Scheduling Your Restaurant Hours Opening your own restaurant entails a lot of decision-making that may affect positively or negatively your venture. One of the decisions which has far-reaching consequences is when your restaurant should be open. Open for a limited amount of hours and you might be missing out on opportunities to make a profit. If you are open too long, there may be periods of time when no one is coming in. The overall theme and concept of your business can help you determine your restaurant’s hours of operation. The operating hours of an upscale establishment are different from that of a casual, family-style eatery. If you are thinking of a bar, do you also want it to serve food like a brewpub? Scout also the area where you are located and check the types of businesses and possible patrons nearby. Is the neighborhood filled with places serving breakfast, or is there no breakfast place that opens early? Is there a lot of foot traffic to sustain your business? If a bar is what you have in mind, what food and drinks can you offer that other bars in the area can’t? Opening a bar also means checking with the local city hall the zoning regulations that may limit your business hours. An example would be the strict noise and crowd zoning rules that apply to establishments close to residential houses.
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You may also want to take into consideration the life/work balance you see yourself having. If your restaurant is open from breakfast to dinner time, you will be working from sunup to sundown and will need several staff to man several shifts. As a new restaurant owner, you may want to try first opening for breakfast/lunch or lunch/dinner only.
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Beside the hours, you also need to think the days you will be open. Many restaurants take a break once a week which is normally a Monday. In any case, if most restaurants in your vicinity are closed on a particular day, open yours so you can pull in the hungry customers searching for a place to eat. If you are situated in a business district and your clientele is composed of office workers grabbing breakfast or lunch Monday to Friday, it may be prudent not to open on weekends when everyone’s not around. As your business gain footage from the limited operating hours you have, you may encounter customers who will demand longer hours. But before extending your hours, cautiously look at the consequences in terms of operation and manpower needs. Compute whether the supplemental profits you will earn from the additional hours are enough to cover the costs of extra utility and manpower. Valuate your breakeven point and adjust your opening hours as necessary.