If you’re a foodie with a passion for making people swoon at your excellent meals, and you also have the unbridled spirit of an entrepreneur, you might want to think about combining the two and opening a restaurant. There are few things more satisfying than nourishing people, whether you’re in Los Angeles, New York, or Topeka, and there are few things more exciting than a bustling kitchen.
All that being said, don’t just jump into the restaurant business feet first with no plan. Even if you’re opening a small business, you still need to be aware of factors as diverse as real-estate prices and cybersecurity. Before you contact a lender to bankroll your business, take the following things into account.
1. You need an online presence safe from hackers and ransomware.
The past year has proven one major thing for restaurant owners: having an online ordering platform is unavoidable. While the COVID-19 pandemic will eventually fade into our memories, it has made an indelible impact on the food service industry. Customers expect to order everything from sushi to fried chicken and waffles online, which means having an online ordering option. It also means that you need your website to be 100% safe. Customers only need their credit card information stolen once to decide never to buy from a vendor again.
With the rise in online sales, hackers have also gotten more clever about how to attack sites. Don’t wait for your customers’ personal information to be held ransom by a ransomware attack; take steps to increase your cybersecurity now. If you’re unsure which cybersecurity firm to work with, you can read some MonsterCloud reviews online to learn more about MonsterCloud’s customer service and various services when it comes to cyberattacks, ransomware removal, and dealing with data breaches.
2. Getting the best restaurant equipment is key.
This seems pretty obvious, but it applies more widely than you may be thinking. Yes, you know that you don’t want a sub-par refrigerator or freezer (spoiled vegetables and dairy products are not a good look for a good restaurant), but have you thought about your tableware as well? How about disposable beverageware and utensils? After all, just because you’re doing a lot of delivery service, that doesn’t mean that you want to skimp on the overall customer experience. Have the optimal customer service in mind every step of the way. Customers will appreciate that you go that extra mile for them.
3. Custom software? Yes, please.
Getting online isn’t just about cyberattacks and ransomware—it’s about having the best website out there, and maybe a mobile app, too. With a custom software team, you can make your mobile app or site stand out from the competition. Consider it an extension of your overall branding and the decor of your brick and mortar location. Online marketing is, after all, the best way to find new customers. But having the best site and app around is the best way to retain those customers. If you don’t want a cheesy looking website, make sure that you’re hiring award winning custom software engineers to do the heavy lifting when it comes to custom software and mobile app software development.
4. You don’t need a perfect credit score to get a hard money loan if you have collateral.
Starting a small business is expensive—that’s a simple fact. Most people can’t bankroll their own startups. Instead, many entrepreneurs turn to conventional lenders and get bank loans to fund their projects. While this may be the more conventional route, it’s not the only way to become a borrower and fund your startup. Conventional loans can be complicated to apply for—the paperwork alone is enough to make you forget your original business purpose. If you’re not interested in traditional banks, one alternative is to consider a hard money loan.
With a hard money loan, you aren’t putting your credit score up as proof that you’ll pay back the entire loan amount. Instead, you’re providing physical collateral that shows you’re a serious borrower. This can be anything from various commodities and assets to a real estate property. Private money loans or hard money loans can be, in some cases, easier to obtain and more straightforward to manage. They also usually have much lower interest rates, another reason they’re in your best interest as the founder of a food startup. If you’re in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, or any other city along the Golden Coast, consider researching hard money lenders in California for your business needs.
5. Find the best location for your brand.
When it comes to location, you’ll want to keep a few different things in mind. First, you need a commercial real estate property, yes, but it needs to be near enough residential properties to ensure that you’ll have plenty of customers around. If you’re in the middle of an industrial district, without a single family around, the value of the property won’t matter—you’ll be out of business soon.
Secondly, you also want to bear in mind that you need a place that fits your brand. If you’re a seafood restaurant, it might make sense to be by the ocean. If you’re specializing in artisanal pizzas, maybe a hipster neighborhood is the right way to go. Either way, real estate investing should be done with care.
Opening a restaurant, whatever cuisine you’re working with, is an exciting endeavor. While these details may seem a little involved and not worth the time, they’re actually critical to providing an outstanding customer service experience to your diners. Keep your customers safe from cybercriminals, make online ordering easy with custom software and a mobile app, and get the help of a real estate broker to find the best property for your business purposes. You can fund ll of this with the help of hard money loans from private investors. Whatever you do, don’t let any of this get in the way of providing nourishing food for your diners. When you keep that in mind, opening a restaurant will be as easy as pie.