The Ultimate Restaurant Business Startup Guide

What Does it Take to be a Successful Restaurateur?

'Plan, Start and Grow your Restaurant Business'

Are you planning to start a restaurant? Excited? Isn’t it time-consuming? If opening a restaurant is what you have always dreamt, it is the right time to sit down and create an action plan for your startup.

Here in this restaurant business startup guide, we've pulled together the best tips for:

  • Restaurant & Food Service Industry Stats Globally
  • Starting a Restaurant Business
  • Types of Restaurants
  • Top Restaurant Industry Trends
  • Restaurant Owner’s Queries

Before, all that let’s start with some
groundbreaking stats worldwide

According to the National Restaurant Association the size and scope of the U.S. Restaurant Industry

  • Restaurant industry's projected sales in 2019: $863 billion
  • Restaurant locations in the United States: 1 million+
  • Restaurant industry employees: 15.3 million
  • New restaurant jobs created by 2029: 1.6 million
  • Restaurant workforce as part of the overall U.S. workforce: 10%

Statistics & facts according to Statista in the
United Kingdom (UK)

  • The market value for consumer food services reached approximately 77.6 billion euros and is expected to increase in 2020 to 80 billion euros.
  • Customer spending on restaurants and cafes 2018 84bn GBP
  • Average weekly spend on eating out in the UK 2018 18.6 GBP
  • Share of UK consumers eating out at least once a week 43%
  • Consumers visiting restaurants at least once a week 1.7m

Foodservice & Restaurant industry stats according to Wikipedia in Canada

  • 86,915 commercial foodservice units in Canada or 26.4 units per 10,000 Canadians.
  • 38,797 full-service restaurants
  • 34,629 limited-service restaurants
  • 741 contract and social caterers
  • 6,749 drinking places
  • 63% of restaurants in Canada are independent brands. Chain restaurants account for the remaining 37%, and many of these are locally owned and operated franchises.

According to the Arabian Gazette, the food industry is the second largest sector in the UAE.

  • The total food sales were Dh 121 billion ($32.9 billion) in the year 2016
  • With currently valued at US$ 13.2 billion in the UAE alone, and expected to grow at a CAGR (compound annual growth rate) of around 8% to reach US$ 29.3 billion by 2020.
  • The food-service industry is expected to grow over 25% to reach around US$ 136.1 billion by 2020.

The following stats show that the growth of the foodservice and restaurant industry is extensive. And, it is going to stay for a very long time. That is the reason a lot of people are attracted to running their own restaurant, pub, café, food cart, and coffee shop.


Planning Your Restaurant


Think of your business plan as the appetizer. Its an introduction to your business—for investors, partners, and potential customers. If you’ve never planned for business before, our restaurant business startup guide will walk you through how to do just that.

But let’s start with a little profile check:

  • Are you prepared to work way more than 40-hours a week?
  • Do you enjoy managing people?
  • Can you go without paying yourself for months if needed?
  • How long do you want to run this business?
  • Who will take over the business if you no longer want to run it 5, 10, 15 or 20 years from now?

So, Let’s Start With Your Idea.
What Kind of Foodservice & Restaurant Business You Want to Start With?

What Type of Restaurant I Should Open?

Before entering the foodservice or restaurant industry, one should be careful about choosing from among the various restaurant formats, the required investments, target audience, cuisine, and an amazing experience you wish to create in the cluttered foodservice industry.

What are the Different Types of a Restaurant?

Fine Dining

This one particular format requires a high level of knowledge of gourmet food & service levels. It usually has the most elaborate menus with expensive tags on the items. Customers are expected to make a reservation for dining and may have to come in a certain dress code if required. The fine-dining restaurants provide a classy atmosphere and precise detailing of each item. It may also offer liquor to its customers.

Casual Dining

These types of restaurants typically serve 3-course meals and have an extensive menu with a slightly higher price but are cheaper than fine dining. Casual Dining restaurant format offers food which is more presentable, freshly cooked, and with table service. The ambiance of this format is a little modern and comfortable, giving a family-friendly experience.


