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Business Ideas

The Best Way to Save Money as a Restaurant Owner



Tech startups, transportation startups, financial startups – these are the types of new businesses that dominate the news these days. Every year, though, tens of thousands of new eateries open their doors throughout the world. Most of them begin with bare-bones budgets and skeleton staffs, but restaurant entrepreneurs seldom receive the same level of assistance and resources as their more well-known startup counterparts. In order to be successful when you open your restaurant, you must take the necessary steps to analyze your financial condition and make long-term plans.

1. Have a Plan

As much as you would like to have a custom-built facility that is a great match for your brand and restaurant character, you do not have the resources to do so at this moment due to financial constraints. Instead of incurring as much construction costs as possible, you may want to consider relocating into a building that has already been utilized as a restaurant if you have the chance.

Unfortunately, because they hire a contractor to manage the process, many restaurant owners are completely uninformed of where a major percentage of their construction spending is being spent on a daily basis. However, although this is unquestionably convenient, it usually makes it impossible to identify where your money is actually being spent. Instead, employ individual craftspeople and then hire a contractor to manage the entire process from beginning to finish. As a consequence, you will know exactly how much each service will cost in advance, eliminating inflation caused by the contractor’s overhead. You will also have the ability to choose the most qualified service providers for the job.

2. Kitchen Equipment

For every prospective restaurateur, new restaurant equipment is a source of excitement since it is shiny, packed with fascinating features, and exudes professionalism. Visiting a commercial kitchen showroom is akin to visiting a luxury automobile dealership in terms of how it dazzles and entices the consumer to come in and view the products on display. The cost of purchasing new restaurant equipment, on the other hand, is unreasonably high. It is possible that it may cost more than $500,000 to completely outfit a commercial kitchen with brand-new equipment; but, just like with luxury vehicles, once kitchen equipment leaves the lot, its value immediately drops.

3. Cooking Tools

Instead, you should acquire gently used cooking equipment from a local seller to start your first restaurant. The cost of secondhand burners, ovens, fryers, and other comparable products is significantly less expensive when compared to the pricing of brand-new equipment. Furthermore, you may be able to negotiate the retention of any equipment that is still in the hands of your business. In comparison to acquiring new equipment from the ground up, repairing older versions using commercial kitchen replacement parts is considerably more cost-effective in the long run. They are highly essential cost-saving measures for new restaurant owners, as evidenced by the fact that they are not trivial savings.

4. Use of Linens

Linens are supplied in all of the fanciest restaurants — but your place does not have to be a high-end institution in order to provide these services. In spite of the fact that linens appear to be a low-cost item at first look, they require extensive maintenance that is both time-consuming and expensive. In the restaurant industry, linens are frequently mistreated. When they are exposed to food, they become discolored and dirty very quickly. To keep up with demand, they must be cleaned, sterilized, and replaced on a frequent basis. It is highly recommended that you do away with linens if there is no white-glove service available. Save them for rare events such as catering and instead invest in visually appealing tabletops to replace them.

5. Food Selection and Suppliers

For many businesses, keeping expenditures under control is essential to their long-term survival. Despite this, many businesses overspend on food and serve subpar meals. Keeping food expenses under control in a corporate setting can be challenging, but there is a strategy that can be used to keep food expenditures under control.

Take a look at your alternatives and try to avoid overpaying. To begin, avoid the temptation to purchase food from a high-end, upmarket establishment. Make touch with farmers and cooperatives in your community. Identify and cultivate connections with a number of suppliers, with whom you may work to achieve price lock-ins.

Take a look at the options on your menu. To make the purchasing and preparation procedure more efficient, reduce the number of alternatives accessible.

Identify the areas where trash is generated. Examine how much food is being returned to the kitchen and, if required, adjust your serving sizes. If you lower the serving size while keeping the cost the same, your profit margins will improve.

6. Remodeling and Decorating Initiatives

Whether a firm is just renovating or totally constructing a place, beautifying the dining room is a significant financial investment for the organization. It doesn’t take long for these costs to accumulate and deplete the already meager initial budget that was set aside.

