A fast food restaurant consists of a business model that serves food usually prepared in a specific way, such as hamburgers and cold sandwiches. You can choose to start your own fast food restaurant or you can choose to acquire a fast food franchise, such as McDonald's or Carl's Jr. Regardless of whether or not you buy a franchise, to maximize profit, you must know a few important things before you start the actual business.
Type of Food
Before opening a fast food restaurant or deciding whether you want to acquire a fast food franchise, you must consider the type of food you want to serve. Although fast food places have a history of selling hamburgers, you are not limited to such options. For example, Subway sells fresh cold sandwiches with healthy vegetables and bread. Panda Express sells Chinese fast food. Regardless of whether you purchase a franchise or not, consider the full array of options for the type of fast food you would like to serve.
Consider whether you want to open your own fast food restaurant or whether you want to purchase a franchise. Things you must consider when you make your decision include the capital needed. Keep in mind that sometimes a specific franchise may require a higher investment than opening your own fast food restaurant, but if it is a popular franchise the probability of return on investment can also be higher. Usually, opening your own fast food restaurant requires less capital, but the risk of clients not liking your food is higher than the risk you have with an established brand such as McDonald's or Wendy's. Also, if you have a fast food recipe you would like to make and sell, a franchise is not an option, since by purchasing a franchise you must sell what the franchise owner tells you to sell and not what you want to sell.
Consider the location of your fast food business. Location is an important factor to consider before you open your fast food business because it determines how many clients you will have. If your fast food restaurant is located in a place with little traffic and visibility, your business most likely will not be successful. Fast food owners usually locate their restaurants by highways, business streets and shopping centers and close to other fast food restaurants. Malls, colleges and universities are also a good option for location.
Consider how much capital you need to open a fast food business and in which ways you can raise such capital. You can apply for loans and grants. The best tool you can use to raise capital is creating a business plan to present to your potential investors. Your business plan must include information on whether you will buy a franchise or open your own fast food restaurant. If you are going to buy a franchise, you must provide in your business plan information about that specific franchise, such as return on investment, profit and costs. In your business plan, show what makes your restaurant different from others and the profit you expect to receive.
Consider all federal and state regulations you must meet before opening a fast food restaurant. Each state has its own regulations and codes, as well as licenses and permits you must obtain. Verify with your state's department of licensing and regulations, or the department responsible in your state, which licenses and permits you need to open your business. Consider any U.S. Food and Drug Administration health code regulations that you must meet.
By: Ronald Kimmons, Demand Media