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Opening a Second Restaurant?

To gauge your readiness for a second location, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are you so busy you can’t handle the crowds?

  • Are your customers eager for more?

  • Do you have funding?

  • Will opening another restaurant increase your capital?

  • Are you willing to put in the hours?

Imagine this scenario: the business at your restaurant is going great. Everyone on staff is satisfied, regulars are returning, and business is booming. Opening a second restaurant location might start sounding like a good idea when business is this good. However, creating a second, third, or twenty-first restaurant is never simple. It needs careful preparation to execute without any excessive discomfort.

Don’t be daunted if you want to expand your company’s reach but aren’t sure how to do so because we’ve consulted the pros. Everything you need to know to run a chain of profitable restaurants, from when you open the first one until long after the last one closes its doors, is right here.

A quick caveat here; I personally would not recommend opening any restaurants, never mind a second one at this time. The reasons have been explained out in previous blog posts. The economy is in a recession, inflation and labour are crazy and the supply chain is a mess...need any more reasons. This is not to say that there are not opportunities, there are...just not brick and mortar.

Opening a second restaurant location is a significant decision. You shouldn’t be hasty just now. Even if your first restaurant is a massive hit with the public, that doesn’t mean you’ll have the same level of success with your second.

Success is possible if you approach it with the same planning and hard work as you did when launching your first one. Getting top-notch gear for chefs and finding the right staff to hire is just scratching the surface. So here are the most important things to keep in mind if you consider expanding your restaurant business.

1. Know if You’re Ready for Expansion

When things get rough, it’s easy to notice that it’s time to make some changes. Perhaps a few simple tweaks are enough, or there are even reasons to move a restaurant to make it work. However, when it comes to expanding your business, things are not as simple. So before you even start considering opening a new place, you need to be sure you’re ready for this step. There is no foolproof method of determining if your business is prepared to expand into a second location. But an excellent way to determine if this is the case is to answer the following questions:

  • Do you have so much going on that you simply cannot deal with the influx of people?

  • Do you get customers that make the trek from faraway cities to dine at your establishment?

  • Is there enough funding for this kind of venture?

  • Can you expect a financial boost if you launch a second restaurant?

  • Do you have the dedication and energy to put in the time?

  • Do you have reliable, trustworthy leaders who can take on extra responsibilities in order to free you up for the new venture?

If you’ve responded yes to every one of these questions, congrats are in order. The time has come for you to launch a second eatery.

2. Finalize your Funding

Without initial funding, your new business venture will remain just an idea. Do you plan to use personal savings to launch, or will you seek company loans? Also, your current restaurant must be financially stable. When you have stabilized your existing business’s finances, you may begin thinking about how to best finance your next adventure.

You may need to apply for a business loan to get your new firm off the ground. Taking out a loan is a typical tactic, but it requires careful planning and analysis. Business loans could be the correct choice if you don’t mind spending thousands of dollars in interest to launch your company faster.

3. Focus on Finding the Right Location

It’s likely that if you’re thinking of launching a second restaurant, you’ve already found the perfect spot for your first. The stakes are high when looking for a place to plant your new business’s roots, but with enough planning, you should be able to discover the ideal location.

When deciding where to open your new restaurant, keep the following in mind:

  • Select a site that is sufficiently removed from your current eatery to avoid competition with yourself.

  • You should research the local food scene to ensure that your restaurant concept will be well received.

  • Research the demographics of a potential new neighborhood and spend some time there to get to know the locals.

  • Avoid immediately developing an emotional investment in a new place.

  • Consider how easy or how hard it is to get to the location.

  • Is there adequate parking for your customers?

4. Create a Detailed Business Plan

As you’re not a complete novice in the restaurant business, you already understand the need to have a well-thought-out business plan before opening your doors. Simplify your life by sticking to a routine that already works. If you were successful the first time, you might be again.

System duplication might help you keep track of your expanding business. For instance, if both of your restaurants utilize the same payroll software, point-of-sale system, point-of-sale terminals, computer software, and website platform, you’ll be able to run everything more smoothly. Or, given the importance of a menu design, why not copy it to your new location if the first one worked well?

5. Develop a Great Marketing Strategy

It is difficult enough to promote a single restaurant, let alone several. As you craft your marketing strategy, your new restaurant’s target demographic should be front and center. You probably picked up a wealth of knowledge on how to advertise to the locals throughout your demographics study phase of site selection. Therefore, if you want your message to have a possible impact, you must use this data.

However, don’t make mistakes and rush into promoting your new location on social media. Instead, plan for how you’ll do so in a way that will attract and keep customers.

6. Leverage your Staff

It goes without saying that when it comes to the success of your first restaurant, you owe a lot to the formidable team you’ve put together. Now you need a plan to make sure your new hires are just as fantastic.

However, the first thing to do is to assess the current team to see who can take on more responsibility. Promoting from within is one of the finest ways to assist your employees in developing professionally and bringing in new hires who can learn from the best.

It’s highly recommended that you use your present personnel as trainers for your new hires to provide a uniform experience for your customers in your establishments. For your first company, setting out a training manual and an employee handbook as soon as possible is essential. These will serve as examples of acceptable workplace behavior and hold workers accountable for their behaviors.

7. Acquire Tools, Materials, and Stock

Lastly, it’s time to purchase equipment, supplies, and inventory. First, gather an accurate count of the tools and resources you and your staff rely on to deliver a seamless experience to your customers day in and day out. It will give you a good picture of what you’ll need at your new place.

Here are just some of the tips to help you with this aspect:

  • It’s essential to ensure your new appliances will fit in the designated area by taking the appropriate measurements.

  • You need to consider the available area before making any furniture purchases.

  • Obtain the necessary permits and ensure that your restaurant complies with local zoning laws.

  • Use the same equipment, as it will be easier for your present workers to educate your new hires.

Good luck opening a second restaurant location

On top of everything we’ve listed, there is a lot more to consider, but we hope our article was enough to give you a rough idea of where to start. Opening a second restaurant location will be a breeze if you take your time to plan everything in detail and avoid doing anything in a rush. We wish you the best of luck! Need a hand? Give us a shout, we specialize in restaurant consulting.

Cheers, and have a great weekend!

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