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Quick Guide To Starting A Restaurant or Bar in Los Angeles

Updated: Apr 19

new restaurant in los angeles
How to start a restaurant or bar in Los Angeles

Opening a restaurant and bar in Los Angeles or any part of California requires careful planning and adherence to various legal and logistical steps. Here's a general guide to help you get started:Please note that this guide does not substitute for legal or professional advice, and additional permits may be required depending on the circumstances of your business.

1. Develop a Business Plan: Define your concept, target market, menu, pricing, and marketing strategies. Determine your budget, funding options, and financial projections. This is the time to build your deck for others to review, such as investors and landlords who would want to see who and what you are bringing to the table. Many times, we assist in building your concept deck as it becomes a key tool in other decisions. 2. Marketing and Branding: Develop a strong brand identity for your restaurant and bar. Create a website, establish a presence on social media platforms, and utilize local advertising channels. Consider partnerships with food bloggers, influencers, and community events. 3. Financing: Secure the required funding to cover expenses such as lease/rent, equipment, inventory, staffing, marketing, and initial operating costs. You can explore options like personal savings, loans, investors, or partnerships. One must-have for you and your investors is to have solid financial projections. We recommend seeking aid from someone with experience in food and beverage operations. We find that many accounting firms leave out key prices, such as the cost of opening and realistic labor costs. If you would like to know more about how we can aid or build your projections, just reach out to us at 4. Location and Permits: Find a suitable location for your restaurant and bar, considering factors like foot traffic, parking availability, and zoning regulations. Obtain the necessary permits and licenses, including a business license, health permit, liquor license, and food handler permits. Contact the Los Angeles Department of Public Health and Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) for detailed information. A good location versus an okay location can determine the speed of your growth. As restaurant and bar consultants, we look for the overall well-being of the site from the inside out. Here are some questions you should have during your location scouting: How well can customers and staff park? Workforce? Local labor laws? Hours of operation? Many sites might look right but might have conditional use permits that might not favor what you are seeking. 5. Menu Planning and Suppliers: Create a diverse and appealing menu based on your concept. Establish relationships with local suppliers for fresh ingredients, beverages, and other necessary items. 6. Staffing: Hire competent and experienced staff members, including chefs, bartenders, servers, and managers. Ensure they meet the legal requirements for employment, such as work permits and food handler certifications. 7. Design and Decor: Plan the interior layout and design of your restaurant and bar. Consider the ambiance, seating capacity, bar setup, and any unique features that align with your concept. Follow health, ADA, and safety regulations during the design process. 8. Equipment and Inventory: Purchase or lease the necessary equipment, including cooking appliances, refrigeration units, glassware, furniture, and POS systems. Build an inventory of ingredients, beverages, and supplies required to operate smoothly. 9. Staff Training: Train your staff on customer service, menu knowledge, food safety, responsible alcohol service, and any specific protocols unique to your establishment. Ensure compliance with health and safety regulations. This can vary from site to site but overall you need someone that has a solid background in staff training to get you on the right track. Our training programs for new restaurants opening can be 2-8 weeks long, all depending on the overall size and concept. We can write a library on this topic but note you can also overtrain your staff, which can lead to burnout and or overspending. 10. Soft Opening and Grand Opening: Conduct a soft opening to fine-tune operations, receive feedback, and make necessary adjustments. Plan a grand opening event to create buzz and attract customers. Remember, this is a general overview, and there may be specific requirements and regulations unique to Los Angeles. It's essential to consult with professionals, such as lawyers, accountants, and restaurant consultants, to ensure compliance and success. For more info or to request start-up restaurant consulting service, just send us an email at or click here

Here is a Doc from LA county to get you going.


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