Wondering how to start a kosher restaurant? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Business Models for a Kosher Restaurant
According to some estimates, Kosher food is a $3.75 billion industry in the U.S. With distinctive characteristics that include quality, health and meticulous preparation, Kosher has become synonymous with exacting standards both within and beyond the Jewish community.
Kosher restaurants meet the specific dietary needs of Kosher patrons, giving consumers a range of options when they're looking for a reliable Kosher dining experience. While some startup restaurateurs focus on launching a Kosher deli or informal café, others opt for a business model that offers superb Kosher entrees in a finer dining atmosphere. Some even ship frozen food products to consumers across the nation.
The selection of a Kosher restaurant business model should never be taken lightly. Although you may be inclined to open a certain type of Kosher restaurant, make sure your business model is rooted in market research and competitive analysis -- both of which should be core elements in your startup business plan.
Staffing a Kosher Restaurant Startup
The restaurant industry is notorious for high turnover rates. But in a Kosher restaurant, high turnover rates can have a devastating effect on the quality of service and other areas that are necessary for long-term profitability.
Here's why: Kosher restaurant patrons expect their food service providers to be extremely knowledgeable about Kosher cuisine. Additionally, Kosher diners tend to exhibit above average loyalty to the restaurants they patronize -- they like to see familiar faces at their favorite Kosher eateries.
Since high turnover rates jeopardize both elements, you will need to take an aggressive approach to employee retention. The more you can do to attract and retain high quality workers, the greater the odds that your restaurant will thrive beyond its first year.
Inspections & Certifications
Kosher restaurants are subject to a series of inspections and certifications. Some apply to all food service establishments, but others are specific to Kosher restaurants and food service operations.
In addition to passing periodic health department inspections, your restaurant will need to carefully comply with Kosher food preparation and handling requirements. Many Kosher restaurants rely on Kosher agencies -- businesses that facilitate the Kosher certification process.
If you aren't sure where to begin, consider networking with local Kosher food restaurateurs and others in the Jewish community to identify the most effective path to Kosher compliance and certification.
Proven Strategies for Kosher Restaurant Business Plans
The idea of writing a business plan is intimidating to most aspiring kosher restaurant owners. If it's comprehensive and well-written, however, your business plan will serve as a strategic anchor point and a calling card for external stakeholders.
After you have written you plan, you'll also need to develop a strategy for your next steps.
Business plan distribution is just as important as business plan creation. Generally, effective distribution models include the incorporation of tracking systems into the company's startup plan.
Where to Set Up Shop
New business owners often consider how much space they need when deciding where to put their business, but other factors are equally important. Are there many viable employees nearby, for example? There's a lot to consider and you need to do a thorough analysis.
Check Out Competitors
Before you open a kosher restaurant in your area, it's worthwhile to see how strong the competition is. Try our link below to get a list of local competitors near you. Complete the form by entering your city, state and zip code to get a list of kosher restaurants that are close by.
Is the local market large enough to support another kosher restaurant? If not, you had better be sure that you are doing things much better than the competition.
Talk to People Who Are Already in the Business
After you've evaluated your local competitors, you really ought to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. If you think your local competitors will give you advice, you're being overoptimistic. What's in it for them?
Thankfully, an owner of a a kosher restaurant outside of your community may be willing to share their entrepreneurial wisdom with you, provided that you won't be directly competing with them. 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 does one go about finding somebody who runs a kosher restaurant outside of your area who is willing to talk?
No problem! Just use the link below and try a random city/state or zipcode. Then start dialing for advice until you are successful.
Leveraging the Branding Benefits of a Kosher Restaurant Acquisition
Startup kosher restaurants typically suffer when it comes to brand recognition because unlike entrenched competitors, new brands lack visibility and history with their customers.
To compensate, one of the techniques entrepreneurs use is to buy a business to get an established brand. In the hands of marketing professionals, the process for creating brand awareness is still long and gruelling.
However, a kosher restaurant acquisition can put you at the helm of a brand that is already highly trusted by your target market.
Explore Franchising Options
You should know that your odds of achieving your top business goals greatly improve if you decide to franchise in lieu of doing everything yourself.
Before you consider starting a kosher restaurant, you may want to determine whether buying a franchise could make sense for you.
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 already are in business and came here to learn about growing an existing kosher restaurant, these resources will come in handy:
If you sell to kosher restaurants, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are still exploring all of your options, please browse our directory of guides below.