Starting a Restaurant Pt. I


The are a select few out there that have the passion and love for cooking enough to start their own restaurant. It takes hard, hard work and dedication, long nights, and more stress than you can imagine. It isn’t like the Food Network shows out there where everyone succeeds. In fact an overwhelming amount of startup restaurants fail for various reasons within the first year of opening their doors. Now this is not me telling you not to start your own business and provide countless customers with your unique flare on dishes from around the world, but instead I am to motivate new restaurant owners to succeed. I want them to ask themselves are they willing to be awake and working for over 24 hours sometimes, work weekends, go between the grill and the management office, and much much more. If you have these skills and these desires, you just might make it. This article will be part of an ongoing series of how to create a successful restaurant from the ground up.

There are many things to consider when opening up your own restaurant but it’s important to take them on at a responsible level and not skip any pieces. Below you will find one of the very first things to consider when opening a restaurant, Target Markets.

Target Market(s):

Every single restaurant has a target market, a niche population that are most likely to attend the restaurant on a regular basis. This target market allows your restaurant to thrive and continue to grow as they do. Its a cohesive relationship, but it also means that the restaurant must constantly be impressing their direct clientele and retaining them at all costs. One of the worst things that can happen with a restaurant is losing valuable and long-time customers. Your restaurant needs to stand above the others and offer impeccable service night in and night out to keep them coming back for more.

Deciding who to cater your food and business to is a tricky dilemma as there are multiple generations of hungry people to think about among many other factors. You want to make sure your target demographic for your style of restaurant has a large enough presence in the area you’d like to establish yourself. Certain styles of foods transcend cultures and generations, while other don’t do it quite as seamless. For your reference you have tons of options on people to serve based on generation gaps. Below you will find a small list of each population so you can better assess your options.

Generation Y:

Anyone born between 1980-2000. This group generally gravitate towards fast-food options when available and are prone to ordering such items as burgers, pizzas, and other staples of a younger culture.

Generation X:

Anyone born between 1965-1980. The parents of Generation Y tend to look at restaurants offering a solid value while giving quick service as well. A comfortable and calm atmosphere is very much preferred as well.

Baby Boomers:

Anyone born between 1946-1964. The restaurant-goers are some of the higher rollers when it comes to dining out. The Baby Boomers tend to frequent some of the more upscale and professional restaurants as they have the money to do so at this point in their life. Their target restaurant is something that has a friendly and warm atmosphere with upscale and formality.

Empty Nesters:

The Empty Nesters tend to be around 50-64 years old and no longer have children living with them. They tend to visit upscale restaurants with exceptional service as they no longer need to pick up the bill for the children. On their nights out they like to get dressed up and surround themselves with elegant decor and a sophisticated ambiance.

Use this information and do your own research on these different populations to make your decisions easier. Stay tuned for the next edition of starting a restaurant.


Thank you for reading!

-Belal El-Atari