Opening a restaurant is the dream of many entrepreneurs, and it can be a lot of hard work to get it done. Not only do you have to have an idea for theme, location and branding, but you need the funding and licenses necessary to pull it all off.
The licenses your restaurant needs will depend on the local and state requirements as well as what type of food and beverages you serve. Usually, you will need a business license, foodservice permit, and employee identification number. Your state may also require a sign permit depending on the size and location of your sign, food handler’s permits for yourself and employees, or a liquor license if you are planning on selling alcoholic beverages. Each state has different criteria for liquor licenses and separate categories of licenses depending on if the alcohol is consumed on-site, the type of alcohol served and the number of seats your location has. It is useful to get the advice of an attorney to go through the TABC licensing process to make sure your paperwork is in order and you are applying for the right permits and licenses.
Establish Your Branding
Your branding is more than just the name on the sign, it can be woven into the décor and uniform choices you make to bring an experience to the customer. Asking local residents what types of restaurants are lacking in the area, what types of environments they want to see more of and even what kinds of cuisine they are interested in are good ways of researching a niche for your restaurant and you can build your branding around that niche.
The more you research before opening your restaurant, the better prepared you will be for the costs of licensing and the needs of your community. You can then find attorneys to help you develop a solid business plan, navigate the liquor and restaurant licensing process and get your food to the people.