You’ve got your business up and running and managed to survive in the cut-throat world of the restaurant industry. If the demand is high enough, and you have good brand recognition, now might be the time to look into expanding. Whether you just want to add one or two more locations, or you’re trying to establish a global restaurant empire, there a some considerations you need to make. Here are some of the things to think about when expanding your restaurant business.

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Consider all of your options

These days, there are a lot of different options for restaurant expansion. You could consider the traditional route and open up some new locations for your restaurant and run them yourself. If you are successful enough you could also look into franchising the business and selling the rights to other owners that want to operate under your brand. This way you can bring in extra revenue without having to take on the work of running multiple locations.

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You might also want to look into alternatives to opening another fixed location. Food trucks are becoming more popular and can offer a cheaper way of expanding your business. One of the main benefits of opening a food truck is that you can experiment with different locations. It is also a good way of trialling new recipes that you can then transfer to your permanent locations if they are popular.  

Another popular trend in restaurants at the moment is pop-up locations. Well known restaurants are starting to use temporary locations to bring their restaurant to new areas. You can eliminate a lot of the overheads by using a pop-up location, making it a much less risky way of expanding your business. The hype created by the temporary nature of the pop-up, means that customers will flock to your restaurant to make sure they get in while it lasts. This is also a good way of gauging whether there is demand in certain areas, before opening up a more permanent location. However, if you want to be successful with pop-ups, you need to have good brand recognition beforehand.

Finances

Once you’ve decided on your expansion plan, you’ll need to be able to pay for it. It might be best to wait until your restaurant is making enough money for you to be able to pay for it outright, otherwise you should look at investors. It is also important not to overstretch yourself. Your first location may be doing brilliantly but that doesn’t guarantee you immediate success with your new restaurants. Keep costs low to begin with. Consider buying refurbished equipment from places like Butler Equipment rather than buying brand new. Also, don’t take on too many staff members straightaway, wait until the business is making profit and then you can put more money back into it.  

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Don’t Change Too Much

When you do open your new restaurant, try not to change too much. Your original location is popular for a reason. So many restaurant start-ups fail because they don’t offer anything new. The fact that you have made it to this point means that you have a good unique selling point. If you change too much you could risk losing the thing that made you popular in the first place and alienating your customers. That doesn’t mean you can’t experiment with new ideas, but be sure that you retain the essence and character that makes your restaurant great.

Following these steps can help turn your humble restaurant into a global hospitality empire.