In this article, we’d be seeing a step by step guide on how you can start a successful restaurant business in Canada. Just like every other business, launching a restaurant business requires a lot of planning and of course, money. You’ll have a lot of work figuring out how you intend to run the business, from what it’ll look like and the best location to site your business to hiring the best team and even more.
If you already have experience in the hospitality industry, probably as an employee starting a restaurant will be easier. In the situation whereby the opposite is the case, don’t worry, you will still scale through as a restaurant owner. Everyone began someday, you just need to study the industry before jumping in and most importantly, put in your best while running the business.
How to Open a restaurant Business in Canada
We’d be exploring some very important things you need to know about opening a successful food/restaurant business in Canada. Before launching your business, kindly note that the business must comply with federal, provincial and municipal laws. These laws vary from province to province, so I’ll advise you to consult a legal advisor before launching the business.
Below is a step by step guide on how you can set up a restaurant business in Canada:
- Define your restaurant concept: This is is the overall idea or theme that defines the restaurant, including your dining room decor, service style, menu’s design and of course, the style of food. A good restaurant concept will cover an array of elements, from the business name to the design of your collateral and even the wall paintings.
In choosing a restaurant concept, you need to research your customer base to identify what they’d appreciate.
- Create a business plan: A business plan is a written description of your business’s future. It should contain your business goals, the methods for attaining those goals, and the time frame for the achievement of the goals.
- Create a marketing plan: This is one of the most important things you need to know before opening a restaurant. How do you intend to get customers? What are your marketing strategies? Who are your potential customers? I always advise business owners to include social media while mapping out their marketing plans. With the internet, you can reach thousands of potential customers without even having to leave your house.
- Research funding options: This is one of the most important factors that will determine your business success. You need to access and compare your operational costs to your available funds. I always advise potential entrepreneurs to create a financial analysis to avoid leaping into a business that might later crash.
No matter how much you might want to avoid this part, you’ll still have to meet it in the later run if you don’t plan properly. Endeavour to calculate your break-even point for a better understanding of your predictive cash flow.
- Obtain the necessary licences and permits: Like I earlier said, laws vary from one province to the other. It is very important that you conduct the necessary researches to better understand the type of license that your food business will need.
For example, if you intend to operate in Alberta, you must have to obtain a Food Handling permit in order to operate within the province.
- Choose a good location: This is also very imperative in the success of your restaurant business. It can in no little way, affect the success of your business. Take your time to confirm the zoning of your choice locality to avoid having to relocate due to low patronage. If your choice space was previously used as a restaurant, you’ll need to find out why the person left and of course, carry out necessary renovations before launching your business there.
- Order the necessary equipment: The equipment you’ll be needing for your food business might vary depending on your scale and style of operation. Some essential tools that you should consider acquiring include ovens, freezers and refrigerators, mixers, slicers, storage containers, kitchen display system, food prep counters and cutting boards, microwave, ovens, sinks, among others.
- Business registration: You must register your business with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and the province the food business will be operating in. Also, you might have to register with additional governing bodies depending on the city you’ll be operating in.
Some cities like Toronto, Ontario might also require you to have a health inspection conducted before you can open the restaurant to the public.
- Hire employees: The success of your business is directly connected to the type of employees you hire. You need to hire devoted individuals that will handle your business like theirs. Your employees will be required to have different certifications, depending on the type of food business you’re operating and of course, your province and municipality