a few steps you can take to help improve your chances of finding entrepreneurial success when you open a restaurant. Here are a few tips to consider:

Create a Solid Business Plan

Yes, restaurants serve food. However, this is only a fraction of what running a restaurant is all about. First and foremost, a restaurant is a business, which is why you should have a solid restaurant business plan right from the start. This is more than just about knowing what kind of food you want to serve or having a unique theme.
Know your target market and how to best connect with them. Find places to source all the equipment your future kitchen will need. Look up the bookkeeping and POS systems you’ll need to keep your financials in order. Research existing restaurants to help you refine your food business ideas. Not only does this help you gain a clear picture of what you want to achieve and how to achieve it, but a thorough business plan is also necessary to secure financing.

Consider Starting Out as a Smaller Operation

Thanks to the proliferation of food parks, food halls, and the like, first-time restaurateurs now have an option to test their food business ideas with relatively smaller risk. A few stalls here and there are a great way to get your feet wet, as well as check the viability of opening a larger restaurant in the future. There are a number of restaurants that had their humble beginnings as a small store. Two of the most recent examples include Bad Bird and Scout’s Honor, both of which started out in Hole in the Wall and now have standalone restaurants in Metro Manila.

Becoming a Franchisee is a Viable, Profitable Option

If the main drive to open a restaurant is to become an entrepreneur, you don’t necessarily have to start your own restaurant from scratch. Franchising is a tried-and-tested way of opening a restaurant for first-time restaurateurs. The best part is that franchisors provide you with a ton of support (staff, equipment, inventory, etc.) to help your branch succeed. Under a franchise model, you get to follow a successful restaurant business plan all the while owning your own business.

Attend an Entrepreneurship Program on Restaurant Management

There are many entrepreneurship programs that equip budding restaurateurs with the knowledge and skills necessary for starting a restaurant. Programs, like Enderun Extension’s Restaurant Entrepreneurship Management Program, aim to teach students how to run a successful restaurant from top to bottom. These programs also tend to be taught by successful restaurateurs and business management gurus. At the very least, these programs offer a way to build connections and create support groups for you as you start your entrepreneurial journey.