How to set up a restaurant

As more and more Brazilians eat at least once a week, the restaurant industry continues to thrive. However, opening a restaurant requires a lot of work, but with good planning you can start a successful business.

What is a Restaurant?

Simply put, a restaurant is where you pay for food. That is why it is a company whose services are to cook and serve food and drinks to customers.

Food is usually served and eaten locally, but many restaurants also offer food delivery services, and some only offer delivery.

Restaurants vary greatly in appearance and offerings, including a wide variety of cuisines, in models ranging from fast food and snack bars to luxury establishments with above average values.

Types of Restaurants

There are many types and sizes of restaurants, so it would be impossible to list them all here. As a rule, they are classified according to the type of food (vegetarian, pizzeria, steak house); origin of cuisine (Italian, Japanese, Indian, Mexican) or service style (carverie, a la carte, buffet).

In addition, restaurants can differentiate themselves in such factors as speed (fast food), formality, location, cost, among many others.

Restaurants range from informal places for lunch or dinner, which serve locals with food and simple furnishings, to expensive establishments where gourmet food and drinks are served in a more formal setting.

Advantages and disadvantages

It is assumed that the number of catering enterprises has increased approximately five times in the last 50 years. This trend does not tend to recede, as more and more people prefer to eat. This means that the right restaurant in the right place has a high chance to be a profitable enterprise.

In addition, successful restaurant owners often become popular figures in the local community. This is because the restaurant is a meeting place. If you create a space where people want to stay, you will have a unified group of people who want to take advantage of it.

And if you like to have people around you and they feel welcome, your restaurant will bring you emotional benefits from creating a community.

On the other hand, you may have noticed that most restaurants depend on a good team (quality and quantity of employees) to offer the appropriate service.

Finding and maintaining qualified staff is a major challenge for the food industry. Paying more attention to hiring and training as a team can help to meet this requirement as well as reduce costs over time.

Another disadvantage is the difficulty of establishing the profit of your business. The food industry is very price sensitive, which leaves you with a small difference between the cost of goods, labor and profit.

You will need to identify values that are relevant to the market but that are capable of sustaining and making a profit for your business.

Market problem

There are two main problems in restaurant service (which are repeated in many enterprises): initial investment and competition.

As a rule, a restaurant will require a significant investment, as many products have to be paid for in advance to launch it. Industrial kitchen, labor, furniture, in addition to all the elements and processes required by law and health supervision.

Competition is particularly difficult in densely populated urban areas or large cities, especially in small independent restaurants.

Chains of large and well-known restaurants tend to attract more customers, while independent restaurant owners must work hard to develop their own customer base.

Assumed start-up capital

The initial capital for the restaurant opening will depend – in many respects – on the size and business model. Sebrae reports that the self-service restaurant with an area of approximately 200 m² and an average customer capacity of 150 per day will require an initial investment of 124 thousand reals. The 120 m² Chinese cuisine restaurant will require just over 130 thousand reals. Already now it is possible to open a small restaurant with broths and salads worth about 80 thousand reals.

The initial cost varies depending on the commercial location, renovation, equipment, human resources, furniture, exhaust system, ventilation and air conditioning, inventory, plus the working capital needed to maintain the company until it starts to make a profit.

Como abrir um restaurante (passo a passo)

And the location

When choosing a place for your new restaurant, pay attention, among other things, to the visibility and accessibility of the object. It is desirable that the place was visible to those who drive and/or walk, with a sufficient flow of people. In addition, think about whether there is parking and easy access on foot or by car.

Make sure that the target market of your restaurant corresponds to the population of the region. And finally, watch the competition in the selected area.

Having several competitors can help in marketing. But it is wise to take a sufficient distance to provide a cohesive group of customers who will not be easy to attract to another such place.

Layout and structure

When launching the restaurant, carefully consider how to organize a development model to create a systematic flow from the reception. You will need to take into account the size of the dining room, kitchen, pantry and office space.

Restaurants typically allocate between 45% and 65% of their space for the dining area, approximately 35% for the kitchen and production, and the rest for storage and office space.

As for the dining room, follow the finish, concept, lighting, circulation and ventilation. The space should be attractive and comfortable so that people do not rush out.

The production area should be well designed, with space for eating, storing, cooking, washing, dishes and dishes, as well as garbage storage and office space for workers.


Before you open your restaurant, you need to decide on the menu. This is essential to find out what equipment you need, the personnel you are going to hire, and the public you hope to attract.

The menu should not be fully developed, and its recipes should not be fully developed, but you should have a general idea, including prices.

Later, you can keep your menu updated as you become aware of which products sell well and which do not.