The world doesn’t have nearly enough great vegan restaurants. As a vegan, you understand how difficult it can be to dine out sometimes. This is especially true if you don’t have vegan friends and you’re left trying to dissect a menu that doesn’t have your needs in mind. If you’re passionate about vegan food and a vegan lifestyle, you might consider taking that issue into your own hands by opening up your own eatery.
1. Envision the Perfect Menu
What are you going to serve? Most successful restaurants have some sort of a consistent theme with their menu offerings. It could be dishes inspired by a single country of origin or even a particular food philosophy that influences the dishes you put on the menu. The concept of a vegan restaurant in and of itself is good, but it may not be enough to create a strong impression.
2. Hire Staff That Care
You need to hire cooks and servers who are familiar with vegan sensibilities. You wouldn’t want a chef to inadvertently substitute an ingredient with something that’s not vegan-friendly. If you run out of agave nectar and your cook replaces it with honey, you’ll have a lot of explaining to do. If you can staff your restaurant with devoted vegans and vegetarians, you won’t have much to worry about. If you can’t, make sure the people you hire have a true understanding.
3. Pick the Right Location
Your restaurant has to be in a location that’s easily accessible by people who would be interested in eating there. You don’t have to be a vegan to enjoy vegan restaurants – many people who are interested in living a healthier lifestyle are interested in vegan food. Check Gumtree for a location near successful yoga studios or boutique grocery stores. You’ll fit right in, and you already know your desired customer base frequents the area.
4. Have Fun Branding
Some people will need a little coaxing to find the concept of a vegan restaurant exciting. One of the best ways to reach people who may not have ordinarily given you a shot is by branding your restaurant well. Anybody can eat vegan food – you just have to inspire them to do so. You’ll be counting on non-vegans to help you make payroll at the end of the month. Develop a fresh and exciting identity for your brand and market that identity well. People will walk through the door on sheer curiosity, and stay for your incredible dishes.
5. Create the Perfect Atmosphere
People can make delicious vegan food at home. They go out because they want to enjoy the ambiance of their favorite places. Before you open your doors, make sure your restaurant is furnished and decorated. Most restaurants start with the bare minimum, and many restaurants wind up folding within the first year. Spend as much time as you need to spend creating and building the perfect atmosphere before you open. If you launch strong, all you need to do is maintain that momentum as you continue to grow.
Don’t put the cart before the horse. If the idea of becoming a vegan restauranteur means a lot to you, you’d do well utilizing slow and careful planning. Making your dream a reality will be hard work, and you need to be positive you’re as prepared as can be before you start finding your investors.