How to Open a Fast Casual Restaurant in 12 Steps

Viewing a new Teriyaki Madness location, a great investment for those looking to get into the fast casual industry.

If you’re considering opening a restaurant, you’re probably wondering if you should go the QSR (quick-service restaurant) route or opt for the fast casual model. Learn how to open a fast casual restaurant, from choosing your restaurant concept to building a customer base — plus some tips for making the process easier.

Choosing Between QSR and Fast Casual

The first decision you’ll need to make is whether to pursue opening a QSR or fast casual concept. QSRs are known for their speedy service and lower price points, catering to customers seeking convenience above all else. On the other hand, fast casual establishments offer a more elevated dining experience, with higher-quality ingredients and a slightly more relaxed pace.

Steps on How to Open Fast Casual Restaurant or QSR

  1. Market research: Conduct thorough market research to identify gaps in the market, understand consumer preferences and assess the competition in your area.
  2. Develop a concept: Define your restaurant concept, including the menu, ambiance and overall brand identity. Your concept should resonate with your target audience and set you apart from competitors.
  3. Create a business plan: Outline your business objectives, financial projections and operational strategies in a comprehensive business plan. This document will serve as a roadmap for your restaurant’s launch and growth.
  4. Secure funding: Determine the financial resources needed to launch your restaurant and explore funding options such as loans, investors or franchising.
  5. Find a location: Select a prime location with high foot traffic and visibility. Consider factors such as demographics, competition and lease terms when choosing a location for your restaurant.
  6. Obtain permits and licenses: Navigate the legal requirements for opening a restaurant, including obtaining permits, licenses and certifications from local health departments and regulatory agencies.
  7. Hire staff: Recruit and train a skilled team of employees who share your passion for delivering exceptional food and service to customers.
  8. Design and buildout: Work with architects and designers to create a functional and inviting space that reflects your restaurant’s brand and concept.
  9. Procure equipment and supplies: Purchase or lease the necessary kitchen equipment, furniture and supplies to support your restaurant’s operations.
  10. Menu development: Craft a menu that showcases your unique offerings while appealing to your target market’s tastes and preferences.
  11. Marketing and promotion: Develop a marketing strategy to generate buzz and attract customers to your restaurant. Utilize social media, local advertising and community outreach to build awareness and drive traffic.
  12. Grand opening: Plan a memorable grand opening event to introduce your restaurant to the community and create a positive first impression.

What You Should Know Before Getting Started

Learning how to start a restaurant is no small feat, and it’s essential to be prepared for the challenges ahead. Opening a restaurant involves significant financial investment and inherent risks. Be prepared for the possibility of unexpected expenses and fluctuations in revenue. Running a restaurant requires long hours and a hands-on approach. You’ll want to dedicate your time and energy to ensure the success of your business.

The restaurant industry is highly competitive, so of course pairing with a franchise like Teriyaki Madness gives you advantages, such as brand recognition and a loyal customer base. 

Standing Out in the Crowd

In a crowded marketplace, differentiation is key to success. Here are some ways you can help your fast casual restaurant make its mark:

  • Unique menu offerings: Offer innovative and crave-worthy dishes that set your restaurant apart from the competition.
  • Customization: Allow customers to customize their meals to suit their preferences, whether it’s choosing their protein, toppings, or sauces.
  • Fresh and quality ingredients: Source high-quality, fresh ingredients to ensure the best possible taste and flavor in your dishes.
  • Engaging atmosphere: Create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere that encourages customers to linger and enjoy their dining experience.
  • Community engagement: Build relationships with your local community through events, sponsorships and partnerships with local businesses.

Choose Franchising with Teriyaki Madness

Franchises provide a proven business model, comprehensive training and support, established brand recognition and access to a network of resources and suppliers. Additionally, franchising can reduce some of the risks associated with starting a new restaurant and increase the likelihood of success.

Teriyaki Madness blends the best aspects of QSR and fast casual: speed, efficiency and overhead for franchisees, as well as higher-quality food and customization and an enhanced dining ambiance as well as takeout options for a broader customer base.

To learn more about franchising opportunities with Teriyaki Madness, download the franchise report.

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The people have spoken, and they want Teriyaki. Asian and Fast Casual are the two fastest growing segments in the restaurant industry. Join the Japanese franchise revolution and give people what they want: HUGE BOWLS OF AWESOMENESS!


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