22 Tips How to open a restaurant with no money

Filed in Entrepreneurial Business by on November 15, 2021 0 Comments

How to open a restaurant with no money: Dining halls on college campuses are often structured somewhat like a cafeteria, with different stations students can order food from.

On campuses with per-meal plans, dining halls may function as all-you-can-eat once a student spends a meal pass to enter the hall.

Especially common on larger campuses, college food courts are very similar to the food courts found at shopping malls. A range of independent restaurants and fast-food eateries operate on or near the college and may accept students’ meal plans as a method of payment.

How to open a restaurant with no money

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Students’ meal plans may come with some passes that can be given to a friend or family member who is visiting the student. Guest meal passes are more common on campuses that have per-meal plans rather than point plans.

Students are given passes for a certain number of meals per day, week, or semester. The student uses a meal pass when they go eat no matter what they eat, so a four-course dinner costs the same as a bowl of oatmeal.

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How to open a restaurant with no money

Students purchase meal points at the beginning of the semester and then spend those points throughout the year. Meals and food sold by the college or at on-campus establishments cost different amounts of points which are deducted from the students’ accounts whenever purchased.

Running your own business is a stressful but good career and life choice. It demands your patience and passion. Start by expecting to live your work until it is established, so it can get off the ground. There are many different opinions about how to start a business. Below are some basic ideas and guidelines to get you started.

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How to open a restaurant with no money

1. Come up with an idea.

You will need an idea for a business before you do anything else. You can conduct market research to have a clear image. This should be something you are passionate about since your new business will consume a great deal of your time and money.

  • Come up with business ideas by identifying things people need and are willing to pay for, that aren’t provided in your area, or online, or which you can provide better than anyone else.

2. Write and Price a Pop-Up Menu

Most people who go to a pop-up restaurant are looking for a food adventure—something unique and creative. Add to this a limited amount of space for storage and cooking, and most pop-up restaurants feature a set menu instead of an a la carte menu. Providing a prix fixe menu allows you to charge a set amount per person, as well as for synchronicity of plating and service. Chefs love to introduce courses, and it works best when all the diners are served in unison.

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3. Consider if it is possible.

Before going too far, think about how plausible your idea is. Is it something that people would actually pay for? Will it turn enough of a profit to be worth spending your time to do it? You will also need to be sure that it is possible to put it into action. While it would be great to have a computer that makes food magically appear out of thin air, this is simply impossible (unless you’re Patrick Stewart.)

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4. Set Up a Mobile Kitchen

At the heart of your pop-up restaurant is the kitchen. Your mobile restaurant kitchen design will depend on the space and whether electricity and water are available. Of course, if you are renting an existing restaurant, you won’t have to worry about such logistics. Unfortunately, not all owners will have the budget for a full restaurant rental, and will need to get creative with induction burners, using pots as deep fryers, and preparing items off-site whenever possible.

How to open a restaurant with no money

5. Set Up a Temporary Dining Room

Depending on how long your pop-up restaurant is going to run, you can rent tables, chairs, and linens. If your pop-up is small enough, you may be able to purchase used seating relatively inexpensively. The design of a pop-up restaurant should be a balance between a welcoming ambiance and comfortable seating capacity. Unlike in a typical restaurant, where you try to pack in enough customers to keep busy and turn a profit, you can be a little more relaxed. There is also room to play with different dining concepts, such as customer self-service.

Pop-ups are largely experimental, and the clientele tends to be more open-minded.

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6. Be sure it’s unique.

Whatever your idea is, be sure it’s as unique as possible. This will help you eliminate or significantly combat competition, which will make your business more successful. Simply putting a small spin on a currently existing product (making blue Red vines or something like that) is not usually enough to build a business on, so push the envelope.


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7. Determine your cost of operation.

You will need a solid business plan to present to any investors and the best place to start would be with determining your basic cost of operations. This will outline and help you determine how much money is needed to produce the product or offer the service you intend to offer or produce. It includes production costs, shipping, taxes, worker’s wages, rent for workspace, etc. 

  • Knowing your cost of operations will be vital to determining if your business will be profitable since you will need to make more than this baseline in order to remain in business.

How to open a restaurant with no money

8. Look at the market.

Study who your customers and competition are. Is your target your classmates, your teachers, adults, etc.? And what are other businesses competing with you or sharing the same product? The idea of this step is to see if your business can succeed and if it has a niche in the market.

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9. Once you’ve studied your target customers, find out how you can lure them into your product/service.

