Have you always wanted to own a restaurant, but are afraid of investing in a large one and then having it flop? You don’t have to jump into a large restaurant business at the onset. There are plenty of small restaurants that thrive and do well in today’s market.

Check out these 4 unique small restaurant ideas:

1. Cookie Dough Shop

Edible cookie dough is all the rage right now and would make the perfect small business venture. You don’t need a large dining room and you won’t need as much equipment and inventory as you would with a full service restaurant. DoDo’s Cookie Dough & Ice Cream is a prime example of an unique small restaurant idea. By keeping their menu simple, just cookie dough and ice cream, overhead is kept to a minimum but there is still plenty of room for creativity.

2. Bagel Shop

A bagel shop is also a small but smart investment. Bagels are one of the most popular breakfast foods out there, but they are also great for lunch and as a snack any time of the day. You can’t go wrong with a bagel shop. Shmagels’ Bagels is a bagel franchise that gives you a chance to own your own business without having to be a millionaire first. Smaller initial investments make these small restaurant ideas more accessible to more people.

3. Fast Food Restaurants

There are also a lot of fast food restaurants that are accessible to new entrepreneurs with not deep pockets. And the types of foods they offer on their menu vary so it is easy to find a cuisine that you are passionate about. One American staple is the burger fast food restaurant and Zac’s Burgers is one of the most popular ones out there. Zac’s Burgers puts its own personal stamp on the burger with its special sauce that is a hit with customers.
While the burger might seem hum drum, there are plenty of ways to make it unique from special sauces to using different meats or no meat at all to make your burgers, the sky’s the limit.

4. BBQ Restaurants

Another great option is a unique barbecue restaurant. There are so many different styles of barbecue that you can have a lot of fun finding your niche. One popular barbecue franchise, Chaps Pit Beef, has made a name for itself with its own take of the Baltimore Pit Beef sandwich cooked on an open grill. People come from different states even different countries for a Chaps Pit Beef sandwich.

No matter if you choose one these unique small restaurant ideas or decide to go with a larger full-service restaurant there are certain things you must do in order to grow and be successful. Adopting even just a few of these tips can make a big difference.

  • Surround yourself with experts. Especially if you are new to the restaurant game, there is a lot you are probably still unsure about when it comes to your business. You need to know so much more than just food to run a restaurant business. So if you are not an expert at marketing for example, what should you do? By surrounding yourself with leading experts in the restaurant industry, you will get the support and advice you need to grow your restaurant. Networking sites are a great place to start. Look for restaurant associations to join or hiring a restaurant consultant company like MBB Management.
  • Connect with customers on social media. As a restaurant franchise owner, it is so important for you to have a social media presence. If you are not comfortable doing it yourself, then hire a social media strategist to maintain your social media channels for you. If you haven’t done so already set up an account on Facebook, Twitter and at least one other social media channel like Pinterest or Snapchat and use them to post pictures of your dishes and to let your customers know about upcoming events and specials. Encourage your customers to like your page and share it will all your friends. You will be pleasantly surprised by the power of social media. Just be sure to check with the main headquarters of your franchise program to make sure you are following all brand requirements.
  • Always think outside the box. The restaurant business can be very cut-throat. If you own a pizza franchise unit, you know there are a whole bunch of other pizza shops just in your area clamoring for the same customers so you need to make sure that your place stands out among the rest. You can’t just rely on the status quo of what all pizza shops do. Innovation in food, technology, restaurant design and customer service can all help put your personal stamp on your restaurant.
  • Reward your loyal customers. Returning customers are a sign that you are doing something right and you want them to keep coming back and to bring their friends and families. To reward them, offer special incentives like discount coupons, special happy hours and other special events. Thank them for choosing you.
  • Build your A-Team. Besides good food, the other indispensable ingredient for a successful business is a high-performing staff. Both on the floor, in the kitchen and in the back office, you will want to build a team that believes in your vision and will work hard alongside of you. You need a team you can count on and delegate to. With a restaurant, the work is never done so you need a team that is skilled in their position and hard workers.
  • Make good food a priority. While it is a no-brainer that for your restaurant to be successful, you need to have great food, sometimes quality can fly out the window when you are trying to stay within a budget or rushing food out of the kitchen. Always be in the kitchen experimenting with ingredients to get your dishes to as close as perfect as possible. And don’t forget to try new dishes as well. You want to keep tantalizing your customers’ taste buds.

Of course none of this will work if you are not willing and able to work hard. Running your own business can seem like a thankless job of long hours, lots of stress and little downtime so it is important to never let go of your vision and to keep on trucking. If you are only half way invested in this business, then it will never grow like you want it too.

For more information on unique small restaurant ideas and growing your restaurant, contact us at MBB Management. Call us or send us a message today.
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