Wondering how to start a Chicago style restaurant? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
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Tips for Creating a Great Chicago Style Restaurant Business Plan
A business plan is the skeletal framework for your Chicago style restaurant's mission, goals and strategic vision.
In contemporary business culture, business plans are also litmus tests used by external interests to assess real world viability and marketability.
Early in the process, it's worth your time to learn how to write the market analysis section of a business plan. While a robust market analysis can be a selling point for a Chicago style restaurant startup, weak market research is a sure giveaway for a business that hasn't invested adequate effort in planning.
Is Your Community Business-Friendly?
Your business will primarily be a local business. That means you need to get to know the local government before finalizing site selection. Are officials truly interested in retaining and assisting existing business, attracting new businesses, providing a pro-business climate for success, and offering support to local business owners? If not, maybe you should reconsider your targeted location for your Chicago style restaurant.
Look Over Competitors
Well in advance of opening a Chicago style restaurant in your town, it's worthwhile to see how strong the competition is. Use the link below to get a list of local competitors nearby. Simply enter your city, state and zip code to get a list of Chicago style restaurants in your town.
Gain a knowledge of how existing firms have positioned themselves in the marketplace, and then design your business in a way that sets you apart from the others.
Getting Advice from Experienced Entrepreneurs
As part of your due diligence on opening a Chicago style restaurant, be sure to speak with somebody who is already in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. Why would they want to educate a future competitor?
On the other hand, an individual who has a Chicago style restaurant in a different city can be a great learning resource for you, once they realize that you are not going to directly compete with them in their community. In that case, the business owner may be more than happy to discuss the industry with you. In my experience, you may have to call ten business owners in order to find one who is willing to share his wisdom with you.
How would you find an entrepreneur who is running a Chicago style restaurant in another city who you can speak with?
Easy. Find them using our link below and start calling until you are successful.
Entry Options for Chicago Style Restaurants
As a prospective Chicago style restaurant owner, your entry options are limited to buying a viable business or building one from scratch.
Startup Chicago style restaurants can be attractive because they allow the entrepreneur to have more control and greater influence. Yet startups are also more difficult to finance because their nature is inherently risky.
On the other hand, a Chicago style restaurant purchase is more attractive to lenders and investors. On the whole, buying a business minimizes uncertainty as well as many of the objections lenders use to disqualify startup entrepreneurs from financing.
Is Franchising the Right Option?
If you want to tap into an existing brand name and a proven system, you may want to look into going with a franchise network.
Prior to making the decision to open a Chicago style restaurant, you would be wise to determine whether franchising might help you on your entrepreneurial journey.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you sell to Chicago style restaurants, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.