Restaurant Start-up Tips

tips to open a restaurantThere is no shortage of people who dream of owning their own restaurant. In fact, cites that 46 percent of restaurant employees would like to own their own restaurant at some point. There is no shortage of advice, but here are some of the top restaurant start-up tips from some of the top chefs and restaurateurs.

Restaurant Start-up Advice from Bobby Flay

Newsweek interviewed one of America’s best known chefs and shared his advice in “Bobby Flay’s Tips for New Restaurant Owners”:

  • Have Capital: Flay suggests that it will take twice as long and twice as much money to build a restaurant than you think, so you need to have plenty of capital to cover the unexpected costs that will surely arise.
  • Focus: “Don’t try to feed everyone.” In a nutshell, you should be able to describe your cuisine in a single word. Once you can do that, the menu, staff, and design will all come into focus.
  • Involvement: You need to be involved from the start, including from the very early design stage. Flay says, “Don’t leave design entirely up to the designer.” And once the doors open, you need to be fully involved to be successful.
  • Niche: Know what your role is in your restaurant and don’t try to do what others can do better. If you’re a chef, be the chef and leave management to someone else. If you’re an entrepreneur, hire a chef.

Restaurant Start-up Advice from Tyson Cole

Tyson Cole has received a few “best chef” accolades and comes from an unusual background. According to’s “Start a Killer Restaurant: 6 Tips”: “He quit one job after he was told he couldn’t make sushi because he was white; he was rehired two days later but told he had to work in the back where guests couldn’t see him. He was also fired for giving a guest a free dessert; he was rehired when the manager found out the guest was Denzel Washington.” Cole shares his restaurant start-up advice:

  • Ensure the three must-haves: Great chef, great location, great concept.
  • Overestimate capital: Echoing Flay’s advice, Cole suggests six to nine months of working capital from the start.
  • Pamper guests: “Never be cheap where guests are concerned because everything that touches a guest is important.”
  • Organization: Put systems in place. Chain restaurants are successful for a reason: Systems.

Liquor Licensing

Depending on the type of restaurant you open, guests will expect to be able to have a drink with dinner, so you’ll need a liquor license. We’ll rip a page from Bobby Flay’s advice regarding niche – do what you do best, and undoubtedly, securing the right type of liquor license at the best price is not a skill set you have. You’ll be best served to ask for help from a professional… and not just any professional.

You need someone who understands the market and knows the process intuitively to avoid mistakes that can delay your opening at best or derail it completely at worst. At Atlantic License Brokers, we have the expertise and market knowledge you need to effectively and efficiently (think both time and money!) secure your liquor license.

With our help and some restaurant start-up tips from real pros, you are taking the first step toward opening and running a successful restaurant.


  1. […] plan for your establishment just makes good sense. We covered some advice from industry leaders in Restaurant Start-Up Tips for those new to the industry, but every restaurateur or pub owner can benefit from a business […]