Opening a restaurant: from concept to opening
restaurant management

Opening a restaurant: from concept to opening

The project of opening a catering establishment requires a substantial budget. In fact, the cost of opening a restaurant involves several types of expenses.
First of all, you have to take into account the purchase of raw materials (drinks, food, etc.) and also the purchase of a licence to sell alcoholic drinks.
Then you need to define the legal status of your company (SARL, SA, EURL...), in the restaurant sector many companies take the SARL business model.
And finally the choice of premises, the place you choose for your restaurant is extremely important.
To open a restaurant, training in catering is recommended. Because setting up a restaurant business requires certain knowledge of the trade.

Once a decision has been made to open a restaurant, the effectiveness of the strategy should help to plan a clear action plan. How do you put together your file, what restaurant creation tools should you use? Here are the steps to get there.

Free Trial | Koust Application


Strategies for opening a restaurant

Define your vision: develop your concept

The first step is to define one's vision at 5 years, then at 1 year to structure one's ideas and to clearly define the concept that one wants to implement.

"The restaurant, I see it this way... I dream that my establishment is..."

To commit a team to a direction and make the right choices, this strategy will give the whole team a goal. Each member of the company will find his or her place more easily and actions will be more naturally organized. Coordinated actions will increase the chances of success. This mission indicates the type of results expected, such as a reasonably priced offer of quality products or fast service.

To be a good leader, you need to have a plan, give direction to motivate naturally. The second phase of this vision will be to define common values for team cohesion such as respect for the environment, "home-made", mutual respect or exceptional quality of service.

For example, Burger King emphasizes excellence and being the best in the industry in its vision and mission statements.

Commercial strategy

After the detailed description of what we want to achieve, the "What?", we will then define the "How?". The commercial strategy will detail the actions to structure its offer and choose a strategy.

1 - Structure my restaurant's offer

A set of questions to help you define your offer:

  1. How do I define my market? Then, who are the consumers and how do I define them?
  2. Who are my direct and indirect competitors? What are my competitive advantages and disadvantages?
  3. What needs, what problems do I respond to?
  4. What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  5. What more do I bring? How do I differentiate myself?

2 - Setting goals before opening a restaurant

Objectives must be SMART. SMART is a method of describing objectives in a clear and easy to understand way:

  • Simple or Specific
  • Measurable
  • Reachable
  • Realists
  • Timing / Temporality

For more information on this smart method on Wikipedia.

Sales Objectives

These objectives can be verified later by monitoring indicators for the restaurant.

  • Turnover to be achieved
  • The number of covers per service
  • The number of new customers
  • The average basket per customer
  • The average number of customer visits

Profitability Objectives

These objectives are indicators of (financial) management.

  • Gross margin (raw material cost)
  • Ratio (sales price excl. VAT/ material cost excl. VAT)

Activity Objectives

These objectives are not related to results, but rather to exploration efforts.

  • Search for partners, prescribers (number to be defined)
  • Number of Facebook posts, 
  • Number of mails sent
  • Telephone calls

3 - Clarify strategic choices

Before choosing the menus, before building the menu, before choosing the decoration, specify the strategy to strongly increase the chances of success. Here are some examples of policies to define the procedure to follow:

  1. Practicing an aggressive trade policy through low costs
  2. Find a specific market: niche market (Example: vegetarian restaurant)
  3. Differentiate from competitors to avoid comparisons (eating in the dark, underwater restaurant ...)
  4. Create new products, innovate
  5. Market Penetration Strategy: Subway
  6. Find new customers with its products: open a second restaurant
  7. Conquering new markets with its customers: a hotel that opens a restaurant

4 - Identify anddefine the target: its typical customer

To define its target, identify the different segments of your market. This work will enable you to classify the different customer profiles and will help you refine and improve your choices.

  1. How to segment your market?
    • Segmentation, will allow you to organize and group future customers into similar subsets of the same kind.
    • The segments therefore group together customers who have the same needs and expectations. Segmentation will amplify the value of the future customer. You will be better able to choose the right method and the right marketing to reach it with less effort.
  2. How to choose and define your targets?
    • The Segment and different from the target
    • Targeting will answer the question, "How do I apply my offer to this or that segment?"
    • For example, having segmented lunch, dinner and group meals, you define to target only lunch customers or to target all 3 segments with a different marketing for each and a different offer for the groups.
  3. Determine your favourite targets
    • The more targets you have, the more you need to organize their value and priorities.

5 - Define the action plan

Like the SMART method, communication, marketing and commercial actions will be scheduled. Methods and means

Action Details Responsible Target Expected date
Promote the restaurant to potential customers Creation of the website

- Creation of the graphic charter
- Choose provider
- Content Map

Adam Midday client,

Client night,




The business plan describes the project to open a restaurant in all areas: financial, commercial, resources, business model. The legal choices describe how to secure the business, the financial part explains how profitability will be ensured. The number of employees, qualifications, salaries, sales forecasts and an estimate of all costs are quantified.

Financial Forecast

Choice of commercial premises and definition of the catchment area

Then, with all these decisions, the choice of premises will be easier. And, you know exactly which establishment will be created and you have an idea of the ideal location based on the previous criteria.

Also, to help you, the Google Mymaps tool allows you to create your own maps and analyze your catchment area to make the right choices. So, place your restaurant there and identify :

  • Competitors, type of restaurants nearby
  • Traffic routes, parking lots
  • Nearby shops
  • Activity centres, cinemas, schools and universities
  • Business centers, industries ...

define the restaurant catchment area

Formalities for setting up a business

These formalities allow you to declare your activity and apply for your registration before setting up your restaurant :

  • Business license, restaurant license required.
  • Application for a licence to serve alcoholic beverages,
  • Mandatory hygiene training,
  • Safety and accessibility standards to be met
  • The legal obligations of restaurant signage

For more information on how to complete the administrative formalities

Accompanying organizations

In conclusion, to identify and benefit from financial aid to build up your capital, get closer to :

  • Local support organisations
  • Agence France Entrepreneur (APCE)
  • Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) closest to you



Koust is a management software dedicated to CHR professions.
Koust allows you to optimize the profitability of your establishment.
The idea is simple: better control over quantities and costs by having more control over procurement and production.

Free Trial

Request a demo