While rushing to get everything just right, entrepreneurs often lose sight of the reality that concentrating on a few high-impact issues can provide large returns on their initial financial commitment. Starting with paint colors and finishes, decent lighting, some reasonably priced landscaping, suitable industrial furniture, and interesting upholstery options, entrepreneurs may help their new restaurant achieve a wonderful ambiance at a reasonable cost.

Keeping in mind their average meal pricing and allocating a suitable amount of money for decorating are important considerations for new businesses. One of the most important things to remember is to make memorable statements without going overboard with the expenditure. Websites such as Pinterest are excellent resources for finding low-cost decorating ideas.

7. Sales and Marketing Operations

The tendency for businesses to overspend in sales and marketing is extremely common, especially if the field is not one with which they are intimately aware. It is not uncommon for businesses to be thrilled when they obtain venture capital investment. They feel the time has come to spend, spend, and spend some more, and advertising looks to be a viable alternative for them to pursue. The company’s reputation may suffer if it is forced to pay a significant repair bill shortly after going public.

You can hand out flyers to local businesses to generate interest. Create a strong network of individuals to help you spread the word about your suggestions. To build interest, start a debate on your website’s blog and social media sites and invite others to participate. Ads on low-cost social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to highlight the best performers are being run right now. Television advertising is still effective, but it is not necessarily the best place to start when developing a marketing strategy, especially if you want to avoid overspending on your marketing budget.

8. Energy Savings

Among the many ways that new restaurants may employ to decrease their energy costs are the ones listed below:

Cleaning and maintaining kitchen equipment should be a priority. It is more efficient for kitchen equipment that is clean to operate, which means that it will not spend excessive amounts of power.

Organize the space in your kitchen to make it more functional. Cooking appliances such as ovens and freezers, as well as dishwashers and ice makers, should not be placed next to one another.

Make a financial investment in LED bulbs. LEDs have advanced significantly in recent years. You may purchase them in whatever color and intensity you choose, allowing you to carefully adjust the lighting in your restaurant while also significantly decreasing your business’s energy use.

Turn off any equipment that isn’t strictly necessary. In the event that you aren’t currently cooking anything, deep fryers should not be utilized during the inspection. Maintain an ecologically responsible attitude in your restaurant’s water and energy consumption.


Restaurants are among the most exciting and gratifying new businesses to establish because of their high potential for growth. These are also some of the most difficult to get started in. Keep in mind that, while establishing a restaurant entails a significant amount of fees, it is important to have enough cash on hand to handle any unanticipated expenses that may arise throughout the course of the business. It is more likely that you will achieve restaurant success if you plan ahead of time and adhere to your budget. You should also set aside some money in case of unforeseen costs.

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Business Ideas

How to Start a Niche Foam Party Business: Kid’s Party



Foam parties have become popular and are great fun. If you didn’t know what a foam party is, it is a party or event where participants have fun dancing amidst foam created by a machine. The machine creates bubbles of foams that envelop the place, creating a fun environment at the party. If you are a business person, then a foam party business is a great idea.

You can get a foam machine and use it to throw foam parties and make money from it – relatively affordably.

photo credit: Roaring Foam

Can you make money through foam parties?

Yes, you can make money if you have a foam machine. Parties are common, and party-goers get bored with the usual stuff. A foam party is an innovative way of partying. It allows participants to let go, dancing in joy amidst the foam. This kind of party would be popular, and you can make money by offering a different experience to participants.

Creating a niche market

When you want to make money from a business, you will find that there are many others with the same idea. You need to do something different so you can succeed. This is where finding a niche market helps. A niche market is a specific category to which you can cater. Kids Foam Party is such a niche market. While there are many businesses catering to foam parties in general, foam parties for kids is a niche idea. This is a business idea that can help you succeed and make money.

Planning your business

Now that you have found your niche, it is important to plan your business before you get started. The first thing is to be clear with what you are offering. You are offering a foam party, which is an event where there is a dance floor filled with suds. When this party is offered for kids, they will enjoy it the most. They would not only dance but play in the foam and have a great time in general.

Taking proper safety precautions like setting the depth of the foam and insisting on face coverings ensure there are no problems.

What do you need?

It is obvious that you need a foam machine if you plan to run foam parties. A foam machine is not too expensive. However, you need not buy one immediately. Since you are starting off with a new business, you can get a foam machine for rent. This is a cheaper option allowing you to rent a machine and use it whenever you need it. This will allow you to do a pilot run of your party business.

