Your Guide to Opening a Steakhouse Restaurant

If opening a steakhouse restaurant has been your dream for a long time, this guide will help you understand several steps often disregarded in this industry. Things like lighting and a good parking lot provide comfort and convenience for customers. They must be included, or you won’t attract regulars. Let’s find out what else you should know before you start your business.

1. Install Beautiful Lighting

Have you ever noticed lighting in a restaurant? It’s comfortable and bright but not too overwhelming. It’s also completely different from an office building or a clinic. That’s because good lighting can make people feel a certain way, and light diffuser services can help you get that slightly darker hue that diners enjoy on a special night out. Opening a steakhouse restaurant means looking at all the details.

It can’t be too obscure because people need to read menus and more, but harsh lighting turns clients away. If a couple is on a date, they want something sultry that enhances the romance. Steakhouses are perfect places for dates, family celebrations, and much more, so you should be ready to please every type of patron you get.

You may also plan for specific spots to be brighter than others, but your wait staff should be informed of this setup so they can seat people accordingly. Think about the light in the kitchen, which should generally be bright and white because cooks need to see everything and focus on their work. The ambiance outside is a whole other thing, and you could hire a designer to plan a light fixture distribution that works best.

2. Offer Live Music

Opening a steakhouse restaurant is the dream of many other people in America, meaning you’ll have to stand out from the crowd somehow. Therefore, you can offer special events such as live music on certain nights. However, you’ll need to set up a sound system or plan to rent it for a day. Artists may have their equipment.

How about finding used pianos for sale? A beautiful piano in your restaurant will enhance the decoration, and hiring a pianist may provide the environment many of your clients are looking for. You want people to fall in love with your establishment so they return for all their special locations. They’ll remember the restaurant forever if they start dating after enjoying the ambiance, food, and music in your business.

If you want live music events, consider the clientele you want to attract. If your patrons are mostly older, you want to avoid booking a rock band comprised of teenagers or 20-somethings. Everything should be appropriate, so think about cover artists with a roster of contemporary and older songs. Include instrumentalists on that list. If your clientele gets younger, you can experiment with cooler bands later.

3. Create a Marketing Strategy

No one will visit your restaurant, no matter how good it is, without proper marketing. You need to promote the business, and there are several best practices to follow today. However, always be ready for new trends and hire a digital marketing agency that can adapt to any social media site.

First, you need to develop your brand and identity. Businesses can pick specific colors, make a logo, find a motto or catchphrase, and stick to a pattern. For example, Taco Bell has always been about fun and wittiness, while Olive Garden focuses on family. Understanding your audience will help you determine what kind of brand you want to create. Opening a steakhouse restaurant comes with tons of competition, so it should be something that separates you from already-established franchises.

Next, you’ll need to create a presence for your business online with a website and all the social media accounts you can handle. All possible information should be added. People often want to look at menus with prices before going to a restaurant, but they also like pictures. Add a calendar of your live music events and promote them weekly so people are reminded while they look at their feeds.

4. Add Security Features

You must consider a few practical matters while opening a steakhouse restaurant. Not everything is fun, games, and a good steak on the grill. You need a safe place for your clients to relax, and you should also be prepared for anything that could happen. Adding some security features can make the experience much better for everyone involved.

Aside from installing fire alarms in the proper areas, add several cameras outside and inside. As the owner, you must check what your employees do when you’re not around. Inside cameras can also help settle disputes, such as customers demanding more change because they claim to have been given a higher bill. It happens more often than you think, and having that backup is much better.

Additionally, you’ll see what happens if a customer loses something. If there’s a thief, you can catch them or help the police by giving them the footage. The last thing you want is for clients to feel like you don’t care about them or their belongings. Add burglar alarms for that situation and assign someone responsible for security measures. You should also place strong lights outside so clients feel safe walking to their cars.

5. Install Flooring

Before opening a steakhouse restaurant, you must consider floor and floor covering. There are many options to consider, such as concrete. Generally, it’s a good, durable option and relatively easy to clean and maintain. It’s stain-resistant, but it’s not the best for an upscale environment.

Tile is another option and is famous for commercial spaces. It’s low maintenance and won’t stain easily, which is something to consider due to food and wine. Most restaurateurs pick tile for bathrooms and kitchens because white looks good in these spaces, but they’re also a good choice for the front of the restaurant. You just have to find the right colors.

You’ve probably considered hardwood, although it’ll be more expensive than others. It can improve the ambiance of your restaurant and please all patrons. While it’s not hard to maintain, it could stain in lighter colors, so pick something darker and design the pattern to your liking. Consider hiring an interior designer or getting advice from a contractor. Check what other similar restaurants did to find the most efficient choice.

6. Repair Your Roof

While opening your steakhouse restaurant, you must repair anything that needs some touch-up, and the roof is often overlooked. Commercial roofing services should be able to handle that problem, but you should know how to spot the signs of needing roof repairs. For example, a stained ceiling tells you there’s a leak.

