The burger business is a multimillion-dollar industry, with lots of competition from the chain and franchised companies that can be anything from fast-food to full-service. The days of a simple cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato and ketchup have passed. The industry is now focusing on gourmet burgers made not just from beef, but also lamb, pork and rare meats like buffalo, combined with international flavors. To open a burger business requires detailed planning to ensure your burger restaurant is a success:
Research the burger industry to see where there are gaps that you can fill. This will help you formulate your mission statement, for example: To provide the finest / healthiest / best tasting, etc. burgers and sandwiches in the area, together with best customer service. Whilst researching, consider the ideal location for your burger business so that it is in reach of your target market.
How do you want to serve burgers to your customers? You can be an independent fast food establishment, gourmet burger restaurant, burger delivery operation or something else. You also need to decide on the business model whether to include selling sandwiches, salads, pastries, and desserts, as well as burgers. When it comes to beverages, do you want to sell coffee, blended teas, soft drinks or alcoholic beverages.
Choose your market
Decide your customer market and consider how you will attract and retain them. Customers will visit if they see some benefit to themselves. Focus on one market first and expand as the business develops. Find your unique selling point, whether that is the quality, versatility or other uniqueness of the burgers you offer.
Hiring a business consultant to do a SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) analysis will provide an objective point of view. A weakness could be your business not being known locally, a threat could be local competitors now or in the future. Find out how you can meet challenges, overcome weaknesses and take advantage of opportunities. Also, consider your business from the point of view of potential customers.
Write a business plan
Outline every area of your business operation and expenses. Include marketing strategies and how you will deal with challenges, such as government campaigns against obesity, as well as health concerns including e-Coli and mad cow disease.
Secure a location
Once you have found your location, buy and install all necessary equipment and stock and obtain all the legal licenses and permits. When you have a planned opening date, increase marketing showcasing the benefits of your burger business to your customer market.
As soon as the location is secure, start hiring. The main roles within a burger business will be production, sales and marketing, and general and administrative (facilities, equipment, inventory, payroll, and other operational tasks separate from other roles such as compliance with legislation). Give yourself at least two weeks before opening clear all employee’s paperwork and training and orientation is complete before your opening day.