Try a Pop-Up Restaurant
A pop-up restaurant is a temporary event designed to showcase your culinary skills in a brief setting. You can host it in various locations. The restaurant can be anything from a one-night exclusive takeover of a neighborhood restaurant to a food tent open for a few months at a local outdoor market.
The main advantage of taking this less-conventional path is the reduced hustle and costs in location, equipment, or labor. It also saves on renting or remodeling an existing building. They also allow you to test the culinary waters and let new guests learn about your food.
How To Find Funding
Starting a restaurant with your own money is the best option. After all, you won’t have the pressure and risks associated with loans. Ideally, you can start small with what you have and grow. However, creating a restaurant with your savings is ill-advised unless you have enough disposable income for daily needs and expenses.
Ideally, build your capital by putting aside money for this goal. Borrow money from family and friends if you can. You can also apply for a business loan from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Take Advantage of Free and Low-Cost Advertising Opportunities
Marketing plays a critical role in attracting customers. Fortunately, you can take advantage of low-cost and free marketing methods, including:
- Google Business Profile. Four out of five consumers use search engines to find local information, products, or services. Your Google Business Profile will promote your restaurant and attract new customers.
- Local public relations. Charitable efforts or community involvement will get your restaurant some good local press, and people will come out in support.
- A web presence. If you have a few technical skills, you can start your own website for less than you might imagine. You can use it to post menus, a blog, or your locations if you’re mobile. Having a solid web presence means patrons have somewhere to find out more about you, and it gives you a chance to show off your goods with amazing pictures.
Invest time in learning how to best exploit some or all of these marketing avenues, as they can pay off in raising your local profile and building your reputation.
Get Onto Social Media Platforms
Social media is trendy for a reason: it works! Even if you’re not the most tech savvy or if you can’t see yourself doing over the top videos, you need to find your niche and get on social media.
- Audience. Which platform(s) you use depends on who you want to reach. If you’re targeting younger people, including the 10-19 year old crowd, then you can’t ignore TikTok. It has over one million regularly monthly users and over 60% of them are under 30. Note that more than half that number are in the 10-19 year old demographic. Instagram has over two billion users, and over 60% of their users are 18-34 year olds. Facebook still has the largest audience, and 34% of its users are aged 25-34.
- Purpose. If you’re trying to network, then Linked In is your best bet. You can use it for promos, but it’s designed more for businesses and entrepreneurs to connect with one another. The three other major social media platforms are more to show off what you do, why you’re different, who you are, and get followers. And never underestimate the power of a social media influencer!
- Design. All of these platforms are incredibly visual, so make sure your marketing is on point! Set your brand colors in advance and get yourself a memorable, but simple, logo that represents who you are and what your business does. Then, use these things to create marketing across all platforms. Go online and use a Facebook ads maker to design something sleek and on brand for you. The tool is free, and you can find similar ones for other platforms as well.
Stay on Top of Your Finances
Even with impeccable services and delicious food, running a successful restaurant without a reliable financial system is next to impossible. You can manage your finances efficiently with accounting software. You can track inventory, generate invoices, calculate sales tax, price recipes, and menus, and integrate with point of sale (POS) systems — all through one affordable solution.
The Key Takeaway for Opening a Low-Cost Restaurant
With a little ingenuity and creativity, nothing should deter your goal of opening a restaurant. Try a pop-up restaurant first, get funding, and use free and low-cost advertising. Let social media do some of the work for you as you post simple, but memorable videos and pictures about your restaurant. With any luck, you’ll have a great brick and mortar spot like Davidovich Bakery in no time!