30 tips for opening a successful Restaurant or Foodservice Business

Salina Wuttke

Salina Wuttke

Senior Director of Marketing North America

July 15, 2017

30 tips for opening a successful Restaurant or Foodservice Business

Salina Wuttke, Senior Director of Marketing North America
July 15, 2017


The results are in. Deputy surveyed hundreds of restaurant & foodservice owners and managers with this question: “What is your #1 tip you would give a peer who is opening a new restaurant or foodservice business in their first year?”

Download 30 Tips Real Managers Share for Opening a Successful Restaurant or Foodservice Business


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“Get help!!! Get so much help, find mentors, ask questions, seek out other people in the industry. Be less afraid of the competition and more interested in growing business together.”  -Allana Sykes, Owner, Allden Foods (a 2 year business)

“Layout strategic plans and follow up on your goals weekly, monthly and yearly. Know that all good things take time.”  -Denise Malkoon, Operations Director, Peanut Butter Americano (a 4 year business)

“Have a plan and refer to it often.”  -Jeff Tsao, Owner, Hakata Ikkousha (a 3 year business)

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“Plan harder. Have more processes on paper before flipping the switch.”  -Ryan LaPet, Owner, Deep Brewing Company (a 1 year business)

“Don’t let too many voices into your planning – stick with your message and plan.”  -Beth Woulfe, Owner, Crispian Bakery (a 2 year business)

“Take classes with SCORE and really figure out your business plan.”  -Geraldine Czako, Owner, Sweet Lucie’s (a 7 year business)

Check out SCORE’s Business Plan Template for a Startup Business.

“Plan well BEFORE you open. Have lots of backup funds in the bank for unexpected expenses.”  -Robert Morris, Owner, Texas Cowboy BBQ (a 1.5 year business)


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“Location and lease are so important. Don’t compromise on location and get advice on your lease and the landlord. Both can make you successful or kill you.”  -Michael Harvey, Head of Operations, Transcend Coffee (an 11 year business)

“It’s all about location and referrals.”  -Richard Tse, Manager, LoKL Gourmet, (a 3 year business)

Download The Definitive Guide for Choosing the Best Location for Your Business.


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“Fully understand your cost structure including labor and food costs before opening. Ensure your pricing reflects those costs.”  -Steven Gerner, Founder/Manager, Squarz (a 6 year business)

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“Do things right the first time even if that means spending a little more money upfront. Especially when it comes to accounting and payroll. Those duties can carry very costly mistakes.”  -Melissa Villanueva, Owner, Brewpoint Coffee (a 3 year business)

“Hire an accountant.”  -Aaron Barthel, Co-Owner, Intrigue Chocolate Co. (a 12 year business)

“Hire out what you hate doing.”  -Anne Fairchild, Owner, Painters Homemade Ice Cream (a 15 year business)

“Find a niche and fill it doing something you enjoy. Don’t think any idea is out of reach and don’t let the naysayers dissuade you. And use Deputy for your scheduling. Saves lots of time.”  -Laura Mowell, CEO/Owner/Operator, The Sweet Spot Co. (a 2 year business)

“Hire a good accountant.”  -Doug Logan, Co-Founder, Good Burrito Co. (a 2 year business)


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“Be patient and organized. Find great trustworthy passionate people to work with because you’ll need to rely on them when you start needing to delegate tasks.”  -Lara Berenji, Member Manager, Rare Bird Coffee Roasters (a 2 year business)

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“Put a lot of thought into the team you are building.  Build teams with ideals like self-empowerment and leadership skills so that each team can be high performing.”  -Aaron Weisman, Owner, Teriyaki Madness (a 1 year business)

“Encourage employee input in the area of expertise.”  -Lori Churchill, Co-Owner, Alpha Coffee (a 6.5 year business)

“Communication is paramount – with your partners, staff, suppliers, contractor… etc! You cannot over communicate your vision and expectations enough. What feels like not enough time – will pay off in the future with taking the time to communicate with ALL of your stakeholders.”  -Victor Laderoute, Owner, QB Gelato, Inc. (a 1 year business)

“Be ready to deal with employees. It’s one of the hardest parts of starting a new business. Seems like I should have had a degree either in Psychology or HR. We work with mainly teens and it’s the most time consuming part of a business. Also, it’s one of our largest costs!”  -Karen Kimball, Owner, Kimball’s Creamery (a 1 year business)

Download 9 Tips To Managing Employees With The New Performance Review.


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“Don’t underestimate the power of social media. Soft opening first and then do a press release, this allows you to work out any kinks you may have.”  -Deshun Simmons, Owner, Savory Kernels (a 1 year business)

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“Don’t grow too quickly.”  -Brittany Arroyo, Manager, TripleHorn Brewing (a 5 year business)  

“Know your product, be good to your customers.”  -Max Vezina, Manager, La Distributrice (a 5 year business)

Download The Definitive Guide To Delivering The Best Customer Service.

“Use social media with your customers.”  -Jamie Tate, Manager, Sandy’s Donuts & Coffee Shop (a 34 year business)

“Be ready to work!”  -Michelle Motley, Owner, Source Juicery (a 1.5 year business)


Stay tuned for parts 2 and 3 of this blog: Top Tips Real Restaurant & Foodservice Leaders Share for Keeping a Mature Business From Going Stale & Top Tools Real Restaurant & Foodservice Leaders Share That Their Business Can’t Live Without.


About the Survey:

This survey was commissioned and administered by Deputy™ via an online survey (through survey software, Typeform) to North American businesses with hourly employees. The survey was sent to businesses ranging from 3 to 1,455 employees and ran from June 22nd, 2017 to July 7th, 2017. Responses were segmented by industry.


How can Deputy help restaurants and foodservice businesses with employee scheduling & time tracking?

See how The Farmer & The Larder Restaurant uses Deputy:


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See how Jones Coffee Roasters uses Deputy:

Important Notice
The information contained in this article is general in nature and you should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs. Legal and other matters referred to in this article are of a general nature only and are based on Deputy's interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied on in place of professional advice. Deputy is not responsible for the content of any site owned by a third party that may be linked to this article and no warranty is made by us concerning the suitability, accuracy or timeliness of the content of any site that may be linked to this article. Deputy disclaims all liability (except for any liability which by law cannot be excluded) for any error, inaccuracy, or omission from the information contained in this article and any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.


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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Salina Wuttke
Salina is the Senior Director of Marketing in North America and has 15+ years experience in delivering proven growth marketing strategies to software companies.
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