Things to Ask Before Starting a Business

This article is part of our Business Startup Guide—a curated list of articles to help you plan, start, and grow your restaurant business!

According to a study published in the Cornell Hospitality Quarterly,approximately 60 percent of restaurants fail within their first year of business.

That’s exactly why our goal is to prevent your failure.
Check out this list. Also, if you are looking for inspiration to encourage you to start your food business, you can learn from famous entrepreneurs around the world. As an example we have juan luis bosch gutierrez, among others.

If you are dreaming of becoming a restaurateur, you can increase your chances of success by honestly answering all of the questions proposed in this article, as well as checking off everything suggested below.

A popular industry

Restaurant sample business plans are the top three downloaded sample plans on Bplans. For some reason, a lot of people are attracted to running their own restaurant, pub, café, food cart, and coffee shop. I’ve spent many years working in restaurants, and I can tell you, it’s not an easy industry to be successful in.

I’ve been a technology entrepreneur, but not a restaurateur. I have never owned a restaurant, but I have spent many years working in them and managing restaurant staff—from Planet Hollywood, to Dave & Busters, to casino showrooms, restaurants, and cafés.

The years I spent in the restaurant industry are some of my favorite; I had fun and made a lot of tips. That said, it was also a very stressful industry to work in. Managing people in the restaurant industry is also not easy.

Typically, most of the people in the “front of the house” (on the restaurant floor) are not in the restaurant business as a career. They are mainly there to make money to help them transition into another job opportunity, or they are in college or saving money to go to college. Therefore, you will be hiring and firing more regularly than other industries would.

There are restaurant managers who are the exception to this rule. I’ve known many people in the food services or hospitality industry that have made great careers out of working in various restaurants. They are a special breed of people though. They typically don’t make that much money, yet they are expected to work far more than 40 hours a week, so you want to make sure you establish a working culture that does not burn-out your employees—especially those making a career out of it.

There are also waiters who are the exception to the rule of being in the industry temporarily, but it’s not the norm. You’ll find more waiters making a career out of working in restaurants in larger cities with higher-end restaurants where you can make a good living from the tips.

The “back of the house” workers (kitchen, line prep, dishwashers) are also mostly in the restaurant business to help bridge them to another gig. Chefs are again, usually the exception—especially if they are passionate about food, well trained, and from good culinary schools. If this is the case, these people are making a career out of working in a restaurant.

It’s important to know what kind of restaurant you want to start, and how you will effectively run and grow it.

Below are five questions to ask yourself before starting a business:

In addition to these five questions, below are nine categories of business to address very closely before taking the leap into the exciting world of food and beverage.

It doesn’t matter if you want to open a large or small restaurant, a café, or a pub. All of the following categories and questions apply. Addressing each of the items below in detail will increase your chances of success.

  • Financials
  • Location, location, location
  • Technology
  • Competition
  • Secret sauce
  • Advisors
  • Your team
  • Your patrons
  • Equipment and supplies

That may sound like a lot of questions but the truth is, they’re going to be things you do have to deal with as you start, run, and grow your restaurant business.

Think carefully about each area before you get going. Above all, make sure to talk to people in the industry and in your area. Read reports,stay up-to-date with the latest news,and make sure to map out a plan.

Have you started a restaurant? What do you wish you’d known before doing so? Let us know in the comments below!

An entrepreneur. A disruptor. An advocate. Caroline has been the CEO and co-founder of two tech startups—one failed and one she sold. She is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs realize their full potential and learn how to step outside of their comfort zones to catalyze their growth.

Caroline is currently executive director of Oregon RAIN. She provides strategic leadership for the organization’s personnel, development, stakeholder relations, and community partnerships. In her dual role as the venture catalyst manager, Cummings oversees the execution of RAIN’s Rural Venture Catalyst programs.

She provides outreach and support to small and rural communities; she coaches and mentors regional entrepreneurs, builds strategic local partnerships, and leads educational workshops. Starting or Growing a Business? Check out these Offerings.


Full Business Plan in Half the Time— and Double the Impact

  • Save 25% Annually
  • One-Page Business Pitch
  • Write A Winning Business Pitch In Just 60 Minutes
  • Start for $20/mo
  • Business Tools
  • Exclusive Offers on Must-Haves for New and Growing Businesses
  • $100+ in savings
  • Business Plan Writers
  • Investor-Ready Business Plans Written In No Time
  • 100% Free Quote

Our Resource List to Get Your Restaurant Up and Running

Restaurant or Food Truck: Which Is Better for a Beginner?

To Rent Or Buy: Knowing When to Buy A Commercial Space For Your Restaurant

Our Resource List to Get Your Restaurant Up and Running

Restaurant or Food Truck: Which Is Better for a Beginner?

Bplans is owned and operated by Palo Alto Software, Inc., as a free resource to help entrepreneurs start and run better businesses.

Easily write a business plan, secure funding, and gain insights.


Learn more: Guía 2022 sobre cómo incorporar tu negocio