How to choose the right place to open a restaurant

One of the most important steps in opening each new activity is to choose the right place to open a restaurant. The next step in the process is to decide whether to rent a space or purchase it.

 

Depending on where the commercial space is located, you can not have any other options besides renting or leasing. And if this is the first time, renting is not so bad in choosing the right place to open a restaurant – at least you will not find yourself with a huge mortgage to pay if things do not go well.

In any case, there are several factors to consider when choosing a space to rent open for a restaurant, including the physical location and space available, the duration of the lease, and the available funds.

What comes first, the restaurant or the space?

There are some catering concepts to keep in mind, and space is built around those concepts. This is the case, for example, of restaurant chains such as Ca’puccino or Rossopomodoro.

 

They are built from scratch, all with the same specific structures or graphics. In this way, there is consistency between multiple locations, and the strengthening of the company’s corporate brand. Other restaurants are created on existing spaces – their peculiar characteristics are optimized and tailored to have an enviable position. Think of your favorite restaurant in the center. Probably the building with its spaces was already there, even before the restaurant. The owners of the restaurant therefore had to work with the current dimensions, construction silos, etc … Since most people are not possessing enough money to build a new restaurant from scratch or to become part of a large chain, most part end with using option two – that is, restructuring an existing space.

 

How to rent a restaurant

So, once you find the perfect space, the temptation to sign on the dotted line is strong, to get going.

 

In reality it is not a good idea to accelerate events. First of all, you have to check if the space can be used as a restaurant, for example if you are allowed to sell liquor in it. In some cities, there are still prohibitionist laws in force that limit the portion of alcohol altogether or if a restaurant is located at some distance from a school or church. Once it is established that the space allows the opening of catering activities, it is necessary to evaluate whether it is able to host a real restaurant.

 

It’s big enough? Go to the historic center of any big city and you will see some small restaurants crammed into spaces just a little bigger than a corridor. Thus, having a larger space is not always better. However, if your project requires a minimum of 100 seats, and the space allows you to have only 25 seats, at that point you will have to try to speed up the service offered. And then there is the question of who will pay for the renovations. Will the landlord pay for the installation of a cold room? Or the new anti-slip flooring in the kitchen? Or will you be responsible for the full amount? Always consider all these concerns before signing a lease with confidence.

 

How can you afford it?

The most important factor for choosing the right place to open a restaurant is your budget. If you find a prime location in an old town, it is likely that the rent will be higher than a less desirable location, like a mall parking lot. Just like buying a home, you need to be aware of your money available. Consider also how long the lease will be in place. A five-year lease is quite common in the business world. However, if the restaurant closes after a year or two, you will still be responsible for paying the rent for the next three years. If a potential landlord is not willing to negotiate a shorter lease, act with the utmost caution, and move on to the next space

Some annoying problems in running a restaurant

Among the most widespread entrepreneurial activities in our country, it is easy to imagine that the most numerous are those  dedicated to Food & Beverage. Less easy is finding that local that has achieved success and has been able to maintain it over the years.

Speaking for  the management of a restaurant, in fact, there are many errors and problems that are commonly encountered. Moreover, it is often believed to be rather acting in the interest of one’s own business. Do we give an example?

Problem # 1: A menu for all tastes, is it OK or not?

No. To present a menu of pages and pages, with dishes that are meant to satisfy the taste of any customer, sit at the table, it’s wrong. Or anyway, we need to differentiate. This solution could work, even if relatively, in a purely tourist destination; there it will be possible to find the customer who wants the hamburger and what the sushi wants, and to think to satisfy them both.

The trend of recent times shows, however, that in order to retain customer loyalty, it is better to specialize on a particular proposal (whether it is sea food, traditional local recipes, mountain dishes and so on); customers, tourists included, are often demanding, looking for excellence or typicality; better to be experts in that proposal that with so many dishes to choose from and mediocre in quality. It also goes to the identity of the place, so …

Problem n.2: having an “anonymous” place

When managing a restaurant, remember that the eye wants its part. Therefore, as well as good food, to retain the customer must be welcomed in an environment that has its own character. The decoration, the details, the colors, are important to create the right atmosphere that accompanies your dishes, and they must be in line with your proposal. Creating an inhospitable environment can drive away the customer as much as finding a hair on the plate.