Quick Service Restaurants & Fast Food

One of the most popular types of restaurants, the Quick Service Restaurant is a hot favorite among aspiring restaurateurs these days. A QSR serves fast food which takes less time for preparation. The food served here is quick and very much cheap as compared to the other formats.


The cafe restaurant format does not usually provide table service and has a self-service option. This type of restaurant does have a comfortable sitting area. The menu of cafe typically includes beverages, and finger foods such as pastries, pizza, and sandwiches. This type of format also gives an outdoor or casual sitting.



Buffet restaurant format is similar to the casual dining restaurant. This restaurant has fewer food options as compared to the QSR and casual restaurant format. The restaurant format offers food items at a fixed price as in the form of a buffet.

Food Trucks and Concession Stands

The Food Truck or Concession Stands format is the most viable among all the restaurant formats because it requires less investment and has fewer overheads. Food Trucks are essentially movable Quick Service Restaurants (QSRs) because the basic character remains the same, that is, proving fast and cheap food.


Ghost/Cloud Restaurant

The ghost restaurant aka delivery restaurant concept is very popular these days. As compared to the other restaurant formats, it requires less investment. These restaurants don’t have any physical locations and only available on online food ordering channels.


The term breweries bring to mind the images of a classy yet comfortable sitting area, pleasant ambiance, and lively music. Out of all types of restaurants, this format has the most extensive menu of liquor and mocktails. This one foodservice format can promise you high sales but at the same time requires a lot of investments and overheads.


What are Financial Requirements to Open a Restaurant?


It doesn’t matter if you want to open a large or small restaurant, a café, or a brewery. All of the following categories and questions apply. Addressing each of the items below in detail will increase your chances of success.

  • Learn what financial performance to expect.
  • Finalize your plan to reach sales projections.
  • How much money do you need to start a restaurant?
  • How do you know? How much money do you need to make in order to be profitable?
  • How do you know? Benchmarks (what to expect from your financials)

Location! Location! Location!How do I Choose the Perfect Location for My Restaurant?

As you want to be a successful brand in the restaurant industry you need to scout the right location, including who your neighbors are and will be. If you shifted from one area to another you need to research what was in your location before you and why they are no longer there. Furthermore, you need to follow the given statements:

  • What restaurants in your area are successful and which are failures? Make sure you know and understand why!
  • What will your restaurant floor plan look like?
  • Will you own or rent your location?
  • Consult with the owners of real estate in the same area you are opening your restaurant. What did you learn?
  • What kind of permits do you need?

Do I need to Implement Technology?


From the cash register to the restaurant kitchen, technology has become an integral part of how restaurants operate. Furthermore, innovators are constantly coming up with new digital solutions to make running a restaurant easier and faster.

This tech revolution has turned once imagined solutions into the foodservice necessities, by entirely transforming the restaurant business.

Restaurant Management System

‘A single software helps you to manage multiple tasks within just a few clicks.’ A restaurant ordering system plays a very important role when it comes to managing restaurant operations.

Check What a Digital Restaurant Management System Includes
online ordering

Restaurant Online Ordering System

The restaurant online food ordering system works for both customers and as well as the restaurant owners. This can be defined as a simple and convenient way for customers to choose and order food online, without having to go to the restaurant. And, for the restaurant owners, it is very easy to get orders placed on a single platform.

To read more about Restaurant Online Ordering Systems check our complete guide here!

online ordering

Restaurant Food Ordering App

In this mobile first world, a food ordering app plays a vital role in your restaurant business startup. We all know, from the last few years online food ordering became very popular. Customers prefer ordering food online rather than placing an order by calling the restaurant.

Food ordering apps make the process of food ordering, tracking the order, customize the food, easy payments within just a few taps. That is the reason why customers prefer ordering food online.

Check more features of Restaurant Food Ordering Apps !

online ordering

Restaurant POS System

The Point of Sale system can do wonders for your restaurant. It is a computerized system designed in a way to track sales, cash flow, food inventory, and simplifying tedious restaurant operations. Moreover, restaurant POS system have advanced features that speed up the billing process and improve customer experience.

