Bootstrapping a restaurant isn’t as simple as they make it seem on social media and television. The fact is, you need money, and you need lots of it to start and run a restaurant successfully. So, it’s either you have a truckload of money to splash on the business or you go for external funding.
But getting external funding isn’t that simple and you may not meet all the requirements. Worse still, you may not be able to keep up with the high-interest rate, assuming you meet all the requirements.
In this article, we have some golden tricks that have helped some of our clients bootstrap their startup restaurant to success. And we believe you can apply the same to help you start and run your restaurant on a limited budget.
Start with a Food Truck: Renting a space for your business can be a huge and limiting overhead cost. If you are really passionate about running a restaurant business but don’t have the money to throw on a regular restaurant space, a food truck is a cheaper alternative.
Instead of buying, you can actually rent one to get started. In addition, a food truck allows for mobility which you may desire as a startup. You can drive to any location where you are sure to gain footfall like a university campus, picnic parks, shopping malls, and so on.
Network with Other Restaurateurs: As a startup restaurant owner, networking is one good way to spread the word about your business. You can join restaurant owners groups and associations on social media sites like LinkedIn, and Facebook.
Attending networking events with fellow restaurant owners will also help you establish a cordial relationship with people who have been in the business before you. This way, you can learn the tricks and strategies that worked for them.
Utilize Social Media Marketing: As I stated above, networking on social media platforms is a sure way to learn from experts in your industry. But that’s not all there is to social media.
As you know, social media platforms are cost-efficient, powerful marketing tools – Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and even Twitter. Set up business social media accounts for your startup restaurant and make sure that relevant content is posted on them regularly.
You may be interested in reading this: Restaurant Marketing – 7 Proven Tactics To Beat Your Competitors
Partner with Businesses in Your Locality: Partnership is another cost-efficient strategy that allows you to tap into the existing client base of another business. For instance, if your restaurant is located in an environment with busy offices, you can partner with office cafeterias to offer brunch or lunch to busy employees.
Innovative and Proactive Reward System: When you are starting, your aim should be to draw as much footfall as possible. But apart from that, you should also create a system that rewards loyal customers. Organizing social media contests, offering discount coupons, meal vouchers, and even referral coupons are proven tactics that require little effort to execute.
You can also try more innovative tactics like free deliveries, loyalty programs, and mobile app for ordering and customizing menu.
Take Your Business to Events: Festivals, carnivals, and events are great places to introduce people to your offerings. This is even easier if you are operating out of a food truck. Otherwise, you can rent a stall for the period and offer a menu that aligns with the event or carnival.
This a good way to increase sales and get people to know about your restaurant. Make sure that your staff is trained to handle the organized chaos that is common with such events.
Finally, make sure you have your restaurant fliers handy. The fliers should state your restaurant’s primary location so people can visit even after the event has ended.
Bootstrapping a startup restaurant is difficult. It takes more than loving food and hiring amazing staff.
However, these 5 tricks can help you start and grow your business while operating within the stipulated budget.
If you need help with planning, setting up or marketing your restaurant, DB-Hospitality is the go-to restaurant consultants in Dubai.