Problem # 3: … and the competition?

As already mentioned, the premises like (restaurants, pizzerias, pubs) are many and one can not fail to take into account their presence and offer. Monitoring competition, on the other hand, serves on several fronts: see what works or what does not in your sector; what are their strengths or weaknesses, and therefore how to improve their service, and so on.

It also serves to stay alert and never gain excessive security about your business. Being sure to have reached a certain standard, it ends up limiting the initiatives (activities, improvements, marketing strategies etc.) and making the business run aground.

Problem # 4: how can I keep up with the times?

Keeping up with the times today, in managing a restaurant, also means being social. It should not be overlooked that part of marketing that binds, in fact, to digital tools.

It also means using support technologies in the management of your premises: there are software that can manage reservations, keep the warehouse under control and much more, speeding up and automating some processes. The use of these technologies, which in fact simplify the work of restaurateurs and others, improves the quality of service in terms of speed and accuracy. As? Do you think you can do everything yourself?

Problem # 5: Are you the business owner or is it the business you own?

In managing a restaurant, the owner often feels compelled to perform an endless series of tasks on his own. We find it so to welcome customers, take orders, check the kitchen, prepare the bill, give change to the checkout, check the goods and much more. This is also a management error: an overload of work and responsibility that damages the quality of the relationship with customers and with those who work with you.

Learn to delegate and enjoy your time and the fruits of your work more. Choose competent staff and make use of technology help.

A suggestion? Discover the advantages of RISTOMANAGER, the perfect management software for every restaurant owner. Download the trial version for free. Find it here
https://ristomanager.it/scarica.html

How to adapt the menu to the law on allergens

On December 13, 2014 the new law on allergens came into force.

The law on allergens provides that the consumer of any food product is aware of the ingredients contained in foods, including allergens. This not only applies to “label” foods,  packaged products, but also to restaurant menus.

What is an allergen?

It is a substance generally harmless for the  most consumers, but dangerous at various levels for allergy sufferers. It can produce in fact  allergic crises of various severities, such as asthma, rashes and more.

According to the new law, their presence must be indicated among the ingredients and highlighted (through the use of bold or of a different character, for example), in the labels of pre-packaged foods. For restaurants, however, it’s a bit different.

 

How to adapt the menu to the allergen law?

First of all, the ingredients and the  allergens should be reported product by product. For example, the single billboard that brings together in a single word all the basic ingredients of ice-creams in an ice-cream parlor or in bars; rather, they must be listed one by one and in a complete and individual manner. And, speaking of bars or restaurants, the law requires everything to be done in writing: it is not enough for the restaurant owner or barista to give information “verbally” about the products.

 

How to adapt the menu to the new provisions? No drastic changes!

Completed documentation must be prepared with the ingredients that make up each single dish. This can be attached to the menu or delivered to consumers upon request. Important: it is however mandatory to clearly indicate on the menu on  the presence of this documentation. Or again, reiterate it on the register or on a special sign.

 

What are the products that contain allergens?

Unfortunately for those who suffer, they are more common than you can imagine: about a hundred. Avoiding dangers, however, is simple, and the list of main allergic reactions is restricted to fourteen. These are those ones that require mandatory reporting.

 

Remember to check the ingredients of the goods you buy for your premises and report any presence of allergens (eg: it may contain traces of nuts) in your documents. Here is a list to begin to become familiar with the law on allergens and the foods involved.

