Have you ever dreamt about opening your restaurant?
The restaurant industry is one of the toughest industries to enter and keep up with. It is constantly changing with the new style of food, style of serving, unique locations, and so much more.
Great food today is not enough to bring in customers, as customers always look for something new and trendy. So, when opening a restaurant in Hong Kong, you must be ready for a challenging ride and a lot of competition.
However, we will provide you with the primary steps for opening your restaurant in Hong Kong. These steps will not guarantee your restaurant will be a success, but they will help you understand the process much better.
Use these steps with your new restaurant idea and style, and create an exciting business.
Steps To Open Your Restaurant in Hong Kong
Research is the most important step when opening your restaurant. First, you must know what is out there, and can you provide something different? Research steps can include researching competitors, target market needs, market style and more. At this point, you should have a few rough ideas of what you want your restaurant to be like and a start-up fund.
If your idea exists, it’s not the end; use research to develop that idea better to offer something unique. However, there is a thin line between intriguing and just weird unique- hence your idea should be more on the intriguing side. Research may be the first step, but it should continue throughout the entire process.
2. Create A Business Plan
After you have completed your main research and developed a final idea – it’s time to create a solid business plan. The business plan is what will turn an idea into a possible reality. The plan increases clarity and creates a detailed road map for future steps.
A business plan must include all the details about the restaurant, such as:
- Executive Summary & Business Description
- Ideal Target Market Description
- Competitor Analysis
- Location Needs & Requirements
- Management Plan (Staff Requirement)
- Investors Details
- Financial Budget
A well-worked business plan will help ease the stress of opening your restaurant in Hong Kong.
3. Register Your Business
So now you have a plan, it is time to turn the plan into something more real by officially listing your business. You cannot open your restaurant without registering the business name and purpose.
The registration process may defer in every country, but the government makes it much easier on their website in Hong Kong. The government website provides a simple and detailed guide on registering your business and the documents needed.
As soon as you complete this step, you are officially a business owner- Congratulations!
4. Find And Rent a Location
You are now taking huge and serious steps to open your restaurant. One of the keys to a restaurant is the location. You want your site to be accessible, easy to find and different. The location should be where people frequently walk by and close to your target market.
For example, if you are providing healthy food, try opening near gyms or if you are providing quick food, open near office working space. Location can make or kill your restaurant business. Even the best marketing won’t bring enough people to a hard-to-find location. When you do find the best location, act quickly before it is gone, especially in Hong Kong.
5. Get Appropriate Restaurant Licences
When opening your restaurant in Hong Kong, you must understand the law and stay away from breaking any legislation. Every restaurant must follow one of the most important laws to purchase suitable licences.
There is a specific licence for every type of restaurant, bakery, store and more. You must make sure your business has the appropriate licence needed to run. For example, if you are a dine-in restaurant- you will need a restaurant licence and liquor licence (if serving alcohol).
You can learn more about the appropriate licenses and permits on the Food And Hygiene Department website.
6. Create A Menu
It’s time to get creative and experimental by creating a menu for your restaurant. You can start by hiring a talented chef that can turn your ideas into reality. Obviously, the food is essential to a successful restaurant, but it must be special too. For example, if you create a burger restaurant, it should be unique or the best burger to stand out in Hong Kong.
Your menu has to stand out and invite customers that are passing by. Additional factors besides the food that can help it succeed are costs, meal size, the physical menu, creativity, and simplicity. Create your menu for your chosen target market. For example, if you are a family-style restaurant, design dishes that the average family size can share.
7. Hire Staff
So now you have a plan, location, licences, and a menu- what’s next? It’s time to hire the right staff to help you run your restaurant. The staff team includes kitchen staff, waiters, bartenders, cleaners, managers, and business employees. The number of staff depends on your budget and business plan.
It is important in the restaurant business to hire the right staff. Even if customers are impressed by the food, a bad experience with a rude staff can ruin their experience. You should employ friendly and outgoing staff to provide the best customer service when opening your restaurant.
8. Purchase Insurance
You are on your way to creating an amazing and successful business. However, your business is almost like your baby, and it is important to protect it from unpredictable risks. As a business owner, you must purchase a range of insurance before opening your restaurant to deal with business risks.
These risks can include fire, flooding, business interruption, product and public lawsuits or even employee injuries. These situations can cause significant financial and reputation damage. Insurances will cover your financial loss and help you recover from tragic situations. Hence you must purchase the correct restaurant insurance to help you, your business, and your employees.
You can learn more about the range of insurances in our restaurant insurance article.
9. Start Promotion and Marketing
It is almost time to open your restaurant to the public, but the public may still not know about you – yet. Marketing and promotion are crucial to creating a brand image and hype over your restaurant. You must show the public what you are offering and why they need to visit your restaurant.
Effective marketing can be done through social media, early bird deals, online ads, and location promotions. One of the best ways of getting a crowd on the opening week is to invite influencers to taste your food even before you open and ask them to promote your brand.
Saucerful marketing strategies can give you a considerable boost when opening your restaurant in Hong Kong.
10. Keep Growing
It’s time to open your doors and start booking and filling those seats. But the work doesn’t ever stop; as a restaurant owner, you must keep pleasing your customers with promotions, new dishes, festive menus and much more.
Hence, it’s important to keep growing and adapting; customers lose interest quickly. It’s your duty to keep them interested in your food, public relation, and ambience.
Opening your restaurant should be exciting, and enjoying the experience is essential.