Many people stay out of the restaurant business because they don’t like the long days and longer nights that are associated with it. A fast-growing alternative is the breakfast lunch restaurant, which offers menu options and better hours. It’s still a tough business, but with over $600 billion available every year, it can also be a hugely profitable business. Here’s what you’re going to need to do to work mornings instead of nights.
1. Get Your Niche and Stick To It.
Many breakfast lunch restaurants try to be everything to everyone and that’s ultimately why they fail. A restaurant doesn’t need to have an extensive menu in order to be profitable. It simply needs a few selections within its niche that it does better than anyone else. If you don’t have a pancake place in your community, then stacks of buttermilk pancakes can lead you to the promised land.
How you select your niche should depend on the population demographics within your community. If it is mostly seniors who are coming out for breakfast, then smaller portion sizes and options like oatmeal will be top sellers. Busy professionals will happily grab some breakfast sandwiches and burritos. A full sit-down experience might mean skillets, biscuits, and sausage.
2. Get Your Paperwork Filed.
A breakfast lunch restaurant is going to need to file an incredible amount of paperwork. It all begins with the location. You’ll need to sign a lease or have rights to a property before you can insure it or get your business license. Once you get these items, you’ll need to have your equipment installed and/or cleaned so that you can pass health inspections. If you want to serve alcohol, you’ll need a separate license for that. All of your workers will also need to be certified to handle foods.
Paperwork must also be posted within the restaurant. You’ll need to post specific safety instructions, like telling your staff to wash their hands after using the bathroom. Your licenses and inspections will typically need to be posted for public display as well. A warning that ordering undercooked foods can be harmful to human health is typically required in some way as well.
3. Secure Your Food Purchases.
You’ll need food coming into the restaurant in order to serve it to your customers. This means you will need to create a regular system of ordering from your local distribution network. Coffee is going to be one of your major items. Most people don’t have breakfast or lunch without at least one cup of coffee. Other items are going to be based on personal and geographic preferences.
Don’t forget the other equipment that you’ll need as well outside of your stoves and hot plates. You’ll need budgeting software to help you keep tracking of incoming revenues and outgoing payments. A point of sale system is typically needed today to facilitate order taking. You may need multiple stations for coffee, credit card processing equipment, and other specific items that make it easier to take orders or have customers pay for them.
4. Keep the Menu Changing.
A static menu is one that will eventually cause a breakfast lunch restaurant to file for bankruptcy. There will always be a desire for eggs that are sunny side up, buttered toast, and sausage links. A seasonal emphasis, however, could add eggs Benedict in spring and biscuits with sausage gravy in winter. The lunch menu will always have burgers, but rotating a mushroom and Swiss and a chipotle BBQ based on the season adds variety. It’s that variety that will add some extra spice to the restaurant.
5. Save Some Cash.
Most breakfast lunch restaurants are fairly small and run as a family business. This keeps their staffing costs down because whatever profits and tips are made will become their salary for that day. Being open for a limited time can actually improve profitability because people will adjust their routines to meet your schedule. Being open for large blocks of time without any customers means you’re losing money. Being open when people want to eat and closing when they do not? That’s good business.
Running a breakfast lunch restaurant can be fun, enjoyable, and even relaxing with the right location. If you love the idea of serving breakfast and lunch and that’s what your community supports, then you can create a business that will meet those needs and make you money. Follow these tips today and tomorrow you may be able to take your first entrepreneurial steps in the restaurant industry.
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