 

  1. Cereals containing gluten: wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelled, kamut or their hybridized strains and derived products. The following are excluded: wheat-based glucose syrups, including dextrose; wheat-based maltodextrins; glucose syrups based on barley; cereals used for the manufacture of alcoholic distillates;
  2. Crustaceans and products based on crustaceans.
  3. Eggs and egg products.
  4. Fish and fish products. The following are excluded: fish gelatine is  used as a support for vitamin or carotenoid preparations; gelatin or isinglass used as fining agent in beer and wine.
  5. Peanuts and peanut-based products.
  6. Soya and soy products, except: refined soybean oil and fat; natural mixed tocopherols (E306), natural D-alpha tocopherol, natural D-alpha tocopherol acetate, soy-based natural D-alpha tocopherol succinate; vegetable oils derived from soybean phytosterols and phytosterols; vegetable stanol ester produced from soybean vegetable oil sterols.
  7. Milk and milk products (including lactose), except: (a) which are used for the manufacture of alcoholic spirits, including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin; b) milk.
  8. Nuts and their products, except for nuts used for the manufacture of alcoholic distillates, including ethyl alcohol of agricultural origin.
  9. Celery and celery products.
  10. Mustard and mustard-based products.
  11. Sesame seeds and products based on sesame seeds.
  12. Sulfur dioxide and sulphites in concentrations of more than 10 mg / kg or 10 mg / liter in terms of total SO2  need to be calculated for products as proposed ready for consumption or reconstituted in accordance with manufacturers’ instructions.
  13. Lupins and products based on lupins.
  14. Molluscs and products based on molluscs.

 

 

How to choose the best beer glasses for your restaurant.

Considering the fact that beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world and the third most popular drink behind water and tea, there’s no need to wonder why you need to know how to choose beer glasses.

There are various types to choose from beer glasses, with various shapes and sizes ranging from beer boots, mugs and cups, to more sophisticated styles like Pilsner glasses. Many bars serve beer from a tap or glass bottles. Beer glasses have been specially designed to make the beer experience more enjoyable. The main types are glasses, mugs, and a whole series of sampler glasses, ideal for serving beer or simply a cup  of beer so that a guest can get a taste before ordering a whole glass.

Glass beer is essential in many bars, especially sports bars, neighborhood bars or “dive” bars, and bars that are known for their selection of brands. Beer is rarely served in a plastic cup, unless you happen to be visiting a fraternity. Beer is often served in a glass of beer or pub, about 16 ounces (almost half a liter). Some are designed to hold a little less than that amount, but usually no more than this.

 

The beer glasses are strategically shaped to allow the carbonated liquid to breathe, but also to create a suitable head, they pick up the aroma of hop and barley appropriately, and have a professional and tasty appearance at the same time. Beer mugs offer a more full-bodied appearance, with thicker glass edges and often greater capacity than beer glasses. They are often stored in a glass or freezer chiller in order to offer customers the frozen beer they crave. The sampling beer glasses provide the bar with the  way to serve small cups  of different beers for customers undecided about what to order, or to serve a selection of many beers, a common choice of micro breweries and specialty pubs.

 

All these considerations should always be kept in mind when you go to choose the beer glasses you will have in your bar or restaurant.

How to clean the pizza oven correctly

Cleaning the pizza oven properly allows you to have better and healthier pizzas.

If you do not want your pizzas and trousers to have a newspaper flavor of the day before, or an oven that consumes too much, you should use the right precautions to clean the pizza oven.

 

What you need to do the cleaning:

Gloves
Apron
Polishing agent for non-toxic stainless steel
Brush / spatula for cleaning the pizza oven
Towels
Hand brush and dustpan


Cleaning a Pizza Oven

As all pizza chefs know, you need to clean the pizza oven every day. This task is quite simple: just remove any residues or debris under the oven doors with a small broom or a brush.

But you should also perform a complete weekly cleaning, especially for stone countertops. In this way your pizzas will not have any unwanted taste and the performance of your oven will be good.

 

Method:

1.First of all, you will have to leave the oven to  be cooled. Never attempt to use our cleaning solutions on a hot surface. This prevents severe burns.
2.Wear gloves and apron.
3.To clean the outside part  of the oven, take a rag and dab on it a little ‘stainless steel detergent. This cleaner will help remove any heat or fading halo. To give the oven a great shine, put some polish for steel or, if you want to use a solution based on organic olive oil on a cloth and rub a bit ‘on those opaque spots of your oven.
4.Use the scraper on ashes, soot and other debris on your cooking stones and use the wire brush on the opposite side to remove any stubborn residues. When you have finished this operation, collect the debris with the brush and dustpan.
5.It is important to never use water or other liquids to clean the surface of the stone. If the stone cooktop absorbs the liquid, it could also break when exposed to the high heat of the oven.

