Bring American Cuisine Abroad: Start A Restaurant
If you love food and traveling, why not combine them both by moving abroad and opening an American restaurant asks guest writer Felicia. Starting a restaurant abroad will be hard work, but it gives you the chance to experience a different culture while bringing a bit of home with you. Here she encourages new start ups to take it one step at a time and remember to expect the unexpected!
In the same way that we crave authentic Italian, Mexican or Asian food, people in other countries also love an authentic American burger and fries. We’re not talking about fast food and all the chains that have made their way abroad, but a good meal like you would get in a typical American home.
Starting a restaurant in your hometown is challenge on it’s own, but starting one abroad is definitely a different process from what you might go through in the states. Moving to a new place, learning enough of the language to get around, and figuring out how to start and market a business can be a challenge. Before you go start a restaurant abroad, there are many important things to think about and plan for.
Research the best markets for American food abroad. Not all countries have a positive attitude toward Americans and our food, so finding a market country with a friendly attitude towards Americans and openness to trying new types of cuisine is a key element for success. In addition, you’ll want to ensure that the market is not overly saturated with American food already. You don’t want to be the only burger joint on the block, but you also don’t want to be one of thousands.
Plan your menu, giving yourself plenty of time to get the kinks worked out so you have a balanced set of dishes to offer. You can either offer traditional American fare, like cookout food and Sunday dinner classics, or give it a twist by focusing on American food from a specific region or an upscale feel. In addition, consider the dietary restrictions and preferences of people in the country where you will be starting the restaurant. For example, don’t serve pork if you’re starting a restaurant in a primarily Muslim country.
Start the paperwork process early to give yourself plenty of time to get all of the necessary documentation in order. Not only will you have to apply for a visa to work in another country, you’ll also have to deal with the local authorities to get the necessary paperwork filled out to start a business. