If you want to take your cooking to the next level, and start working with it professionally, the best thing you can do is start your own restaurant. Admittedly, this is a huge challenge, but the option – to work as an employee chef at someone else’s restaurant – means that you will never be able to fully cook your own food. Instead, you will realize someone else’s dream. In other words, if you have a real passion for cooking, it may be worth the effort to start up a restaurant, to have free creative space.
Of course, there are many things that need to be arranged before you have a working restaurant, but perhaps the most important thing is to find a local with the right location. It really does not matter how good food you cook, if the restaurant is in a part of town where no one is out in the evenings, or who is difficult to get to. When looking for local it can also be good to think about which restaurants are already in the area – the competition can get too tough if there are two Asian fusion restaurants or two Spanish restaurants in the same neighborhood.
However, before you can hire a local, you must of course have arranged the restaurant’s financing, either by taking out loans or by finding investors. In both cases, it is important to have a well-designed business plan, which includes everything from renovating the premises and fixtures to purchasing food and hiring staff.
Just the food and the staff are two other important points when starting up a restaurant. It is important to establish contact with suppliers nearby who can regularly supply the restaurant with the raw materials needed, and it is important to find staff who share the same vision and values as you yourself. Together with the staff (at least in consultation with the kitchen staff) you can then design the restaurant’s menu.
The restaurant industry is a particular challenge when it comes to accounting, as there are hundreds of receipts every day to keep track of.
A great way to market your new restaurant before opening is to hold a launch party, inviting food critics, friends and important people in the industry to mingle and taste the food that will be served at the restaurant. Such a party can be held even before the restaurant’s premises have been completed. In this way, you can build up the hype before the restaurant launch, while at the same time working on decorating the restaurant just as you want it to last until the opening night.