How to Open A Restaurant?


You have been dreaming to open your own restaurant for years and that dream is about to become the reality. Let’s walk through the steps of opening a restaurant and to be successful for years.

1-) Choose the Concept and Brand of your restaurant: What’s the concept of your restaurant? Is it a farm-to-table, in & out lunch spot or an upscale one? Deciding on your concept will help you determine the decoration and the atmosphere and most importantly the brand of your restaurant.

2-) Create Your Menu: Creating a menu at this early stage will help you to make the right choices from purchasing or leasing the correct equipment to hiring the right chef and sous-chefs. After the soft opening, you will have more time to tweak your menu according to what is selling and what is not. With seasonal updates on the menu, you will encourage return customers and bring new ones.

3-) Write a Business Plan: If you are planning to apply for a loan or reach out to investors, writing a successful business plan is crucial. If you are not an expert in writing a business plan, we recommend you consult with friends and family who may help you on this step. You can also hire a company that offers business plan services or use free online tools like this one that Small Business Administration offers on their website.

4-) Secure Funding: Calculate the costs of opening your restaurant, day-to-day operations for the next year and any other costs that may occur. This will help you to determine how much you will need to start and run your business and how much more you will need in the long run.

5-) Finding The Right Location: Depending on the food you are offering and your target market, finding the right spot is another crucial step that you should spend significant time on. Take your time to learn more about the neighborhoods that you have in mind and the trend in those neighborhoods. And, most importantly, know your competition.

6-) Permits and Licenses: To open any business in the United States, you must obtain several licenses and permits like federal, state and local. At this point, legal guidance would be helpful and can save you tons of time and money.

If you are planning to stream music at your restaurant, one of the licenses you’ll need to obtain is the background music licenses. A popular misconception within the business owners is that they can use their personal use services like Spotify or Pandora at their businesses. Because you are already paying a monthly fee to these services doesn’t mean you can use them in your restaurant. Streaming music from your iPod is not an option neither. These options can cost you thousands of dollars in penalties because your business is not complying with the Copyright Law.

Your options are to pay the Performance Rights Organizations (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC to name a few) directly to obtain these licenses. However, this option may be costly and time-consuming as you will need to contact each of them directly and pay them separately.

To give you an idea, the minimum music licensing fee for restaurants is $750 per year and the fee doubles as the sq.ft of your restaurant get bigger. You may have a small restaurant for 50 people, but you will still have to pay the minimum fee of $750. 

Your other option is to find a licensed background music service like Jukeboxy Music for Business. Using Jukeboxy at your business is not only cost efficient, but it is also time-saving as you won’t have to spend time finding and/or creating the right music for your restaurant. Our curators already did the hard work to achieve the right music at any type of your restaurant, including yours.

Jukeboxy is a one-stop shop for businesses as we offer in-store audio messaging service and on-hold music service in addition to the background music. The cost is only $24.95 a month and $299.40 annually regardless of the size of your restaurant which will save you tons of money to spend on other supplies in your restaurant. 

To learn more about our services and how we can help your business with the right music and technology, reach out to us to speak with one of our representatives. We would be happy to give you advise, answer your questions and be part of your new venture.

7-) Finding Suppliers: From one-time purchases (equipment, tables, chairs, etc.) to recurring purchases, finding the right suppliers will help you to save time and money and will give you peace of mind for sure. The options are limitless, take your time, do your research, read reviews, speak with other business owners, read forums, attend food and beverage fairs, etc.

😎 Finding The Right Staff: Depending on the size of your business, you may need staff for human resources, supervisors, buyers, cleaning staff and servers. In a restaurant, multi-tasking, working quickly and efficiently is a must. Find the candidates with prior experiences in the food&beverage industry and who can work with others under pressure in a fast-paced environment.

And…(drumrolls here)… Time to host a soft opening! Start with friends and family night and be open to all kinds of reviews, good and bad. Remember, they are there for you and to help you succeed. Then consider an invite-only event. You can invite the residents in the neighborhood, offer happy hour drink and food specials. Talk to your guests, ask them what they like, and they don’t. Improve the negatives and enhance the positives for many years of a successful business.

Leave us a comment below if you have any questions about business background music licenses or if you like to add any suggestions to future restauranteurs.