If the response is good and you start getting many events, then you can consider buying your own foam machine. This would work out better for you.

Kid having fun in foam
photo credit: Roaring Foam

Planning and executing foam parties for kids

With these basic concepts in mind, it is time you start planning your parties. Since you have chosen the niche of foam parties for kids, you need to explore different options. You can have foam parties to celebrate birthdays. There can even be parties for no reason but just to allow kids to have fun. Explore different themes for foam parties and plan the events.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind while planning and executing foam parties for kids:

  • You need to find a venue to host the foam party. The ideal location is outdoors, so the foam does not create a mess inside. When the weather does not permit, you need to find indoor venues with a fairly big hall to organize the event.
  • Apart from the machine, you need the foam solution to create foam. You need to have sufficient foam machine solution to last the entire party.
  • Safety is a very important issue in foam parties. This is all the more important when you are dealing with kids. You need to have a clear plan for ensuring safety in your foam party. Communicate the plan with your clients so they are assured of the safety arrangements.
  • If you are doing the party indoors, you need a tarp to cover the floor and walls. It is important to cover up all the electric and other outlets to avoid them being damaged.
  • Placing plastic furniture is better since it won’t get damaged due to bubbles.
  • Safety arrangements for the kids are very important. Wearing shoes is a must. You can insist on goggles or face coverings to prevent allergies from the suds. You need to take adequate precautions to prevent kids from skidding and falling during the party. There is always a risk of accidents at a foam party, and you need to do everything to prevent it.
  • Preferably, get a waiver from guests to protect against liabilities.

With all this planning, you are now ready to execute foam parties and make neat profits from them.

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Business Ideas

What open source-based startups can learn from Confluent’s success story



It’s common these days to launch an enterprise startup based on an open source project, often where one the founders was deeply involved in creating it. The beauty of this approach is that if the project begins to gain traction, you have the top of the sales funnel ready and waiting with potential customers when you move to commercialize your business.

In the past, this often meant providing help desk-style services for companies who appreciated what the open source software could do but wanted to have the so-called “throat to choke” if something went wrong. Another way that these companies have made money has been creating an on-prem version with certain enterprise features, particularly around scale or security, the kind of thing that large operations need as table stakes before using a particular product. Today, customers typically can install on-prem or in their cloud of choice.

“A key aspect of these kinds of technology-developer data products is they have to have a combination of bottom-up adoption and top-down SaaS, and you actually have to get both of those things working well to succeed.” Jay Kreps

In recent years, the model has shifted to building a SaaS product, where the startup builds a solution that handles all the back-end management and creates something that most companies can adopt without all of the fuss associated with installing yourself or trying to figure out how to use the raw open source.

One company that has flirted with these monetization approaches is Confluent, the streaming data company built on top of the open source Apache Kafka project. The founding team had helped build Kafka inside LinkedIn to move massive amounts of user data in real time. They open sourced the tool in 2011, and CEO and co-founder Jay Kreps helped launch the company in 2014.

It’s worth noting that Confluent raised $450 million as a private company with a final private valuation in April of $4.5 billion before going public in June. Today, it has a market cap of over $22 billion, not bad for less than six months as a public company.

Last month at TC Sessions: SaaS, I spoke to Kreps about how he built his open source business and the steps he took along the way to monetize his ideas. There’s certainly a lot of takeaways for open source-based startups launching today.

Going upmarket

Kreps said that when they launched the company in 2014, there were a bunch of enterprise-size companies already using the open source product, and they needed to figure out how to take the interest they had been seeing in Kafka and convert that into something that the fledgling startup could begin to make money on.

“There have been different paths for different companies in this space, and I think it’s actually very dependent on the type of product [as to] what makes sense. For us, one of the things we understood early on was that we would have to be wherever our customers had data,” Kreps said.

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Business Ideas

5 Hobbies That Make Money and How To Get Started



Money-making hobbies range from walking dogs to blogging to creating and selling homemade goods.

Read about these profitable hobbies, as well as what you can expect to make.

