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As a restaurant owner, you have an opportunity to introduce new food trends to your community and provide a unique environment for guests to enjoy that can’t easily be found at competitive establishments. To ensure success quickly after you open your restaurant’s doors, it’s important to make preparations beyond putting together a tasty menu and designing an attractive dining space. Here are four prep steps to consider implementing that should help ensure success within your new business:

Hire a Financial Planner

Possibly the most important thing you can do to prepare for success with your new restaurant startup is hire an experienced financial planner to work with. In addition to helping you efficiently and effectively budget your day-to-day operations as your business grows, a reliable financial planner can help with the following tasks:

  • Manage seasonal income and expense variations with minimal profit losses.
  • Create a financial blueprint that enables you to stay ahead of the competition while improving profits.
  • Generate an expenditure plan that optimizes productivity, business growth, and efficiency.
  • Create a fair and profitable employee payment scale.

Your planner can also put together financial guidelines you can use to compare the costs, benefits, and downfalls of proposed expenditures, enabling you to better determine which investments are worth your consideration. In addition, an experienced financial planner will work with you to set quantifiable targets for the year ahead so you can compare your real-time results to them and see where you’re succeeding, as well as figure out where and how improvements can be made. Talk with a financial planner, such as those at Global Wealth Consultants LLC, directly for more information.

Host Tasting Events

An effective way to ensure that your restaurant is a success from day one is to host a few tasting events in your community during the weeks leading up to your grand opening. This will give you an opportunity to test your recipes out on potential customers and enable you to gain some insight into how well the recipes are received by people from all walks of life. Hosting tasting events can also help you do the following:

  • Create brand recognition for your restaurant.
  • Generate anticipation for your restaurant menu.
  • Collect menu and recipe ideas from the public via feedback forms.
  • Promote your services with fliers and coupons.

Consider hosting your tasting events at local grocery stores, parks, farmer’s markets, wineries, or in your own restaurant as long as it is functional enough for guests to utilize before you officially open your doors for business.

Poll Your Target Customers

Polling potential customers is another effective prep method that should help drive traffic through your doors from day one. Creating and passing out questionnaires on street corners to passersby, at bus and train stops to those waiting for their ride, and even to residents through snail mail or email will get the word out about your restaurant and help you gain some insight into things such as:

  • Preferred flavors, textures, and garnishes among community residents.
  • Popular dining times in your restaurant’s neighborhood and beyond.
  • General age ranges of those who tend to eat out a lot.

Polling your community can also help you gather information about lifestyle trends among potential customers, which will enable you to create a dining atmosphere that appeals to your guests’ visual and textural senses while enjoying a meal at your restaurant.

Plan an Invitational Sneak Peak

By hosting an event by invitation only to offer a sneak peak of your restaurant’s look, feel, and food before the official grand opening, you can expect to generate some buzz about your new business among community residents as well as gain some free publicity in local newspapers and on radio stations. In addition to inviting members of the press, you can host a raffle event that gives people in your community an opportunity to win tickets to the sneak peak. You’ll have a chance to make a few lifetime customers, generate word-of-mouth advertising in the days leading up to your opening, and impress those who will be publicly offering their opinions about your restaurant’s d├ęcor options, menu selection, and customer service.

These preparation techniques should help set you apart from the competition both before you have opened your doors for business and long after.