How to Start a Restaurant


Owning a restaurant is a business milestone for many people, but being a restaurant owner is hard work, complicated by faulty and inadequate traditional business advice.

To ensure that you don’t waste time and thousands of dollars, I’ll teach you how to start a restaurant in an easier, cheaper, and faster way using the lean startup method. This term was first coined by Eric Reis and he expounded it in his 2011 book titled The Lean Startup.

But before I explain the lean startup method to you, I’ll explain the traditional business startup method and why it doesn’t work.

The traditional flawed business startup process

Here’s how the traditional business startup method typically looks:

  1. Identify a passion or skill set you can cash in on (in this case, I’m guessing it’s food service and cooking).
  2. Write a restaurant business plan.
  3. Fund your business.
  4. Choose a location for your business.
  5. Choose a structure for your business.
  6. Decide on a business name.
  7. Form your business formally: register your business, get tax IDs for your business, apply for business licenses and permits, and open a business bank account. 
  8. Ultimately fail because this method is flawed. 

It’s easy to look at these steps and think they appear logical and well designed (until you read the last step and realize it doesn’t work). It works off the assumption that if you have a business plan for your restaurant, all you have to do is get enough money to fund your business, choose a good location, and make smart real estate decisions, and the cash flow will start pouring in. 

Unfortunately for those of us who live in the real world, just because this is how a restaurant startup should ideally go doesn’t mean it works that way. In fact, four out of five businesses and restaurants fail during their first year. This isn’t because these restaurant owners are lazy or lack ambition—it’s because this business startup method is founded on three flawed assumptions. 

Assumption 1: You have deep and intimate knowledge of your market. 

If this is your first restaurant, then it’s fair to say that you’ll need to do market research before you start selling a culinary experience.

If you’re opening a restaurant for the first time, it’s not likely that you’re a seasoned veteran of the food service industry. You may have worked in a restaurant or in the service industry before, and that gives you more knowledge than other entrepreneurs, but being a restaurant owner is different than working for one.

The traditional startup method assumes that you have knowledge of the service industry. This assumption is flawed because it takes most restaurant owners years of experience to obtain expert-level knowledge of the food service industry. 

The lean startup method allows you to gain this knowledge and experience as you go, before you develop your business idea and build your restaurant empire, giving you a greater chance at overall success. 

Assumption 2: Your needs and wants are more important than your customers’ needs and wants. 

No matter what sort of business you run, the ultimate goal is to make money. But a business that doesn’t pay attention to customer feedback, fails to listen to the wants and needs of its customers, and never develops brand loyalty won’t stay in business for long. 

The traditional business startup method encourages you to focus on the reasons YOU want to open a restaurant, rather than focusing on the needs of YOUR CUSTOMERS and why they would want to dine at your restaurant.

If your marketing plan is simply “Please buy my food,” then that’s not only a bad business model, it’s a bad marketing and advertising campaign.

You’ll learn who your potential customers are, as well as their dining needs and desires when you use the lean startup method. Do they want a restaurant that provides excellent service? Do they want a fine-dining experience or a different type of cuisine than the other restaurants in your area provide? Or are they looking for a restaurant with a warm, inviting atmosphere?

The reason that the traditional method is flawed is that it assumes that the business owner’s desires outweigh those of the customers. The lean startup method lets you find out what your potential customers want before you invest a lot of money into your restaurant business. You can capitalize on this knowledge and provide your potential guests with food and services they actually want, which means you’re more likely to have a successful restaurant. 

Assumption 3: You have unlimited cash to burn. 

Money isn’t an infinite, renewable resource. Even the richest people in the world will eventually run out of money if they spend it like it’s going out of style. Every business owner must take certain financial risks to become successful, but it’s not advisable to be all-out reckless with your money. 

Starting a restaurant business using the traditional startup method means that you start with a brick and mortar restaurant or a fleet of food trucks. This is mostly because it’s assumed that you have enough money to do so as a restaurant business owner. 

This isn’t a reasonable assumption. Starting a restaurant typically costs between $275,000–$425,000, which is an amount of money that most people would find difficult to replace if lost in a bad investment. 

But with the lean startup method, you’re encouraged to start smaller, with something like a food stand or a food truck. Restaurant business options like these are far less expensive and give you the opportunity to test culinary product and marketing ideas without making any make-or-break financial decisions. 

So to avoid becoming one of the four out of five restaurants that fail because they use a risky and flawed business plan, you must use a different startup method: the lean startup method. 