1. Driving

Enjoy cruising around town? Give others a ride and make money by becoming an Uber or Lyft driver. Uber drivers make an estimated $5 to $20 an hour, and Lyft drivers earn about $5 to $25 an hour, according to, a review site for money-making platforms. Note that earnings depend in part on when, where and how often you drive.

To become an Uber or Lyft driver, you must be the minimum age to drive in your area. You must also meet specific requirements related to your driver’s license, insurance and vehicle. Learn about these exact requirements in our guide to becoming an Uber or Lyft driver.

If you enjoy driving but don’t want people in your car, look into becoming a full-service Instacart shopper, which involves shopping for and delivering groceries. Uber Eats and Amazon Flex also offer opportunities to deliver food and other products to homes. Each of these gigs has its own set of requirements, though, so do your research before signing up.

2. Caring for dogs

If your favorite hobbies involve belly rubs, smooches and long walks in the neighborhood, try Wag or Rover. These apps enable you to walk, dog-sit or board pups overnight for money.

Rover and Wag work in similar ways. They both require you to be at least 18 years old, pass a background check and meet other requirements. For both, you create a profile, set your own rates, and use the app to choose which gigs to take. (See our Rover vs. Wag comparison for more specific sign-up and payment information, as well as how the apps vary in the services they allow.)

On both apps, the amount you earn depends on what you charge, how much you receive in tips, and which types of services you provide. As you would guess, boarding typically pays more than walking a dog, for example. But both companies take a bite from your earnings. Rover charges a 20% service fee per booking, and Wag takes 40%.

3. Blogging

If you have a blog that gets decent traffic, try making money from it. Blogging for money can take a few forms. One way is to host ads on your blog through a service like Google AdSense, which is free. Here’s the gist, according to Google: If your website is approved, then you choose where on it you would like ads to appear. Then advertisers bid to place ads where you designated, with the winner’s ads appearing in that spot. (People make money on YouTube through the same service.)

You earn some money when a reader clicks on one of these ads — but determining exactly how much you’ll make is tricky. Explore our guide to Google AdSense to learn more about it.

You could also try writing sponsored content, meaning companies pay you to write about their products. Or, become an affiliate through the Amazon Associates program. That involves linking to an Amazon product from your content and earning a commission when one of your readers clicks through and buys that item. Learn more about how to make money on Amazon through your blog.

4. Posting to social media

Love posting to social media and building a following? On Instagram and TikTok, many users earn money through sponsored photos and videos. Say you regularly post about your at-home exercise regimen. You may agree to post about a retailer’s resistance bands or sweatpants in exchange for cash or free products. (Sponsorships and affiliate marketing are also ways to make money from podcasts, in case that’s one of your hobbies.)

Sponsors may reach out to you to set up this kind of arrangement; you could contact them; or, in some cases, you may consider working through a third-party agency.

The type of content you post, as well as your number of followers and their engagement, will likely impact sponsorship opportunities. Learn more about how to make money on Instagram or on TikTok.

5. Selling your wares

There’s a marketplace for just about everything. So if you’re skilled in a hobby, consider trying to profit from it. For example, if you create jewelry or have an eye for thrifting quality clothes, try selling those items at a local flea market or yard sale, or on a neighborhood website such as Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace.

Or look into an online market that could attract a wider range of buyers. Consider Etsy for crafts or Poshmark if you want to sell clothes online.

These websites charge fees that will cut into your profits. This guide to selling stuff online will help you think through the math and determine if your hobby can become a viable business.

What to consider before making money from your hobbies

Before taking any of the routes listed above, keep in mind that this work will likely affect your taxes. See our guide to self-employment taxes, which includes expenses you can deduct, and how to avoid penalties.

And as you aim to profit from your hobbies, consider whether you will continue to enjoy them through this new business lens. Let’s say knitting helps you relax. Will it continue to do so if you’re pricing, promoting and shipping your homemade wares through an online marketplace? And that blogging hobby: Will writing still be fun or cathartic if you’re occasionally throwing in a sponsored post?

It may be hard to answer these questions until you give the money-making approach a shot. But it’s worth reflecting on the potential trade-offs as you think about turning your hobby into a job.

Money management made easy

NerdWallet tracks your income, bills, and shows you ways to save more.


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