Planning for restaurant startup costs and when to expect them

June 29, 2021

Are you planning to start your own restaurant? Understand what costs you may incur and when to expect them with this quick guide.


Although there is no shortage of restaurant startup costs breakdown guides, many of these are lacking from a timeline perspective. This is a critical miss; one that can result in a new restaurant failing before it has designed its first menu. Knowing the costs of every step, and when the funds for each step will be needed, is a necessity to ensure that you have the money when needed. Doing so avoids delays and eliminates much of the stress involved in building a restaurant.


Determining your core concept involves market research

What thoughts or feelings will be invoked when the name of your restaurant is mentioned? Invoking interest in your restaurant concept is the first hurdle to be cleared because, well, no customers, no business. Although it is very likely that you have already outlined a concept, you will need to match this to a number of external factors, such as location and competition, and make the appropriate tweaks to help your restaurant stand out from the others.

Market research is where you will incur your first set of costs. Although some of the data you need can be found for free, much of the in-depth information required for a business plan will come at a cost. It is just as likely that once opened, you will need a data-friendly point of sale (POS) solution in place to provide you with the seamless integration of sales and market data that is required in building predictive sales analytics. These set the tone for necessary proactive changes that help you remain competitive.


Creating a business plan requires time and data

The creation of a business plan is arguably the most time-consuming and complex of any item on your timeline. It is ideally created before you have even started looking for a location, and it’s an instrumental tool for obtaining financing or investment capital. Depending on your business experience, this is a task that may require professional assistance from a business plan writing service to ensure that it is an accurate and comprehensive view of your overall vision.

The business plan is a dynamic document that needs advanced business technology to accurately maintain. A POS system will help you to stay on track with the goals outlined in your business plan and will provide the required reports to make proactive changes in the model you follow. The POS technology you are investing in must provide the necessary tools for maintaining compliance with the business plan while keeping you aligned to the evolving tastes of your customer base.


Identifying the tools needed to manage financing and investments

You have seen POS systems mentioned a couple of times already, but let’s now look into what tools a POS system should have for managing your finances. A highly capable POS system provides business owners with an inclusive set of tools that can easily be employed to manage the inner workings of business finances. The ability to leverage data analysis and reporting tools contained in a POS system will be instrumental when typical financial tasks need to be performed.

For example, lenders and investors may have financial health or sales goals in mind as a condition of their investment. Having these POS tools in place allows you to effortlessly make any pertinent financial information available, adding a layer of transparency to your financial relationships. These capabilities will also apply to other third-party entities, such as a tax accountant, while providing you with valuable insights into the inner workings of your restaurant.


Putting the legalities to rest

With plans well laid and financial reporting now a breeze, you will be ready to advance into the tasks surrounding the actual opening of your restaurant. In this stage, you enter into the world of insurance, licensing, and permits. These requirements will vary quite wildly from location to location. But as overwhelming as this may sound, many of these tasks will now be easier to accomplish with the framework and planning that you have already designed.

POS technology will help you to manage all of these new moving pieces thanks to its ability to monitor all of your business aspects. Fee due dates, coverage information, and permit renewals are all easy to view within a modern POS system. POS-based technology will take things a step beyond the basics by allowing you to again tap into its analytical capabilities to make more advanced decisions, such as coverage changes or adding capacity, with precision and with confidence.


Attracting the customer with an enticing menu

Now the final and most creative of your startup cost points can begin: the construction of a menu. Building a menu that matches the concepts outlined in your business plan and aligns with the data from marketing research. The menu must be doable from the perspective of your staff, especially the type of and availability of your ideal chef. Your menu must also be easily accessible and help to promote your restaurant to a broad audience of potential customers.

Utilizing POS technology that provides its own customizable and fully integrated ordering website places you in an ideal position for your grand opening. Online menus that can be quickly updated both internally and externally, and will be always available if viewed after hours. An online menu opens the doors to improved mobility options, including contactless, as well as the use of mobile devices for tableside ordering and payments.


Need help conducting your own restaurant startup costs breakdown?

Although many of the steps you’ll find in resources about starting a restaurant are accurate, they often don’t include a breakdown of the restaurant startup costs that can be incurred. By using business tools that are housed within an all-inclusive POS platform from the start, you gain a toolset to help minimize startup costs while building streamlined efficiencies from day one. This removes the limitations of funding by allowing you to create a timeline that aligns with your expectations and creation pace.

Establishing a business relationship with talech goes beyond our POS technology. Our consultants use their business wisdom to devise a startup strategy that is proven and uses advanced POS tools to help you break down restaurant startup costs and stay on course.


U.S. Bank is proud to offer an all-in-one POS solution through our partners, talech. Learn how you can accept payments and run your business better.

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