What is the lean startup method?

The lean startup method is a technique used to help budding entrepreneurs create a new business or start selling products that were manufactured by an existing business. 

The main ideas that make up the lean startup method are build, measure, and learn. 

Throughout the entire process, your main goal is to experiment with ideas you’ve researched and have a good feeling will succeed. So, you’ll roll up your sleeves and get started immediately (taking small steps), rather than creating and deciding to strictly adhere to a business plan before you even have a business to speak of. It’s also important when using the lean startup method to remember to use methods that will cost the least and will require the least effort to execute.

The first step is to build. This phase allows you to identify the problems people have and develop a solution that people will pay for. Are they having trouble finding certain menu items in their area? Would they like to see a restaurant with a bigger dining room? 

After you’ve built, it’s time to measure, or experiment. This allows you to apply the solution you developed and assess whether it’s a resounding success or an epic fail. Are the menu items you’ve come up with selling well? Do people like your food?

Once you’ve measured, it’s time to learn. You gain feedback during this phase that should allow you to evaluate the success of your new business. Were all of your food offerings successful or should you edit your menu? How do customers feel about the atmosphere and service they experience at your restaurant? If your ideas aren’t successful, the learning phase should provide you with valuable insight into what works and what doesn’t so that you don’t continue to use flawed methods and you can build your plan around the successful aspects of your new business. 

Why use the lean startup method?

If someone were to try to sell you a product that has at least an 80% probability of falling apart within a year, would you buy that product? It may surprise you to know that four out of five businesses fail within the first year using the traditional startup method, so this analogy is pretty apt. 

However, the lean startup method allows you to circumvent many of the dangers of starting a small business using the traditional startup method. You’ll not only be able to reduce the costs of starting your new restaurant, you’ll also develop a customer base that wants to give your small business patronage. 

You’re required to take on many significant financial risks when you start a business using the traditional startup method, and rather than doing market research to design your menu, you basically have to hope that people will like and buy the services you sell. Using the lean startup method, you’ll test your ideas all along the way. This gives you an advantage over competing businesses who use the traditional startup method because before you’ve even opened your restaurant you’ve created a community of local people who provide a demand for your products and services, whether it’s a quick-service restaurant or specific menu items. 

If you use the lean startup method you’ll have lower startup costs than those who open a small business using the traditional startup method. The traditional method assumes that you have a vast reserve of money, which many business owners don’t have. The lean startup method allows you to learn how to run your business before you take huge financial risks, which increases the chances that your small business will survive beyond the first year. 

Often, business owners go all-in with the traditional startup method, either not knowing about its flaws or mistakenly thinking it isn’t as flawed as it’s made out to be and that the lean startup method won’t work for them.

The lean startup method is so much more effective than the traditional startup method that if you use it you’ll have an advantage over business owners who use the traditional method. 

How can I tell you so confidently that the lean startup method is more effective to start your small business? I’ve used the lean startup method to start five different businesses over the past eight years, three of which I sold, and two that are still operating today. I’ve helped thousands of other people start their businesses using this method, and I can help you start your own restaurant too! 

How do you use the lean startup method to start your restaurant?

I use the core tenets of the lean startup method—build, measure, learn—to start up new businesses. This method helps you to find a cost-efficient way to build your restaurant business up, and it will provide you a better chance of success because it won’t be built on faulty business foundations.


The first of the core ideals behind the lean startup method is build. You’ll be developing ideas and building your business during this phase. Some important tasks necessary during the build phase include identifying a problem that local people have, building a community for your restaurant business, thinking about solution opportunities for the problem you identified, and developing that solution. 

The reason this phase is so important is that completing it ensures that the ideas you have for your restaurant are good and that you’re catering to the needs of your community. This phase will build your business up and guarantee a successful future.

Step 1: Identify a problem

The first step to developing a solution is to identify the problem.

You can’t just skip straight to selling your solution because people don’t have infinite amounts of disposable income to throw at every flashy new product. Money is a finite resource, and the best way to entice customers to buy your product is to find a solution that meets their needs and then give them a compelling reason to buy it.

The real problem is finding that compelling reason.

When people have a need that is unfulfilled, they seek out a solution. This solution is either something they can do themselves, or something they are willing to pay someone else to accomplish for them. When it comes to restaurants, this need is fairly obvious: food.

