In this first installment of our blog we will be giving a brief summary of how to begin. The first step is to have a detailed business plan, with a clear vision of what you want to achieve and the direction you want to head. Even though things may change throughout the process, know what your goal is and how you are going to achieve it is very important.
Your next step is finding the right location for you. Many people jump ahead and go straight into equipment shopping without having a location or even basic floor plan. This is a very time costly mistake as depending on your location your eventual set up may vary drastically from what you envisioned. It is good to see what equipment is available to suit the food you are planning to prepare, but without a location it should not be a priority.
Once you have a location, you will need to have a mechanical engineers drawing of your site. This is the most important step. It is like a blueprint of your business and all the requirements you needs such as hood system, washroom facilities, sinks and much more. These drawing will have to be submitted to the city for approval, any changes to it may have to be re-submitted. We will go into this in more detail in future blogs.
With you mechanical drawing now in hand it is time to get started! If you choose to work with a general contractor they will co-ordinate with all aspects of your location build and take a lot of the stress and weight off your shoulders. Renovations, hood duct and fan installations are all common parts of this process. During this time is when equipment will start to be specifically picked out to make and model.
Once you have any required hood system installed including a possible fire suppression system and make up air unit, you will have to pass inspection. Health and city inspectors will have to pass you to allow you to open. There are many, many rules and regulations that need to be adhered by in order to pass inspection and it is not uncommon for businesses to fail their first inspection. We will delve further into the rules and regulations further in the coming blogs.
Not all jobs are as complicated as others. Setting up a small café compared to opening an 80 seat restaurant is a huge difference in both capability and money. An extremely common occurrence is to underestimate just how much time and money it costs to open a food service business.
In Part 2, we will continue with one of the most important points in terms of place, how, where and how much?