You've decided to follow your dreams and open a restaurant or catering business, which is no ordinary task. What do you need to know? What preparations need to be made?
The Restaurant and catering start-up checklist is designed to help you create and implement your recipe for success. For general information on business start-up, consult our Business start-up checklist.
Business start-up checklist When you're setting up your business, you need to ensure that all of your bases are covered. Consider the following steps as you navigate through the business start-up phase.
Another option is buying an existing business — find out more.
Buying a business Find out what you need to know before buying a business: where to look, how to evaluate potential acquisitions, and what a fair price would be.
Franchising Learn more about buying a franchise as an option for starting a business.
Knowing the restaurant and catering industry
As a restaurateur or caterer, you need to know your industry, customers and suppliers inside-out. Your marketing strategy will be as crucial to your success as the items on your menu. Use these resources to help develop your knowledge base and become an expert.
Marketing and sales How well you market your business and interact with your customers can vastly influence your success.
Demographics Get data that sheds light on population characteristics such as location, age, income, education level, and more.
Designing and setting up your restaurant or catering business
Whether you build your business from the ground up or you plan to buy an existing one, you need to have a very organized, functional set-up. From the appetizers you serve, to the supplies you require, you will need to have every detail in place. Significant time and attention to detail will be needed for setting up your food service business, transporting your food, and kitchen and menu requirements.
Protecting your business Your company is your greatest investment. Discover safeguard options that will help keep your business secure.
Stock control and inventory Explore various stock control techniques and learn how to develop a suitable inventory system for your company.
Complying with restaurant and catering rules and regulations
You will find that the food service industry has a number of specific regulations. From storing and preparing food to serving alcoholic beverages, you need to have your house in order before you open your doors. Explore these regulations and guidelines early on in the planning process.
Taxes, GST/HST Learn about the forms of taxation that may affect your business and how to manage them.
Permits and licences Find the federal, provincial/territorial and municipal permits and licences that you may need to start or manage your business.
Human resources regulations It is important to understand your responsibilities as an employer with regards to hiring, labour standards, wages, employment equity, and more.