The ongoing pandemic still greatly impacts the restaurant industry in the United States. Take-out was the go-to option of many people since it was the safest alternative for those who are not comfortable going out. But now that there is already a vaccine and the world economy is starting to get back on its feet, the restaurant industry is promising.
People are now more comfortable dining out, and any business that involves food would always stay in demand. If you are looking into starting your own restaurant, here’s a guide that can help you kick start your business.
Think of a Name and Register It
When starting a business, you would want to have a business name that speaks about the identity of your brand and chosen industry. The next thing to do is to have it registered. In the United States, there are four ways for you to register your chosen name. Each of them serves its own purpose, and they are:
- Entity – Registering an entity name protects your chosen business name at a state level. This is how the state will identify you as a business, and every state has its own set of requirements and procedures for the registration. In general, most states won’t allow you to have a name already registered under someone else.
- Trademark – trademark name protects your services, goods, and business at a federal or national level. It prevents other businesses under the same industry in the United States from using your trademarked business name. To check if your chosen name is still available, you can go to the website of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- Doing Business As (DBA) – DBA is also known as an assumed name or fictitious name that you will use within the county, city, or state where your business is located. Though registering a DBA doesn’t have any legal protection, some states would require you to have a DBA, especially if you’re going to apply for a business bank account and federal tax ID number or EIN.
- Domain Name – Almost all businesses nowadays have an online presence like a website. You need to register your domain name or also known as URL or website address. It’s the best way to protect your brand and business online.
Apply for a Business Permit
A business license is a permit from the government that will allow you and your business to operate legally. In most cases, every state has its own set of requirements for this type of paperwork. The best thing for you to do is to visit your local municipality’s office to inquire about the process or visit the website of the US Small Business Administration (SBA) for more detailed information.
The cost to apply for a business license varies depending on which city and state you’re in, but the standard processing fee starts at USD 50. However, you should be prepared for other applicable fees ranging from as little as USD 25 to as high as USD 7,000.
Get a Food Service License
This type of permit is vital for any business related to food. Food licenses are issued by your local state health department, and you can get more info about your state’s specific requirements by going to the website of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
To get a license, you will get an in-person visit from the people from the health department. Their task is to ensure that your restaurant is up to the hygiene code and follows food safety regulations and protocols. The cost to apply for a food license varies depending on your restaurant’s location, but the average price is usually between USD 100 and USD 1,000.
Buy the Necessary Equipment
Now that you have the legal paperwork in order, the next thing that you need to do is to buy your cooking equipment. On the top of your list should be a heavy-duty range and oven to keep up with the amount of food you will be serving. One of the most commonly used ovens in the restaurant industry is the combination oven, a fusion of a steamer and a convection oven. Other basic things that you would need are:
- Food processors
- Chopping boards
- Hand Mixers
- Knives and Slicers
- Freezer and Refrigerator
- Safety Equipment like first aid kit and fire extinguisher
Promote and Launch Your Restaurant
Advertising a business is easier nowadays because of the internet. You can create a website using the domain name you have registered and include photos of your food, menu, and price list. You can also create ads and post on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.
After establishing your presence and reached out to potential clients through the internet, you can now do a soft launch of your business. This is the perfect time to connect and gain the attention of the community. One good way of making an impact is giving your customers a souvenir from curated gift box companies so that they have something to remember you by.
Starting any business requires a lot of time, attention, and patience. But as long as you put your mind and heart to it, there is no doubt that you will reap success because of your hard work.