Being a restaurateur is a dream shared by tens of thousands of people across the United States, but those numbers make the dream a difficult one to achieve. If you’re planning on starting a fast food business, your task becomes more difficult still. No matter where you are, the competition in food service requires more than hard work; it demands appropriate and intelligent strategies. Putting in one hundred hours per week at your restaurant will not outweigh the detrimental effect of poor decisions.
What, then, do you need to focus on to make it in this business? At Mixhits Radio we’ve witnessed a number of fast food businesses make it big from the ground up, and so we have some tips and tricks for starting a fast food business!
Pay Attention to the Broadening Market
First, pay attention to the widening ideas about what ‘fast food’ means. For decades, if someone wanted fast food, that meant they were going to McDonald’s or Burger King, perhaps Wendy’s or KFC. Today, with the popularity of sandwich shops that make your food to order within a few minutes, the abundance of sit-down restaurants with takeout entrances, and the proliferation of online ordering apps, the restaurant business has clearly adapted to the desire of customers to have a variety of high-quality options for meals they can pick up and take home to eat.
Your competitors are not only the old fast food standbys, even if they’re the ones your business is modeled on. Any mid-range restaurant that allows its customers to order ahead and pick their food up (which is to say, most of them) exists in a similar market space.
Think About How Much Space You Need
Second, when starting a fast-food business, you must think about what you truly need in terms of restaurant space. Expenses add up quickly in this business, and what seems reasonable with some savings and a small business loan can soon eat up money you would be better-served spending elsewhere.
Your original idea may not have included a true hole-in-the-wall shop, but if that’s the space you can afford while still serving customers in the way you intend, then it’s a space you can use. Likewise, simple furnishings combined with good food and service will keep customers coming back in a way that all the marble counters in the world could never achieve.
Make Your Establishment Stand Out With Ambiance
Finally, pay attention to the ambiance of your establishment. As stated above, if you’re starting out, you may not have your choice of prime locations, which in turn may require you to be creative with how you attract customers. If all you have is four clean walls, some basic tables and chairs, and all the simplest amenities available, then the main aspect of the ambiance you can control is the music.
Figure out who’s likely to come in, given the location. Are you near schools that will result in an unusual percentage of high school or college students? Is it an area filled with young adults finding their way? Professionals most commonly looking for a decent lunch or something to grab on their way home from the office? Put together an idea of your likely customer base, then choose a playlist around the most common demographic(s), while avoiding anything liable to drive away anyone else.
A large number of under-30 customers might warrant a fair amount of hip-hop and R&B. If they range closer to forty, work in more 90s alternative music with some newer rock and a sprinkling of other genres. Likewise, some cities and towns might be more amenable to country, others rock, and others still rap. (If you’re not sure what the best option is, or need assistance navigating laws and regulations regarding music licensing for commercial businesses, companies like MixhitsRadio specialize in helping restaurateurs with these issues.)
Once you have good music set up, you can build your restaurant’s theme around it. This doesn’t have to be complicated; some classic posters of artists that make their way through the sound system can be enough to give your establishment a true sense of identity. Other memorabilia can help cement the restaurant in people’s minds, but unless you have something suitable on hand, don’t worry about such things at first. Good food and good music will be enough to start.
Get Help Starting a Fast Food Business From Mixhits Radio
Some of the worlds biggest names trust Mixhits Radio including Dunkin’ Donuts, Ninety-Nine Restaurants, Dairy Queen, McDonald’s, Burger King and more. If you’re starting a fast food business and want a leg up on the competition, then it’s clear utilizing the expertise of Mixhits Radio is the way to go. Please contact us today to learn how you can get started!
Our music programmers each have over 25 years experience in both radio and background music programming. Their passion for music, technology, and entertainment is unsurpassed. Are you listening?