How To Open a Burger Restaurant

The first step in opening a burger restaurant might easily for considered similar to the old adage from the real estate industry: "Location, Location, Location!"  However, another important consideration, though perhaps not quite so much of a cliché, should be "Financing, Financing, Financing!"

Opening your own burger joint can be exciting and the outcome can be quite lucrative.  After all, fast food is a booming business.  If you can somehow incorporate a slightly more nutritional direction in your fast food offerings, you might actually create a niche for yourself that can pay off mightily.  Veggie burgers, side dishes of vegetables, and a nice selection of zero trans-fat offerings are all hooks that will lure people to your door.

Convincing your banker that you have an idea with legs will be your first challenge.  Prepare a detailed resume of your work experience; it had better include a significant stint in the food industry somewhere along the way.  If not, it's a good idea to find a partner with this sort of experience, especially at the managerial level.  Any type of culinary or dietary technician coursework will work in your favor as well.  It shows you have a real interest in the business you are proposing to start.

Do you have a partner in this endeavor or are you prepared to take on this project as a "one man band?"  If so, some experience in accounting or finance will help fill out that resume.  It will take more than just a lot of big ideas to convince a banker to offer financing to your start-up operation.

Assuming you are fortunate enough to secure financing, what then?  Are you interested in buying into a franchise operation or do you want to start your own "Mom and Pop" local restaurant?  Each has its advantages and disadvantages.  In a franchise, you're still not your own boss completely.  The franchise can make decisions regarding hours of operation, menu items and other details and expect you to adhere to them.  If you're running Joe's Burger Bungalow, all decisions rest in your capable hands.

On the other hand, many franchises are well known already.  You can benefit from the reputation of the franchise to draw customers into your restaurant.  Joe's is going to have to work a little harder and a little longer to attract a following.

Do you have a working spouse or another source of income to keep yourself personally solvent until the burger restaurant starts to turn a profit?  Don't expect instant millions, no matter how perfect the location or how much money you've invested into making this work.


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