All that must be fixed before you open your doors. Another telltale sign is moss or algae growth. A little bit is not a huge deal, but it indicates moisture, so there could be a roofing or clogged gutter problem. Eventually, this growth will damage the material and cost thousands to repair.

A sagging roof line is another sign that you must get roofing contractors immediately. Clients won’t return to a restaurant if they notice that kind of decay. It can collapse at any point. Worn or cracked shingles are often ignored because patrons don’t see them except if they’re outside and take a good look, but water will get through these fissures and ruin your roof.

7. Add Outdoor Seating

Before opening your steakhouse restaurant, consider all the space you have bought or rented. Can you add more areas so your clients may choose if they want to dine inside or outside? If you want to create places where people will build memories and couples will fall in love, you must think about making a patio.

Patio builder services can help you design the most romantic space under the moon’s light, surrounded by beautiful plants that create the best ambiance for romance. If your lot has enough room, you must take advantage of it. Furthermore, consider adding sidewalk seating, especially if your restaurant gets popular. People are much likelier to wait for a table if they have a comfortable resting place.

Some restaurants add a table and umbrellas on the sidewalk to create a Parisian feeling, but it doesn’t always work in America. Instead, consider a rooftop. It’s another way to take advantage of the space, and you could create a different kind of environment upstairs, such as a bar or party scene. Remember that you must find ways to attract as many customers as possible, meaning diversifying your services.

8. Offer Catering Services

Speaking of diversifying your services, have you considered catering? While many restaurants offer delivery and pickup options, you should add catering. Some people will love your food, but it’s often inconvenient for big family parties to book an entire restaurant. You’ll stand out from the competition by including catering before opening a steakhouse restaurant. You could set up corporate event catering services because office parties and important networking events are picking up speed.

You could become the go-to spot for wedding catering, especially if you have great deals and good food. The only issue is being ready for the extra work and hiring more people. Your restaurant could offer serving and waitstaff options for these events, creating more jobs and improving the economy. Additionally, catering is another way to gain exposure in your local area.

Sometimes, even your best marketing strategies will only reach some. The market is so saturated that people get overwhelmed with many options, but if they try your catering at an event, they’ll visit your restaurant later. This is also a fantastic way to reduce waste and be more accurate while doing inventory because you know exactly how much to buy to feed a specific number of people.

9. Upgrade Your HVAC

One of the main things you’ll need to consider before opening a steakhouse restaurant is upgrading your HVAC. No one can enjoy their grilled meat if the ambiance is not optimal. Some customers will pick seating outside, and that’s their choice. However, most people inside want to feel comfortable and eat in a cool environment, so your AC needs to be in top shape.

On the other hand, your heating should also be excellent. An HVAC repair service can help you plan how to heat your open spaces, and the inside should be warm and cozy at all times if the weather has gotten too chilly. Furthermore, your kitchen staff requires a proper workplace, and being sweaty or too cold even with stoves on is not great for business.

Therefore, it’s time to upgrade your old system because buying newer models, adding better ductwork, changing some wiring, and including ventilators can help air circulate efficiently. That will cut down on energy usage and reduce your bills. Newer machines are also more eco-friendly, so budget for HVAC upgrades and repairs.

10. Fix Your Parking Lot

There’s probably something you still need to consider, especially if you bought an old restaurant and have begun renovating the interior. Many people ignore the parking lot because it’s a simple structure that requires little maintenance. However, parking lot repair is vital before opening a steakhouse restaurant.

No customer wants to leave their cars in vulnerable spots, and there’s nothing worse than falling into potholes while trying to park. Remember that they’ll need to walk from your restaurant to their cars; some people will have nice shoes or heels. If something happens to them, you could be liable. You should also check for any city regulations, including the disability parking spots you’ll have to add and anything else required by law. You want to avoid getting fined or closed down because of your parking lot.

Additionally, add more lighting to your parking lot because there’s nothing worse than leaving a restaurant with a full stomach at night and trying to find your car in a dark area while worrying about possible dangers. Consider your clients’ safety at all times, and your business won’t have any issues succeeding.

Opening a steakhouse restaurant will be much easier now that you’ve read this helpful guide. There are several other details to consider, so keep searching, ask for advice, talk to your contractors, speak to experts, and do everything you can to start on the right foot. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it!

The following two tabs change content below.

Francis Pitt

Francis Pitt has made a name for himself in farm-to-table organics, working at restaurants in Portland, Seattle and Burlington, Vermont. While he has a taste for the extreme, most of his restaurant’s top sellers are much more down-to-earth, regularly featuring mushrooms gathered from the slopes of the Cascades, and fresh wild-caught seafood from the Oregon coast. Inspired by trends in Portland, his latest restaurant offers the ultimate chef’s table: dinner begins in the morning at his island collective farm, and 4 lucky guests every week get to follow the food, literally, from the field to the plate! Francis is a firm believer that you are what you eat — do you really want to be a chemistry set?