As an aspiring restaurant owner, it’s not as simple as opening another burger joint. You need to identify a need that people have that relates to their dining experiences. Does your community long for that classic diner experience? Or is your area saturated with burger joints to the point that your community is sick of burgers?

Reach out to the people in your community and take a look at some of the other restaurants in your area. If your area is overrun with one style of restaurant and people seem to want different cuisines, adapt your restaurant concept to cater to their needs and expectations. 

Continue researching what the needs of the people in your community are. Do they want better service? More exotic types of food? Or maybe there’s a lack of vegan or vegetarian options at your local restaurants that you’d be able to cash in on? Maybe restaurants in the area don’t have enough seating. Or maybe they have seating and the food is great, but the service is awful. Maybe the service is slow. Or maybe the restaurants are dirty. Or they’re too dark and dreary. Or too expensive. 

Ask people about common problems and find out how they’re affected. The more you find that people experience food and service problems at nearby restaurants, problems that you know YOU can solve, the more likely you’ll be to run a successful restaurant in the area. 

When you start talking to people about the problems they deal with in the restaurant industry, you’ll most likely find that it’s quite easy to learn about problems. If you ask and listen, customers will tell you everything you need to know. 

The problem is knowing which problem to attempt to solve with your restaurant. 

How do you choose which problem to focus on?

Unlike other parts of the lean startup method, there are no explicit rules describing the correct way to choose which problem you should address. However, you can use these three guidelines:

  1. Pick a problem that affects a lot of people in the area. Do people want fine dining, or would they prefer fast food? Are people complaining about restaurants with high prices and low-quality services?
  2. Choose a problem that can be regarded as a “pain point.” Is it hard to find a restaurant that serves truly amazing food in your area? Or is there a complete lack of quality food service in your area that makes people hesitant to dine out?
  3. Choose a problem that you can solve easily, or that you can feasibly provide a solution for. If starting a restaurant that serves only exotic gourmet food is something you can’t afford, then that’s not a reasonable solution to the problem. Instead, you could consider adding one exotic option to the menu and rotating the exotic fare once a month. 

It’s most important to choose something that causes a problem for many people and make sure that those people want a solution to the problem so much that they’re willing to pay for it. 

Step 2: Build a community

Once you’ve identified the problem to provide a solution to, the next step is building a community for the people affected. Modern online culture makes this step easy and fun. Create a group on Facebook, a forum on Reddit, or use other social media platforms. Building a community this way helps you gain potential customers for your restaurant, start developing your brand, and simultaneously helps you identify the target market of your restaurant. If you were to use the traditional startup model, it would take three separate steps to accomplish all of this. 

It’s a good idea to create offline communities, as well. Ideas for offline groups include clubs or meetup groups. These offline community meetings allow you to get to know your community and interact with them face-to-face, which will help you develop relationships with your customer base and other entrepreneurs. It’s also nice to receive feedback in real time, as opposed to waiting for online interactions. 

Beyond that, reach out to local business groups, such as your local Chamber of Commerce, to take advantage of the benefits they can provide your business. 

Reasons to build a community:

  1. You learn more about the problem you’ve identified in step 1, as well as how it impacts the community and potential customers. 
  2. It helps you develop a marketing plan for your restaurant business.
  3. When you decide to open a restaurant and start selling culinary services, you will already have a market that is primed and full of customers who trust you and are already familiar with your restaurant. 
  4. You can gain both support and funding for your restaurant early on. 

How to build a community:

  1. Start a group on Facebook to grow a community by discussing different food trends, as well as the wants of people in your community. Consistent posts, updates, discussions about food, and interactions with the community will ensure that it grows. 
  2. Twitter can be used to create polls and get more engagement from your community. People love interactive forms of engagement. 
  3. You can use Instagram to take inspirational photos of your best dishes while also building excitement about your restaurant. 
  4. Reach out through social media to other local entrepreneurs in the restaurant industry. This is helpful because you can network with people in the industry, gain feedback about your restaurant, and develop relationships with other local restaurant owners. In talking to other business owners in the restaurant industry, they will likely provide you with valuable information about how to open a restaurant in the area. 

Creating online groups allows you to gain priceless feedback and support for your restaurant. Customers that are provided with an avenue to give feedback will tell you what styles of cuisine they’d like, as well as what sort of environment they’d like to see in a new restaurant. You can also get a feel for the types of food that people in the area are accustomed to and what your community thinks about your competition and more. Your community will become a valuable fountain of information, which is why building a community before opening a restaurant is such an important step. 

