Category: White Paper
Opening a Restaurant – A Checklist for Restaurant Operators

Opening a restaurant is hard – there is no way around it. From first timers to seasoned restaurant groups; things will go wrong, problems will arise. You can mitigate many of these issues by being organized, planning ahead, and leaving
time to tackle the unforeseen.

We have put together a checklist to help you on your journey to opening. It is by no means an exhaustive list. Each project and each company will be different but we have tried to hit the big points you will not want to forget. We encourage you to tailor this list to your organization needs and have left space for you to
do so.

Good luck with your opening and we hope to someday work with you or just
stumble upon your new restaurant for a meal.

Mathew Focht

Read the full PDF

Finding the Right Location in Today’s Changing Restaurant Landscape

“Since the Roman times, people have always wanted to ‘see and be seen’ and participate in a community. The experience people seek from a restaurant or entertainment anchor seems to make them more resilient in these changing times, and thus they are now the driving factors behind new developments, as well as developers’ efforts to remodel and increase relevance for existing shopping centers.”—Ashley Robinson.

A hot topic of conversation these days is the closure of America’s malls. But, according to Robinson, higher-end malls are taking advantage of the present retail environment to reinvent and reimagine their shopping centers.

With the big chain retailers that were once shopping mall’s anchor stores going the way of the dodo, fitness centers, indoor entertainment centers, and restaurants are stepping in to fill the role. Make that a lot of restaurants. Robinson references a time when malls only allowed 2 full-serve restaurants along with a mediocre food court in a shopping center of 1 million square feet of retail with 3 fashion anchors. Nowadays, she says, “A restaurant will often be 1 of possibly 7 full-service restaurants, plus a food hall with 7 to 10 unique, fresh QSR concepts with alcohol. Chef-driven concepts are growing more than many chains, and many have paid incredibly high rents that inflated the market to unsustainable rates when the sales dollars are that diluted.”

Many are blaming retail’s demise on Amazon and other e-commerce brands, and rightly so. Almost half of all U.S. households have an Amazon Prime membership. Amazon’s net revenue for 2016 reached $135.99 billion, up from $107.01 billion in 2015. That’s a big chunk of the consumer change. But Robinson believes there’s more to the story than the boom of online spending and that there is a way restaurateurs can take advantage of the changing times.

Download the PDF

How to Identify Locations, Choose a Site, and Negotiate a Lease

If you’ve decided to take the leap and open your own restaurant, you don’t need us to tell
you that you have a lot of work ahead of you! Don’t fret, though. That work is well worth it.
“Everything is negotiable. Whether or not the negotiation is easy is another thing.“
Before you can start thinking of the creative aspects of your restaurant, like the menu,
décor and general ambiance, it’s important to get the nitty gritty out of the way: finding
the perfect place to house this establishment. Read on to find out how to identify the right
location and site, as well as negotiate your lease to get that restaurant started on the right
foot. After all, according to a 2005 study by Ohio State University, approximately 60 percent
of restaurants shutter within their first year, while 80 percent close within the first
five. Make sure the fruit of your labor isn’t part of that 60 percent.
Download the PDF

Opening Second Location

So, you think it’s time. Your second location. You’ve had quite the run of success with your
first, and expanding seems like the right thing to do. However, it’s important to consider all
variables when creating something larger. Whether it’s just a second location or an empire,
there are several key features in determining whether a second location is right for your
Can it run without you?
As a restaurant owner, you’ve probably been
in the trenches daily, from baking bread to
cleaning toilets. It is important to fully realize
whether or not your establishment can run
without you, and if not, a second location may
be the worst idea you’ve ever had. It starts
with a sound team, and a leader you can rely
on to take your place. This is why having a
steady manager/partner is very important to
your success. If you can trust this manager to
take over the ship while you are gone tending
to a second business, you’ll be able to manage
a true enterprise.
“First and foremost, having management that
is ready to open another unit is key. This will
give new career opportunities for current staff
to move up, as well as new employment for
those seeking work.” Mathew Focht, CEO of
Download the PDF