How will you advertise? Also, now that you know your competition, find out what will set you apart from them. What will make customers want to go to you rather than to go to your competition? This step will help you understand your market and will help with your business plan.

10. Determine your potential market.

Be realistic. How many people will realistically use your business? How much will they pay to use your services? If either number is too small in comparison to how much it will cost you to stay in business, then you should reconsider or change your plans.

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11. Determine impediments.

You will need to plan ahead for all of the problems which can get in the way of running a business.

  • Evaluate your competition; if their market share or product offering is too strong and stable, then you will have a very hard time breaking into the market. No one will want to buy an equally priced or more expensive version of a perfectly good product or service which already exists.
  • You will also need to explore the associated regulations and laws, especially regarding taxes. You should ask your local state authorities, as well getting information from the IRS.
  • Make sure there are no prohibitive costs, such as equipment that is too expensive to make the business profitable. For example, cars didn’t take off until Ford figured out how to make them cheap by building more efficient equipment.

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How to open a restaurant with no money

12. Find out the basics.

Pricing is something you need, along with your calculation of profit and how you will get your product (buying from the manufacturer, making it by hand, etc.) Also, make charts for your products to calculate anything you need to. Don’t forget things like shipping in your costs.

13. Write your business plan.

This will be 15+ pages so be ready to write. Your business plan should include who you are, your experience, what you do/sell, what your market is, pricing, profit, gross income, goals for the future, where your business is headed, etc. Hint: When stating goals, don’t say “We hope to…”, say “We will…”, it makes you sound confident and not hopeful. You need to believe in what you’re doing.

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How to open a restaurant with no money

14. Approach friends and relatives.

People who know you for a long time are most likely to have faith in your ability and intentions. These are also the people who are likely to stand by you if the going gets tough in the initial stages of your venture or you need to raise more money. However, make it clear the money is intended as risk capital and they might lose it completely or may not be returned in the short term.

Read on: 20 Tips to Open Campus Ready-Made Meals 

15. Get an office.

You will need a space from which to run your business. This can be a home office if you require little space and will not have employees, or it can require an entire workshop or warehouse. Look at renting in a low-cost neighborhood or business incubator instead of a fancy address. Some universities make space available at a low rent for new business ventures based on an innovative scientific idea. It depends on what you will be doing and how big you intend your business to be. Make sure the space is coded and legal for how you intend to use it and within your budget.

16. Purchase equipment.

Purchase all of the things you need to start work. This can mean mechanical equipment, computers, telephone, or craft supplies. It all depends on what you are doing. Try to purchase from business supply companies as they will have significant discounts. If you are short of capital, lease or rent is an attractive option too, so as not to block your funds.

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How to open a restaurant with no money

17. Advertise.

Get the word around. Just like gossip, your business could spread throughout the entire school. Set up fliers (but be sure to get the school’s permission).

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18. Make use of marketing and PR.

You will want to reach out to potential customers in ways that make them want to use your business. This is especially important when you are first starting before you have an established, regular customer base.

  • Advertise in a way that catches customers’ attention at a minimum and hopefully goes beyond to capture their imagination. Be creative and appeal to the right aspects of the customers you want to use your business.
  • Offer free samples of what you do to the right people, in order to get people saying good things about what you have to offer. Word of mouth (i.e. good PR) is the best way to attract new customers. If you get bad reviews or negative feedback, respond positively and fix the problem. People will be much less judgmental about mistakes if you’re willing to fix them.

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19. Have great customer service skills.

Be good at interacting with people. Practice reading between the lines of what people say. Learn how to meet needs they didn’t know they had. Figure out how to make people happy. Be charming. Most importantly, be humble. The customer may not always be right but you need to be able to let them think they are.

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How to open a restaurant with no money

20. Have a website.

The world has moved online. Any business that wants to survive the next ten years is going to have a website. People will use it to contact you, find your location, learn your operating hours, ask you questions, make suggestions, and maybe even buy your products or services. In having a website and services which are available over the internet, you will be able to expand your service area out across your region or even the world.

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21. Require payment.

Don’t let people take advantage of you. Require payment within a specific window of time (whatever is appropriate for what you do). Invoice people as soon as you possibly can. If someone is late in a payment, talk to them. If you ignore these problems hoping that they go away, you will find yourself working for free and your business in the tank.

Always start small, meaning start online, and only produce what you are sure you can sell. You can always make more if demand increases. Start by marketing yourself on social media, and start a virtual storefront on a site like Etsy or eBay.

22. Have fun!

Do things with your profit and enjoy yourself, reward yourself! Good luck

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