The online presence that you create will also serve as advertisement for your restaurant. The more that your customers interact with your posts, leave comments, and provide positive reviews about your food and your restaurant, and the more people see that you’ll interact with and reply to your online community as well as make changes based on their feedback, you’ll notice that more people will be attracted to your group or page. 

Step 3: Identify a solution opportunity

After completing the first two steps, you’ll notice that the problem still exists for your community members. Identifying the problem and building a community isn’t enough to solve the problem, after all. 

When you’re learning how to start a new restaurant, you can use the community you’ve built to ask questions about what sort of food products they’re currently buying. You can learn what your community thinks about other local restaurants, including what they like and dislike about them. And you can use this platform to ask about the service provided by other restaurants, the quality of the food they serve, and if they like the dishes on their menus. 

You need to ask questions about whether customers are happy with the menu prices of other restaurant businesses in the area, the food quality, if other restaurants offer delivery services, how satisfied customers are with the service of other restaurants, and any other questions about the features and prices offered by your competition. Do other restaurants offer sad burgers with limp, soggy fries? Precisely how many other restaurants would rival your own? How hard is it to find a variety of food and restaurants in your area?

This information will prove to be quite valuable because you can use the feedback while designing your menu, brand, decor, and more to ensure that you create a successful restaurant. 

Step 4: Develop a solution

Unfortunately, you can’t stop after you’ve identified the problem. You now need to think of a solution to that problem. If you do a good job of identifying the solution to the problem faced by your community, they will gladly pay for it. 

If you study the attempts that competing restaurant businesses have made to solve the problem, like advertisements, promotions, and sales, you can determine how well these attempts succeeded. You should take note of things like this because it’s evidence that other restaurants are attempting to solve a problem or incorporate customer feedback. 

How to develop your solution:

  1. Come up with an idea for a solution. If people in your community have expressed desires to see a new restaurant that has operational restaurant equipment (like an ice cream machine that actually works), a new restaurant concept or theme, or a restaurant with a big dining room where they can bring their friends and family, it’s easy to think of solutions to these problems. 
  2. Get feedback about your solution idea. Your thoughts aren’t the only ones that matter here. No matter how brilliant you think your solution is, it won’t make a difference if your customer base doesn’t feel that it provides them with a solution to their problem. It’s a good idea to talk to other restaurant owners to get feedback about the costs of implementing your solution and how feasible it is. 
  3. Lastly, you need to develop your MVP, or Minimum Viable Product. Your MVP is the product that costs the least for you to produce, is the easiest to serve to your customers, and will be the most profitable. 

The solution you develop must remain efficient and cheap and require little effort to produce. If you get this equation right, your solution should be viable, which will minimize your financial risks. 


The second phase in the lean startup method is to measure. You could replace the word “measure” with “test” or “experiment” because that’s what I mean when I use the word “measure” here. In this phase, you’ll run tests to determine how effective your solution idea is. 

Step 5: Test your MVP

After you’ve created a solution and collected feedback about your idea, you can now perform the core ideal behind the lean startup method—experimentation. It’s time for you to convert your solution into your MVP and then test it.

Many factors will help you decide on an MVP for your restaurant, including food costs, the quality of your ingredients, the length of your menu, the equipment in your restaurant, the size and quality of your dining room, and other factors that affect how much money you’ll spend to make this product, how easy it is to produce, and how much profit you can receive from the product. 

For example, if your community has voiced the need for specific menu items or specific cuisine type and you can’t afford to do that, maybe you could add special menu items as a weekly or monthly promotion that will meet the needs of your customers without breaking your bank. Rotating menu items this way allows you to reach these target customers without solely serving a type of food that you can’t possibly afford. You can experiment with custom menu items with the lean startup method!

Experimentation and testing are at the core of the lean startup method. It makes sense because you could either go to a financial institution and ask for money to fund a business you think would be a success, or you could do market research, create a community of loyal guests, and definitively determine whether your product will sell. The latter makes applying for funding a lot easier, especially when coupled with a solid business plan. 

It may sound like a daunting task, but it’s easy to test your MVP. It’s also a great way to advertise for your restaurant, and it’s the best way to establish a successful restaurant. 

To test the MVP of your restaurant, the easiest approach is to make your food and set up a stand at a farmer’s market, local event, flea market, fair, or other location where there is a lot of foot traffic. 

