How To Open a Taco Restaurant

With the Mexican food category continuing to lead restaurant sales in popularity, Mexican fare is also among the most profitable when it comes to food costs for restaurant operators.  So if you are thinking of entering the restaurant business, consider opening a taco restaurant for the best profitability.

Decide whether you want to franchise an established, brand name taco restaurant or if you want to go your own way and open an independent restaurant with a unique name and your own marketing plan.

Location is extremely important to the success of your taco restaurant, so try to obtain a location where there is heavy pedestrian or automobile traffic. It's also good to locate near colleges and universities where students are looking for economically priced meals, as tacos certainly fit that category.

Incorporate your business and obtain a business license to operate.  Check with the state chapter of the National Restaurant Association to obtain helpful resources for everything from funding your new taco restaurant to obtaining food suppliers, insurance and equipment.  Make sure you are aware of the local codes regarding zoning and health when it comes to restaurant operation.  Take a course in food safety and be sure that all of your employees understand food safety precautions and proper food handling techniques.

Lay out a business plan and decide whether you are going to specialize in beef and chicken tacos or include seafood tacos on the menu as well.  What side dishes and beverages will you offer to complement tacos and increase the check average? Ask yourself why people will want to patronize your taco restaurant.  Is it because of the authenticity of the recipes, free delivery, an economical price point, or because of daily promotional specials?

It's very helpful prior to opening your taco restaurant to attend a regional restaurant trade show where you can see the latest innovations in equipment, signage, cashier and payment systems, along with other items which can help make your restaurant a success.

Attitude and energy are more important when hiring restaurant staff than experience, although it's important that your manager understands restaurant systems and marketing.  While your employees are in the training period, it can help to invite employees from local businesses to stop by for a free taco before you formally open your doors as a get-acquainted promotion.

Be sure to have an advertising and marketing plan in place prior to opening, because no matter how good your product is, competition in the restaurant business is tough and more than 50% of new restaurants fail within the first 12 months.


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