Cleaning an Oven with Conveyor Belt

The ovens offer a great efficiency. However, cleaning them can involve some routine work. As a pizza oven, you will surely want to ensure that your oven is as clean as possible, to preserve the quality of your pizzas. Tape ovens have a lot of components, which means there are more places for crumbs, melted cheese and other pizza debris to get lost.

Method:

1.Disconnect the oven. This work is hard enough without the threat of getting a shock.
2.Remove the conveyor belt. We recommend that you consult the operating manual of your oven to understand how to do it correctly. When the tape has been removed, spray nontoxic cleaner for ovens on the tape and let it stand for twenty minutes.
3.While the cleaning product acts on the surface of the belt, open the doors of the wood oven and remove the large rectangular pieces of metal that are above and below the conveyor belt. Usually you will only have to focus on cleaning the lower pliers as they usually become the dirtiest due to the cheese drains, crumbs and pizza ingredients. We recommend cleaning the first tongs once or twice a year.
4.When all the pliers are removed, always spray them with some oven cleaning product and allow them to take effect for twenty minutes.
5.While the product acts on the conveyor belt and the pliers, go ahead and vacuum up the remaining debris present inside the oven.
6.Once the inside is clean, you can act on the outside of the oven with the enamel for stainless steel or olive oil. Also, do not forget to clean the windows and doors of your oven as they also attract a lot of pizza material.
7.Take your wire brush and clean the conveyor belt and pliers, once the twenty minutes have been expired. When they reach the desired cleaning, rinse them thoroughly and leave them out to dry, then re-install inside the pliers , in their place inside the oven.
8.Now that the oven has been put back together, be sure to clean the control box grille with a wire brush. Never use a liquid detergent; You certainly do not want to short-circuit the electrical components of the pizza oven.

Clean the pizza oven with emptying drawer

There are the counter ovens. If you have one, you can clean it in the same way as their older brothers, but on a much smaller scale. Many of these ovens have removable crumb trays that make the  cleaning  of the pizza oven even easier.

 

Proper care and maintenance can extend the life of pizza ovens. Although it may seem like a horrible chore, taking your time to clean the pizza oven every week and every day will prevent you from having  shell out a new oven on an annual basis. Moreover, it will give your pizzas a great taste, even after multiple uses.

 

How to manage a restaurant with bar.

For many full-service restaurants, the bar or restaurant is where customers gather to eat and drink, while wait staff pick up their drinks and cocktails. The set-up of a restaurant bar depends on the size, theme and liquor restaurant license. Some bars are service only, which means that customers do not serve directly; it’s just for the staff to order drinks. Other bars do full service and offer drinks and a limited or complete menu.

The bar can double as a waiting station, where servers can pour their drinks into a fountain or can be strictly limited to staff, with the exception of the barman.

Here are the basic things to check:

Check your Liquor License

Liquor authorizations vary and one license can cover all alcoholic beverages, while others only cover wine and beer. If you are only serving beer and wine, a small bar service is more than enough for your needs. If you are planning on offering super spirits, as well as wine and beer, and are looking to expand your business through bar selling, you need to plan for a full-service bar.

 

Understand how much space you have for a Restaurant Bar

Ideally there should be about two feet of space between bar stools to accommodate. This means that if you want eight seats at the bar, you need an eight-foot bar.

Decide where to put the Bar Restaurant

A bar right at the entrance to a restaurant is able to do the double duty as a waiting room. A bar in the center of a restaurant is easier for staff to access. A bar at the back of a more intimate restaurant, away from the hustle and bustle of the front of the house. Decide which place is best for your bar.

Create the atmosphere with lighting

The lighting in the bar must be thin. Not much because customers otherwise can not read the menu, but certainly not too bright. The recessed lighting and the lighting of the track with dimmer switches allow you to control the light, adjusting it for the time of day.

Take advantage of free gifts

Your wine and beer you can equip them as free goods, such as glasses, decorative mirrors, even those tasteless neon lights that hang in windows. Find out what you can get for free before buying decorative items.