All you have to do here is provide free samples with a smile and a friendly demeanor, asking any questions people have about your restaurant and your food. Take at least two different versions of your food, for instance, two different types of burgers you’re considering. You could serve up a variety of appetizers, drinks, sandwiches, pasta, or anything else you want to put on your menu. 

During this process, you need to ask people detailed questions about the food, if they would come buy it at your restaurant. You need to ask why they like products, as well as what they dislike. If you’re serving samples of peanut chicken to someone who is allergic to peanuts and they tell you they don’t like it because of that, that information won’t give you a lot of feedback with which to grow and improve the product. But if you serve a foodie a gourmet cheeseburger with tons of fresh and unique ingredients and they tell you they like it but that there’s way too much garlic in it, that’s information you can use. 

A true measure of the success of this experiment is if the guests you served are praising the quality of your food and they want more. 

Step 6: Sell your MVP

Now that you’ve got a little experience under your belt and discovered that people in your area love your food and will buy it, it’s time to start selling it. When you start making sales with the lean startup method, you’ll find that it’s not quite the glamorous restaurant opening you’ve dreamed of that has fueled this entire business venture. 

Finding out if you can make sales and profit from your food is the last experiment you need to perform before getting feedback and obtaining funding for your restaurant. If you can prove that you can make a profit from your business before you even have a brick and mortar location, it’s more likely that financial institutions and investors will believe that you can run a successful business. 

So is it even possible to sell food without having a brick and mortar location for your restaurant? It’s not only possible, it’s a necessary step in the lean startup method. 

To start making food sales, you should consider mobile options, like a food cart or portable stand. Mobile options are great for this step because you can pick up and move them to any location. If your sales stink in one place you can simply move on to greener pastures because you’re not confined to one location. A mobile option makes becoming a vendor at fairs and events simple, as well. If you’re using a mobile sales option, it’s a great idea to take advantage of social media and your online community to post updates about where your cart will be and when, so that customers and fans of your food can easily find you.

A restaurant stand is also a viable option. While it isn’t as mobile as a cart, you can benefit from other advantages. You typically have more counter space in a stand, so you can use a wider variety of equipment. And staying in a stationary space can lead to regular customers who love your food. 

No matter which space you choose to start selling your food, you can use this step to grow your customer base, interact with the community you’ve built, and decide whether this is ultimately the ideal space for your restaurant. 


Lastly, you must learn and improve. How do you apply these principles to your restaurant? You collect feedback and information about how effective your business is, and how you can improve your restaurant going forward. 

Step 7: Get feedback on your product idea

Once you get to this step, you’ve created and interacted with your community and developed a solution to their problem based on their feedback. You’ve also tested your product, experimented with different recipes, determined whether your food would sell, and estimated the sort of cash flow you can expect from your restaurant. So now you need to request more feedback about your product to determine your next moves. Here is the method to get feedback on your product idea: 

  • Ask your customers direct questions about your restaurant to determine how you can improve and grow.
  • Take note of customer feedback. Are they satisfied with your food and service? Do they like the space or location you’ve chosen or would they prefer a different one? 
  • Determine from the feedback whether aspects of your business could improve. 

You can easily use social media and your online community to gather this feedback. Take advantage of the functions on Twitter and Reddit to create polls, check reviews your customers have left on Facebook, or develop a website complete with surveys for your customers. After you’ve gathered your feedback you can start making adjustments to your products and services according to the feedback your customers gave you, which will likely meet their needs and increase customer satisfaction. 

This feedback can help you to grow your business. 

What’s next? 

Now that you have proof that your product will sell and you’ve received solid customer feedback about it, it’s time to decide if you want to continue your restaurant business as it is or expand. If you decide to expand to either a food truck, more carts, or a brick and mortar restaurant, you need to develop a business plan to receive funding. Because of the experience you’ve obtained by completing the other steps of the lean startup method, it’s easier to draft a business plan and convince people that your restaurant idea is viable enough to deserve funding. 

However, once you’ve received funding and reached this phase of your restaurant journey, it’s easy to assume that you’ve completed all of the work that needs to be done, but this is far from true.

If you decide to continue using carts, maybe expanding your business means that you purchase more carts and hire employees to staff them. You could decide to franchise your restaurant carts or stands. If you decide to hire an employee (or employees), you need to apply for an EIN or Employee Identification Number. If there’s a high demand for your products then it’s probably worth considering expanding to food trucks rather than carts, and you’ll need a high enough employee volume to operate them. 

If you’ve decided upon a brick and mortar restaurant location, there are a number of tasks you must perform before you can do a soft opening. 