There are two types of Restaurant POS System:
  • Traditional POS System
  • Cloud Based POS System

Read more, Cloud vs Traditional Restaurant POS System: Which One is Better & Why?

online ordering

Kitchen Display System

Any restaurant, whether small or large, can benefit from KDS (Kitchen display systems). It replaces paper and printed restaurant order tickets with a digital screen. Further, it is connected to the restaurant’s point-of-sale (POS) system. Moreover, it acts as a mediator between the staff and the chef.

To read more about, visit our complete guide to Restaurant Kitchen Display Systems

online ordering

Restaurant Website

TA restaurant website is basically the front face of your restaurant brand. It makes your restaurant branding game on search engines (Google, Yahoo, etc.) even more strong.

Read more about Restaurant Website visit here.


What Licenses and Permits are Needed to Start a Restaurant?


These Are the Permits and Licenses You'll Need to Open a Restaurant:

  • Business License
  • Liquor License
  • Foodservice License
  • Employee Identification Number (EIN)
  • Food Handler’s Permit

We have come a long way by covering the important factors: checking the worldwide stats of foodservice & restaurant industry’s growth to restaurant startup plan to implementation.



Before entering the foodservice or restaurant industry, one should be careful about choosing from among the various restaurant formats, the required investments, target audience, cuisine, and an amazing experience you wish to create in the cluttered foodservice industry.

  • How much money do you need to open your own restaurant?
  • How successfully run a restaurant?
  • How much does a restaurant owner make per hour?
  • What is needed in a restaurant kitchen?
  • What are the most important success factors for a restaurant?
  • What is a smart restaurant?
  • What are the tools to streamline restaurant operations?
  • What staff is needed to run a restaurant?
  • How do you manage staff in a restaurant?
  • What is the best online food ordering system?
  • Do i need to add my restaurant on 3rd party apps or create my own restaurant brand app?
  • How do I create a restaurant ordering app?
  • What are ghost or cloud kitchens?
  • Why online presence is important for a restaurant business?
  • What sites should my business be listed on?
  • How do I promote my restaurant on Social Media?
  • How do I advertise my restaurant?

Get. Set. Go!!

If opening a restaurant business is what you’ve always dreamt of, then this restaurant startup guide will definitely come handy! And, starting a restaurant from scratch has a majority of things associated with it. Once you have a solid restaurant startup plan in hand, you’re good to go!

Need any guidance regarding the restaurant business startup, restaurant promotion ideas, and custom food ordering app or a digital restaurant management system?

Feel free to contact our sales representatives at If you are already running a restaurant business and looking for quick service, then create your own food ordering app at competitive pricing, you can connect with us right away at +1-619-309-4653

How much money do you need to open your own restaurant?

Opening a new restaurant costs around $50,000 to $80,000. Those are the figures for a small restaurant such as a café or diner.


How successfully run a restaurant?

  • Hire A Great Chef And Know Your Concept
  • Keep Adequate Funds In Reserve
  • Get A Memorable Logo
  • Ensure A Unique Menu Card either paper or Digital Menu
  • Create a Restaurant Food Ordering App & Website
  • Use Social Media Channels
  • Do Aggressive Promotion
  • Invest On Your Guests

How much does a restaurant owner make per hour?

According to PayScale, the Restaurant owner makes money around $12.00 per hour. The average pay for an Owner, Restaurant is $63,159 per year.


What is needed in a restaurant kitchen?

Here are the items you need in your restaurant kitchen Oven, Grill, Deep-fryer, Walk-in cooler, Freezer (either a chest, upright, or walk-in), Sauté pans, Stock/soup pots, Saucepans, Baking sheets, Pizza screens, Baking pans, Tongs,Spatulas, Ladles, Chef’s knives, Pizza paddle, Whisks, Mixing bowls, Plastic inserts for coolers, Steam table, Entrée plates, Pasta bowls, Appetizer plates, Salad plates, Dessert plates, Metal or plastic shelves for walk-in cooler, Cleaning rags, Cleaning buckets (specifically labeled for cleaning products), Rubber floor mats, Hand soap and sanitizer dispensers, Fire extinguisher.


What are the most important success factors for a restaurant?

  • Targeted marketing. Make sure your marketing focuses on your trade area, your customer demographics and their buying behaviours.
  • Quality food
  • Quality service
  • Flawless execution
  • Customer data
  • Customer feedback
  • Empowered staff
  • Realistic financial formula

What is a smart restaurant?

