Thinking of opening a second location? How exciting. The good news is, you’ve clearly already found success at your first location, so opening a second will be a little easier now that you have some experience. But we know this kind of decision doesn’t come lightly, so we put together a couple of tips to help you get started.
Define your “why”.
Opening a second location is a big decision. Start with an open mind — including these questions to ask yourself.
- Will opening another restaurant boost your income?
- Do you have the capital to open it?
- Do you have the time to put in the extra time?
Pick a solid spot.
As a successful restaurant owner, you already know that one of the most important factors is location (you are considering opening a second one after all!). Think of things like proximity to your current location (remember, you’re not trying to split up your current customers between two restaurants, you’re trying to attract new ones). You should also check out the competition in the area to make sure your restaurant fits well in the neighbourhood.
Take another look at the old business plan.
You clearly knew what you were doing the first time around, so your business plan is already likely pretty solid. Revisit what you have to see what was working and what wasn’t, reassess with the new restaurant in mind, and scale accordingly. For example, if your ordering system and accounting software work well at your current location, continue to use that. If you need to figure out a better training program to train staff more efficiently, implement it right off the hop.
Staff up with superstars.
As you know, your restaurant can only be as good as your employees. Take the time to hire the right people, starting with a full-time manager who will be able to take some work off your plate. One way to do it is to have the manager shadow you at the original location, so they can run the show there while you’re off getting your second spot off the ground.
Gear up with the right equipment.
Make a list of all the machines, utensils, and dishes you need to make the kitchen run smoothly and then purchase accordingly. Again, you have the know-how from the first location so use that as your guide when you create the kitchen of your dreams. Measure your space, so you know what fits, even map out where you think everything should go, and, most importantly, make sure everything is up to code.
In the end, the most important tip we can give when opening a second location is to learn from the successes of your first one and build from there.