You need to seek out the best location for your restaurant. You’re not only looking for a place that looks good, but a place that you can afford with ample foot traffic that is accessible to members of your community, where it has a chance to succeed. Don’t choose a location where there are several other restaurants of the same type on the same street. You need to keep your budget in mind, as well. If you want to open a drive thru or you want a restaurant with a bar, and the location you’ve chosen doesn’t feature these things, then it isn’t the right location because it will cost more money to build them.

During this time period you’ll be required to make a number of decisions about your business, as well. Not only will you need to obtain an EIN (Employee Identification Number), you’ll need to decide on the structure of your business. For more information on how to form an LLC, check out my article about How to Start an LLC. You must also choose a registered agent for your business, which will accept Service of Process and mail on your behalf. For more information about registered agents, check out my article about the Best Registered Agent. 

Here are some other activities you’ll need to complete in order to maintain a successful restaurant:

  1. Hire employees: Because your employees are the face of your restaurant, it's important to hire the right people. Many restaurants hire based on experience. However, in a lean company, you don’t hire employees based on their skill, but rather on their ability to learn and adapt. Trust your instincts when you hire employees for front-of-house and kitchen positions. In the worst-case situation, you may replace them with employees that are more suited to your demands until you have a trustworthy, custom-tailored workforce.
  2. Adhere to commercial regulations: Make sure that you have obtained the relevant business licenses and permits and that your employees are legally authorized to operate at your location. The exact regulations vary depending on your state and location, but may require ensuring that your personnel receive certain immunizations, undergo medical examinations, or obtain food handling certifications. If your restaurant will be serving alcohol, you’ll also need to obtain a liquor license.
  3. Follow health code guidelines: Running a restaurant also means that you’ll need to follow your city and state health code. These guidelines are there to ensure your business is following all the appropriate food safety guidelines. You may also choose to employ your own food safety protocols that go beyond what the local or state requirements are.
  4. Find the right wholesalers: If you want to open a restaurant that sells high-quality food, it's critical to identify wholesalers that sell only high-quality products and supplies. Additionally, they must be dependable, trustworthy, and cost effective. Finding a distributor that matches all your requirements will take time, and it's likely that you'll try many before finding one you like working with.
  5. Increase your inventory: It's a good idea to increase your inventory now that your restaurant is growing and you're intending to serve more customers. This means you'll sell more of your goods and should maintain a larger inventory.
  6. Switch on utilities: If you've purchased a brick-and-mortar store, now is the time to turn on the utilities your business needs. You'll also need gas, water, electricity, a security system, and internet access.
  7. Business software: After acquiring customers, it's prudent to invest in business software. The right business management software may make all the difference when it comes to chores like monitoring sales and paying personnel. If you're interested in learning more about software that may assist you in managing your company, check out this article on the best business software.
  8. Experiment with your menu's structure: Once you've established your own store, it's essential to continue experimenting with your items and to maintain the build, measure, learn strategy throughout the life of your restaurant. With each adjustment, get feedback to find out what your customers like.
  9. Upgrade equipment: As your business grows, you’ll also want to consider upgrading your restaurant equipment. If a new fried product takes off, you’ll need to consider upgrading or purchasing additional deep fryers or upgrading your existing equipment to a model that includes more fry pots. Likewise, you’ll need to upgrade your other equipment to keep your production volume in line with your sales.
  10. Experiment with your menu: Now that you have a brick and mortar restaurant, you can settle in and use the build, measure, learn process to experiment with your menu and find out what works. You can even develop unique food items that will grow your brand and increase your sales with the right marketing tactics. 


Congratulations! It’s always a difficult decision to start a business because of all of the risks involved, and it can be a bit scary. This fear is amplified by the fact that four out of five businesses fail during their first year when they use traditional startup methods. However, if you use the lean startup method, the chances that you’ll be one of those failing restaurants drastically decreases. Here are the steps to start a restaurant using the lean startup method: 

  1. Identify a problem
  2. Build a community
  3. Identify a solution opportunity
  4. Develop a solution
  5. Test your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  6. Sell your MVP
  7. Get feedback on your product idea

After you’ve completed the seventh step you’ll need to continually go through the build, measure, learn process to ensure that your business continues to successfully grow.

Although it’s a lot of work to start a restaurant, if you follow the steps described in this guide you’ll have a better chance of maintaining a successful business. 

Congratulations again, and best of luck on your restaurant!

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