Putting up a business doesn’t come easy. Risks are present. Right and careful investment should be thoroughly studied. Many people said that putting up a business in food or restaurant is a great one because obviously people need food whatever happens. It makes them survive. It is one of the fundamental needs of a person. Singapore is truly a global hub everything since it is continuously rising. In fact, Singapore is a city-state who does well in international rankings, including: the most “technology-ready” country. Plus, Singapore is also said to be the city with “best investment potential”. Just by reading this, I’m pretty sure you’re feeling the urge to put up a business! Here are 10 guidelines to consider and to do when you’re planning to establish your own food/restaurant business.

1. Planning

Creating a business plan is more important than you think. It allows you to have a written reminder on what your original plan. Having a business plan makes you stick to one great plan. It doesn’t need to be a book long; 1-2 pages are fine. It is recommended however to think through each step of the process thoroughly and come up with a more detailed plan. A business plan should include financial projections, budgeting, marketing strategy, pricing plan, suppliers, operations, hiring policies, service standards etc. Basically, it contains the whole process and plan. This is also a confidential file. To be honest, creating a business plan takes time and a lot of revision so be ready and prepare your patience. You’ll get through it!

2. Capital

Singapore is undeniably a great and advanced country. Putting up a successful F&B concept in Singapore will take a lot of capital due to its high rental rates, high labor cost and just an overall higher cost of living. It will also depend on how big your establishment is, it will take anything ranging from S$50,000- S$600,000 or even MORE. (don’t panic! Remember! With careful planning your business’ capital will come back) You’ll be needing to figure out where are you going to get your capital as well as leave enough for cash reserves and operating capital. Ask yourself again, do you really want this? Are you really determined? Because obviously, it’s a lot or RISK. Putting up a business is about taking risk, *well at first*. When you’ve come to a decision, and you’re finally determined then its time to give it a GO.

3. Incorporating

It’s important to make your business look CREDIBLE and LEGIT. We’ll give some link for your guide. Well, if you’re not a native Singaporean, then you will first need to apply for an Entrepass with the Ministry of Manpower. But for locals, if you already have a Singpass, the next step is to head to Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authorities’ Bizfile portal. But it otherwise, get a Singpass first.

4. Location

Finding the perfect location for your target market is important. Of course, if you’re done with your business plan, technically you’ve determined your desired target market already. You can actually ask help for real estate agents in Singapore to source out locations for your restaurant in an agile way. The only downside of it is that there are certain locations that will require you to pay 1 month’s rent commission to the real estate agent, like for big shopping malls. When getting a real estate agent, make sure that you already know your desired space size, electrical requirements, the ideal areas in Singapore you prefer and the type of cuisine you are putting up.

5. Architectural Design of your Restaurant

Look for the great architecture, interior designer and contractor to erect your dream restaurant. There are some interior designers who already have a contact for contractors. They sometimes recommend. A good design of a restaurant creates the first impression for the customers. It also the first to attract your target market. Collaborate with the architecture and designer well. Explain and tell them what your restaurant is all about.

6. Licensing and Registrations

Make sure that before all of the things above starts, you already did the mandatory licenses needed. Here are some common for Food and Beverage in Singapore.
  • Food Shop License
  • Basic Food Hygiene Course
  • Liquor License
  • Importing Foods
  • Halal License
  • Central Provident Fund (CPF)
  • Government Service Tax (GST)

7. Kitchen Equipment

When buying kitchen equipment, you need first to consider buying the large ones like combi-oven, salamander, stoves, freezers and chillers. You will also need to find the best restaurant standard utensils. Better meet your target market’s demographics.

8. Hiring the Staff

It is better to offer above industry rates to attract great talent. Link it to profit sharing if possible, for managers. Make sure to have a keen interview. It is hard to outsource staff, that’s why make the most out of it. Get the best people. Don’t waste time with applicants with low determination and work ethics.

9. Execution

Remember that head aching planning? It’s time now to execute your marketing strategy. Your marketing strategy must focus on these 3 things:
  • Brand awareness
  • Repeating customers
  • Referrals and word of mouth spreading

10. Consultation

If you’re a newbie in the F&B industry chances are, you’ll make a lot of mistakes for the first 3-6 months of your business. No experience in cooking? Hired a chef. Cooking for a group of 10 and up are totally different from cooking for 2 or 4. Have no idea how to market your restaurant after launching? Get and F&B marketing specialist. There are a lot of professionals out there who can help you in your business. Admit it or not, you’ll be needing help and support.