Opening a restaurant in Brooklyn is not an easy task. It requires you to carefully consider every single aspect of the business in order to be successful. Like with any other business, paying attention to the smallest details and dealing with regulations and rules is crucial. The amount of time and effort you invest will proportionally increase your chance of success.

What do you need for opening a restaurant in Brooklyn?

Everything from planning the initial capital investment, and analyzing the current market situation, to marketing and stuff management, is important. Even if you are moving your business to another location you will need to know how to organize your Brooklyn move and deal with the regulations. But, that’s just the rough representation. Generally speaking, there is a couple of basic things specific to the restaurant industry that are necessary:

  • Setting the restaurant capital
  • Finding the right location
  • Making a restaurant business plan
  • Selecting the appropriate business entity
  • Obtaining proper licenses and permits
  • Dealing with health and safety regulations
  • Getting adequate insurance
  • Dealing with staff management

Setting the restaurant capital

Opening the restaurant in Brooklyn is not a cheap investment. You will need a significant amount of money if you are serious about it. First, you will need money for the location of your choice. The closer you are to the hotspots of the restaurant business, the price will be bigger. Second, you will need to invest in the appropriate restaurant equipment. Everything from the simplest inventory to the expensive devices will require a large amount of cash. Third, you will need to take your employees into account and to manage the cash flow in the first couple of months. The final estimate can be a huge amount of money. Fortunately, there is a couple of options if you don’t have that exact amount of cash. You can take business loans and see if there are any tax deductions for the first year of your business.

Finding the right location

Like with many businesses, when opening a restaurant in Brooklyn, the location of your restaurant is a crucial thing. In fact, the location can directly influence the amount of income. Opening a restaurant in a random, cheap, and non-attractive location can ruin your business before it even begins. Research the market in Brooklyn and analyze the potential competition. Get ready to deal with a lot of competition. After all, Brooklyn is a very popular place. Luckily, it’s also a diverse place so you can find your place on the market. Set goals and target groups for the type of food, drink, and service you are planning to provide. Also, calculate the amount of space and size and check for availability. Sometimes, it’s better to buy an existing restaurant and expand its business than to build from the ground up.

A restaurant on the water.

This can be a perfect location for a restaurant with a unique atmosphere.


Making a restaurant business plan

There are several key elements in every restaurant business plan:

  1. Executive summary
  2. Company overview
  3. Marketing plan
  4. Industry analysis
  5. Plan of operations and management
  6. Financial analysis

Without a complete and detailed business plan, you can’t expect to run a successful business. Simply put, it’s a plan about your investment, procedures, predictions, cash flow, staff management, and many other things necessary for running a successful business. In fact, it will serve you as both a plan and guidelines about your future endeavors. If you are not familiar with making a detailed business plan, you should probably look for help from professionals in the field.

An illustration of planning from the idea to success.

The business plan is unavoidable if you plan to open a restaurant.


Selecting the appropriate business entity

There are many types of business entities, from the sole proprietorship to the LLC (Limited Liability Company). All of the types have their own pros and cons so you should think carefully before choosing one. Since there is a lot going on in general restaurant functioning, you don’t want to be personally responsible for every aspect of your business. Yes, it is your business but there are several legal forms that can protect you from personal liability. Usually, these are the most common types of business entities:

  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership
  • Corporation
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC)

Also, depending on the individual situation, goals, and preferences of the business owner, different types have different opportunities to minimize taxation.

Obtaining proper licenses and permits

If you are opening a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York, you should know that you are obligated to obtain a permit from the local health department.  Furthermore, the New York Department of Health will require that all food establishments display their permits and renew them every two years. Besides these, other permits and documentation are depending on the type of restaurant you choose. Also, you can expect that you will need additional permits if you are planning to sell liquor. Online Permit Assistance and Licensing (OPAL) can help you with all the information about necessary permits by leading you through the questionary about your business. In Brooklyn, the New York State Liquor Authority Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control is in charge of dealing with these permits. Also, if you are going to serve a large number of people in your restaurant, you will need additional permits.

Dealing with health and safety regulations

When dealing with restaurant permits, you will need to make sure your restaurant is fulfilling all the necessary conditions about health and safety. Again, The Department of Health can help you with this. Also, you can expect to have a regular inspection from the authority so the quality of service you provide remains at the highest level. In case you are moving your restaurant to another location, even if you use professional packing supplies when moving, you will still have to go through the additional inspection after settling down. Important to remember, some local health authorities are displaying the results online. So, make sure everything is in order to avoid a bad reputation.

Salmon dish on a plate in a restaurant.

Food must be on the highest level if you want to be successful.

Getting adequate insurance

The best way to deal with insurance, when opening a restaurant in Brooklyn, would be to hire an insurance agent with a lot of experience. In general, there are many things that can go wrong. Since the nature of restaurants implies there will be a lot of people, both customers, and employees, safety is an important element. Usually, proper insurance against fire, theft, damage, and injuries would be necessary. However, you can make a lot if you take all and every additional precaution against these situations. Incidents can be covered but the bad reputation is hard to improve, especially in Brooklyn.

Dealing with staff management

When opening a restaurant in Brooklyn you will have to get all the information about basic employment law issues. Usually, you will need to cover areas like illegal discrimination, worker compensation, hiring process, privacy protection, minimum wages, and many more. Also, you will need a certified body to make sure all your books are in order and the entire process is professionally supervised.

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