Smart restaurants are the future of Restaurant Catalogs and order taking. Yes we are talking about restaurant food ordering apps. These apps are multilingual and easy-to-use have replaced the old conventional restaurant catalog, while it also works as a POS system. Smart Restaurant is also ideal for cafés, bars, and every food and beverage serving business.


What are the tools to streamline restaurant operations?

  • Restaurant POS system
  • Restaurant Management System
  • Restaurant Food Ordering Apps
  • Flawless execution
  • Customer data
  • Customer feedback
  • Empowered staff
  • Realistic financial formula

To read more visit Must-Have Tools To Streamline Your Restaurant Operations


What staff is needed to run a restaurant?

The Staff you need to hire to run a successful Restaurant including: managers, cooks, servers, buspersons, dishwashers, hosts and bartenders. Each has a specific function and contributes to the operations of the restaurant.


How do you manage staff in a restaurant?

  • Create a work plan according to your staff’s availability & designation
  • Have fun at your staff meetings
  • Reward your staff
  • Show respect to all staff
  • Get to know your staff
  • Encourage fun at work
  • Ask your staff's opinion

Read our Restaurant Staff Training Plan guide!


What is the best online food ordering system?

RestroApp is one of the best online food ordering systems. It is a food-industry focused solution that offers feature-rich and powerful mobile apps to empower restaurants with an unmatched digital presence in this mobile-first world.


Do i need to add my restaurant on 3rd party apps or create my own restaurant brand app?

Well, it is a million dollar question though! When you have successfully opened a restaurant or either running it efficiently from a long time, you might be confused about choosing the right platform 3rd party apps or your own restaurant’s branded app for your food business.

Here is my opinion, you should go for creating your own restaurant app. Let me explain in detail, when you list your restaurant on any 3rd-party food ordering app, you pay to the food delivery platform every month as per the numbers of orders you get & plus setup fees.

But when you create your own restaurant app, there are so many positive points you can consider that can add value to your restaurant brand. You need to pay the one-time setup fees, and the plan you choose. You can choose the plan according to your budget. You don’t pay cut for your restaurant’s online food orders.


How do I create a restaurant ordering app?

If you are planning to create your own food ordering app, you can opt for on-demand food ordering app development company. All you need to do is find the best! If you a concept in mind you can contact RestroApp for your restaurant app development.


What are ghost or cloud kitchens?

A cloud kitchen is a delivery-only restaurant. It doesn’t offer dine-in facilities, instead mainly focuses on takeaways. Restaurants lease out commercial places, where they prepare the food. People order food online through mobile food ordering apps, and these restaurants deliver the food to their doorsteps.

Read more about Cloud Kitchen Concept & Marketing Ideas


Why online presence is important for a restaurant business?

Whatever questions you might have in your mind, the answer will all the time be: “Google it!”. Assume you have just googled “where should I eat tonight today”. 70 milion results. 70 million pages committed to helping you to figure out this. Most of these results serve information about various businesses through a website where people can find and others can link to. No matter how big or small, no matter the industry, every business needs to have an online web presence.


What sites should my business be listed on?

  • Google Places
  • Facebook Page
  • Yellowpages
  • Superpages
  • Yelp
  • Citysearch
  • Yahoo!
  • Bing Local

How do I promote my restaurant on Social Media?

Top 10 ways to promote your restaurant on Social Media platforms

  • First start creating your restaurant business pages on all the social media channels including: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Youtube
  • Post regularly
  • Encourage Check-Ins
  • Blog About It
  • Get Listed on Yelp
  • Showcase Videos on YouTube
  • Share and Promote on Instagram
  • Publicize on Pinterest
  • Share images on Instagram

How do I advertise my restaurant?

Here are the top effective ways to market your restaurant:

  • Build a website & restaurant food ordering app
  • Create a monthly email
  • Update the menu on regularly
  • Create a customer loyalty program
  • Offer an online reservation option
  • Improve social media presence
  • Run contests and games
  • Leverage food bloggers
  • Use effective SEO keywords
  • Partner with delivery services
  • Offer coupons and discounts