How many of us have sat with friends ruminating about how successfully you would transform your local pub or restaurant? The dream is a very attractive one, the reality is often one of long hours, large capital outlay and hard work possibly for limited reward. However, there are a number of low-cost ways to gain knowledge and experience prior to launching in.
You could take the low-risk option of working part-time as bar staff at your local pub in the evenings or at weekends to see the opportunity from the grassroots.
Or for the more committed you could apply for a training contract for Pub Managers at one of the large managed pub companies and branded chains of restaurants, salaries initially are low but they provide a useful means for picking up skills and testing your resolve.
If this does not deter you, some of the considerations then become:
- the style of pub/ restaurant you wish to operate
- the demographic that you are trying to attract and therefore the ideal location for your business
- the competition in the area
- the start-up capital that you will require, i.e. premises, how much money will you need to refurbish the premises, what staff will you need to run the
place, how much should be budgeted for promoting the business in its early phases and the amount of working capital that you will need
- a financial plan detailing your realistic expectations for the first three years
- various regulatory considerations, i.e. gaining an on-licence, ensuring that the business represents a safe environment for customers and staff (this is particularly the case if food is being prepared).
Once you are on top of this detail, you will have the necessary information to write your business plan. This will provide you with a benchmark to review your progress against, and also enable you, if necessary, to pitch your plan to outside investors.
If you are still in the game at this stage, you will need to ensure that your offer is clearly differentiated from the competition with excellent standards of quality and service for you to survive, this is particularly the case given the current challenging economic environment and the heavy discounting from many of the chains.