My name is Maxine Irvesire and I own a chain of restaurants throughout North America.
I started by restaurant career as a waitress and built an empire from the ground up. It was a struggle learning the ins and outs of the business on my own. There were many ups and downs on my journey to success. Back then, I didn’t have the options of hopping onto a computer and looking for guidance. It was trial by error and there was definitely a lot of error.
In order to help up and coming restaurant entrepreneurs, I’ve created this site with my team of experts to make your journey as smooth as possible. The restaurant business is extremely competitive and the sign of true success is the ability to teach and mentor others on their road to success.
Where Maxine’s Restaurant Journey Started
When I started my restaurant over 25 years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I had been a waitress my entire professional career and knew the restaurant industry inside and out, or so I thought.
I don’t think I fully grasped how competitive the restaurant business really was. The market was constantly evolving and restaurant entrepreneurs were dropping like flies. When I decided to start my own business and build a restaurant from scratch, I don’t think it dawned on me all the steps that were involved. I was so excited about building my menu and designing the layout of the restaurant that I didn’t think about all the necessary, behind the scenes steps that were involved.
Max’s Restaurant – Helping You Each Step of the Way
I started this site in hopes of helping other restaurant entrepreneurs in their journey to success. I don’t think of other entrepreneurs as competition; you’re comrades in the war of the food hospitality industry!
It is not a sign of weakness to look for help. Throughout my website you will notice that each step requires help from different kinds of people. In order to be successful, you’re going to need the knowledge of experts in different fields. Their expertise is crucial in your journey. You can’t be an expert in every aspect of the restaurant business, and that is okay! Max’s Restaurant is a tool to help get your business started. Think of it as the business plan to your business plan. Following the tips I’ve provided on my site will give you the edge you need over your competitors to have a head start in this crazy yet exciting business.
There are roughly fourteen important steps to building your own empire. I’ve touched on each of them briefly here, but for a more in depth understand of each, visit the corresponding page.
Business Plans – Necessary for Every Venture
A business plan is the most crucial part of your venture. It is easy to talk about all the amazing things you want to create, build and cook at your restaurant, but in order for this fantasy to become a reality, you need a strong business plan. Think of your plan as a road map to the success of your business. You won’t be able to achieve your goals without a plan.
The business plan page has great tips on building your own business plan. Every plan will be different, depending on the goals and abilities of each entrepreneur. Make the right plan for yourself! You need to know what your business objectives are. It’s important to be realistic and specific. The restaurant market is extremely competitive and you need to make a strong business plan. The plan will keep your vision grounded and show investors that you’re serious. Make your plan unique and efficient.
007 License to Serve – Licenses and Permits
Licenses and permits are necessary when starting any business. With the help of a business advisor, you can research all the necessary licenses and permits for your location and business type. Depending on what kind of restaurant you want to run, you will need different permits and licenses. For example, if you want to sell alcohol at your establishment, you will need to get a liquor license. There are health, food and drink and taxes to think of when starting your business. Do your due diligence at the beginning of your business plan so you aren’t blindsided at a later point.
Let Them Eat Cake! Food and Drink Suppliers
If you want to run a restaurant, you’re going to need food and drinks. Food and drink suppliers supply you with the products that you will be selling in your establishment. You need to have a good relationship with these companies in order to provide safe and quality products for your customers. I’ve provided information on the importance of drink and food suppliers on separate pages. Both are crucial in the success of your business. They will be delivering the drink and food products that you need in order to make your menu.
Money, Money, Money, Must Be Funny – Financial Management
If there is one area of business that you should have a professional’s help, it’s with your finances. A chartered accountant can quickly become your best friend when you’re busy thinking about the million other parts of your business. You’ll need someone to manage your money and to ensure that everything is being paid for on time. Research the best chartered account for your business and your needs.
Building Your Brand – Who do You Want to Be?
Building a brand is answering the question, what do you want to represent? Having a company help you with your branding is important. Your brand is a long term investment and in order for it to stick and do well, you need to build a brand that people will want to be loyal to. You will have new customers come into your restaurant, but in order to have repeat customer, they have to be invested in your brand and what your business represents. Think about slogans, logos and email marketing to get your brand into the right hands.
