If you’re planning to open up a restaurant, you need to think about several factors. You need to consider the location, and the financial matters, such as whether you’re borrowing money from a bank or credit union. You have to hire the cooks, wait staff, bartenders, and possibly a big-name chef if you want to garner some buzz.
You also need to think about the price point and what type of food you’re going to serve. There are all kinds of different cuisines, and each one has some positives and some potential drawbacks. Let’s examine a few varieties.
Italian food seems to be a big winner, for the most part. You can get yourself some industrial batch ovens and make pizza, and you can make pasta, salad, breadsticks, and other favorites. You might also get away from some of the tried-and-true Italian dishes and try something a little more experimental.
One potential issue with Italian food is overexposure. There are major cities where you can’t walk a block without passing an Italian place. Also, it’s typically very filling, so someone who wants a light lunch might stay away.
You might find Italian restaurants do better in colder months but not so well in warm ones. People want filling, hearty meals when it’s cold. When it’s hot out, they might opt for something less calorie-dense.
With Indian food, you can specialize in different regions. For instance, you can feature food from Northern or Southern India or have a nice hodgepodge of fare from various areas.
Some people who are not too adventurous might not want to try Indian, but once you introduce them to some of the less intimidating dishes, they usually get on board. Any carnivore will probably like chicken vindaloo, which is basically meat and potatoes in a hearty, tomato-based gravy with vinegar notes.
On the other hand, some people stay away from it because they worry that it’s spicy. You can definitely get spicy Indian food, but you can also order it mild. If someone has an ulcer or a similar stomach issue, you might find it difficult to get them in the door.
If you live in some parts of the country, you find BBQ all over the place. It’s everywhere in Texas and Kansas City. You can also find some excellent BBQ establishments scattered across the Midwest.
Some individuals will drive hundreds of miles if they hear there’s a well-reviewed new BBQ restaurant that just opened. You can even attract more customers if you feature live music on the weekends, and you have an extensive beer menu.
However, you’re always going to lose the people who don’t eat meat. A vegan or vegetarian probably won’t ever come visit your establishment, even if you have a token salad or two on the menu.
Sushi is very popular in some cities, like New York and San Francisco. Where it was once a niche item, you can now find sushi in nearly every state, and especially in metropolitan areas.
It’s kind of an acquired taste. Some people can’t get enough of it, while others despise it. The fact that the fish is raw also brings up certain safety concerns.
You must be quite careful about how you prepare it. Accordingly, you can’t just hire a line cook that has only worked at Applebee’s before. You usually need to locate a crew that has trained under a sushi chef in the past or has learned how to prepare it in culinary school.
Chinese food is by no means a monolith. There are all kinds of Chinese food, including the “Americanized” version of dishes, such as wonton soup, sweet-and-sour chicken, General Tso’s chicken, and so forth.
You might also locate a chef who can create a more eclectic menu if you want to generate some sparkling reviews. You don’t need to have the same old menu, especially if there are several establishments in the area that have almost identical offerings.
If you’re open for lunch as well as dinner, you might feature dim sum as well. That’s nice for people who are on their lunch hour, as they can quickly select a few options, eat, and be out the door without lingering.
You might also think about Thai, Japanese, Greek, Ethiopian, and many others. It depends on what you feel will do well in a particular area and whether you can find the kitchen staff with the skills you need.