FAQ About Restaurants

Most Popular Restaurant Questions

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Opening a restaurant takes a lot of planning and preparation. Form deciding on the restaurant concept, to writing a business plan, to designing the dining room each phase is important to the overall success. I receive lots of questions about different parts of opening and managing a restaurant. Read on for my answers to some of the most frequently asked reader questions

Frankie M asks if he has what it takes to be a restaurant owner.

I really, really, really want to open my own restaurant. I love to cook! I love to entertain! I have my friends over, like, every weekend. The problem is, my wife doesn’t think it’s a good idea. She worries that if I quit my office job (which I hate) then we might not make enough money to support our family. I told her that it might be a little hard at first, but then we would be fine. I mean, everyone tells me that I should open my own restaurant, so I should do it, right?

Frankie M

Frankie sounds like a lot of people I know, who want to open their own restaurant. A passion for food is great, but is it enough to be your own boss and open your own restaurant? Find out my answer here.

Business partners Arnold and James ask about the pros and cons of used restaurant equipment.

We are getting ready to open a new restaurant in a few weeks and just got cleared for financing from the bank. Now we are starting to buy equipment for the restaurant kitchen. However, we are having trouble agreeing on the type of equipment that we should buy. I (Arnold) say we should buy as much used equipment as we can, to save money for all the other start-up costs. James says we should buy new, because it comes with a warranty and if we buy used we will end up spending more on fixing the equipment, down the road or replacing it all together. What should we do?

It can be a little frightening how much money you can spend opening a new restaurant, so I don’t blame Arnold for carefully watching the budget. However there are certain pieces of restaurant equipment that are fine to buy used and other pieces that are better new or leased. Find out which is which.

Rob asks what’s the best way to start catering off-premise, while still running a restaurant.

I own a small restaurant, which has been open for three years. I would like to start offering off-premise catering for weddings and other large parties, but I'm not sure how to get started. What type of equipment do I need to buy? What should my catering menu look like? How do I know what to charge? Do I need special licenses or insurance, or will my current restaurant insurance be enough?

Off premise catering offers a lot of opportunities for a restaurant. Find out more here.

Mike N. asks if his restaurant really needs a website or a Facebook page.

I own a restaurant and people keep telling me I need to have a website and get on Facebook. I just don't like computers. And I don't have time to spend on Facebook and Twitter all day long. I advertise in my local paper, isn't that enough? And I wouldn't know where to get started anyway. Do I really need a website and all this other stuff?

Yes, Mike, you do. And here’s why!

Jack S. is grappling with a problem that many restaurant owners face- not enough cash.

My restaurant is five years old and it’s never made a lot of money. Somehow, we’ve always gotten by. Lately though, with the rising prices of food, fuel and everything else, plus the recession, it has been really hard to pay our bills on time and pay our staff every week. My wife and I don't want to close the restaurant. What should we do?

There are many ways that restaurants can trim costs, without sacrificing service or quality. Find out what there are, here.

Sherri N. from New Mexico asks the all important question: What makes a good restaurant location?

I am in the process of getting ready to open my first restaurant. I already have a name picked out and written the menu. The problem is I can't find the right location. I had a place picked out, but as it turns out, it wasn't in the right zoning for a restaurant with a liquor license. I've been looking at different spaces, but none of them have the space or layout to fit my restaurant concept. How do I know how to choose the right restaurant location?

Location is vitally important to the success of any restaurant, regardless of size, concept or price range. Read on for what I think makes a good location.