You must have seen that the typically upscale sea food eateries in different parts of the world cater to celebrity clients. Owning one can be a great way to become a successful entrepreneur as it can bring you good revenues, but also many challenges in its way. To make a seafood restaurant a thriving business, you have to put in a lot of hard work and engage in elaborate planning. However, there are some guidelines that you can follow to make your journey less challenging and more rewarding:
- Choice of seafood business: To begin with, select the kind of seafood eatery you wish to launch; this makes sense when there are quite a few competing seafood eateries in town. For example, you can decide to focus on selling only Japanese seafood dishes like sushi, or set up an eatery which offers a variety of seafood dishes belonging to different international cuisines.
- Budget: Making a budget before you start is imperative to know exactly how much capital you will need to launch the seafood restaurant and run it for the first few years. This means researching and calculating costs pertaining to your equipment, staff, utilities, ingredients, lease, marketing, and licensing. It is always advisable to have 3-5 years running capital in your hands before you open a restaurant.
- Business plan: Your next job is to come up with a well-defined business plan which must be on paper when you are planning to get loans. This should include your reasons to choose the particular type of seafood eatery you have decide upon, whether it matches with the demographics of the area, the locations where you plan to set it up, the benefits it will offer, an analysis of top performing seafood restaurants and how you have an edge over these, your working budget and a PR plan.
- Secure capital: Getting funds for your seafood restaurant is important when you do not have enough capital to finance it on your own. You can apply for traditional bank loans or seek peer lending. Loans are hard to acquire, especially when you are a newcomer. Asking friends and family to invest is probably a better option.
- Make your business legal: For this, you need proper business documents, like food handler permits, liquor license, sales tax permits, food enterprise license, etc. You need to get in touch with the state health department and alcoholic beverage commission to know what permits you need.
- Contracts with small fisheries: This is possible if you search for them online or in business directories. If you are located in a non-coastal area, finding a seafood supplier in your locality will be hard; so you may need to opt for international suppliers. But, before signing up contracts with suppliers, make sure their products conform to the government’s health or safety standards.
- Find a venue: This is especially important to make your business successful; it should ideally be in a place which is frequented by people, preferably near a shopping mall, recreational lake, a beach front, or theme park.
- Buy equipments: Without quality supplies and equipment, including cutlery, seating, professional cookware, takeout containers, linens, etc you cannot expect to strike a chord with your guests.
- Use fresh ingredients: It is advisable to stick to using local ingredients rather than buying pre-made dishes because customers can always tell the difference. Moreover, when you purchase locally, you can also save money on transportation.