Build Your Roster – Hiring Staff
Hiring staff can be difficult when you don’t know what you are looking for. My Hiring Staff page has tips on how you can hire the perfect staff for your business. I’ve listed step by step the important stages in the hiring process. You’ll need to advertise the position, know how to interview and know how many people you need to hire. Follow the simple steps on Hiring Staff to guarantee an smooth hiring process.
Interior design is one of the best parts of having your own business. You can design it to look exactly how you see it in your head, right? Wrong. Something that might look great in your head, may not transfer to your space how you think. You want to hire an interior designer because their experience gives them the ability to read and understand your space and provide you with the best possible room. A blend of your vision, customer preference and space are necessary when designing the interior of your restaurant. Your vision needs to fit the space and an interior designer will know exactly how to mesh the two together to create the atmosphere of your dreams.
Three Words – Location, Location, Location
The location of your business is an important decision. Of course you want a beautiful area, but there are other factors to consider when picking a location. Don’t just go for a beautiful or popular area. Think of the type of area you’re in; what is the culture in the area? The location will directly influence your business’ productivity, prices and client base. For more tips and tools on picking out the perfect location for your restaurant, visit the Restaurant Location page!
Let Your Creative Flag Fly – Making Your Menu
Making your menu is one of the best parts of having a restaurant! It’s your opportunity to be creative and bring your personality to your restaurant. Food is the reason you wanted to getting into the restaurant business, right? It’s your time to show people what you consider to be delicious food. It’s your opportunity to introduce your customers to something new and exciting. You want to be different but keep in mind that you still want customers. Too exotic might limit your business but too generic and you might blend in with every other restaurant. Our menus page has great tips on coming up with your menu type and the types of foods you want to sell at your establishment.
Get Your Name Out – Marketing Your Restaurant
Marketing your restaurant is a huge endeavor and shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you want success, you need to know how to market your business. Keep in mind who your target market is. If you want to start a family restaurant, then market to families. If you are going for a more exclusive, high end restaurant, think about the types of customers and clients you want in your restaurant. You’re bound to have a mixture but if you don’t have a target market. Your target market are the customers that are going to be spending the most money. Your business is tailored to their likes and dislikes. If you don’t market in a way that reaches them, your business won’t be as successful. Develop a marketing strategy with the help of a marketing professional in order to maximize your profit.
From the Ground Up – Building Construction
I thought the construction of my business was going to be the best part – I was sadly mistaken. It was probably the most stressful aspect of the entire venture. Of course you want your restaurant to be identical to your vision, but that isn’t always possible. Contractors are necessary at the beginning of the planning process. I can tell you from experience that it was a mistake designing my building before speaking to a professional. I had my hopes up about one design, only to find out it wasn’t possible. Contractors have experience and know what will and won’t work in the building. Don’t wait too long like I did. Get professionals involved early on in the process. My building construction page has some great tips on the process of planning and building your dream restaurant. Once built, it’s also important to keep your premises clean, both inside and out, so take a look at our restaurant cleaning checklist to learn more.
Partners in Crime – Business Investors
Business investors are essential when you decide to start a business. Not all of us are lucky enough to start a business and have the money for all the expenses. More often than not, we need some help. If you want your business to be successful in the future, don’t hesitate to get investors involved. Not only do they have more experience in the business world but they are going to help you in any way to make sure that your business is successful. The most difficult part is getting them on board. Don’t panic! I’ve written all the secrets of the trade on my page about business investors. I explain how to get them to invest in your business and how to keep them happy!
Insure Your Future – Property Insurance
Insurance is crucial in your business plan. Insurance will protect you from any damages that may occur while your business is up and running. This is one area you don’t want to cut corners on. Make sure that you talk to a business adviser in order to guarantee that you have all the proper insurance on your business. You can never be too careful when it is your name and your brand at stake.
I wish you nothing but success and I hope this site helps you in some small way on your journey to success!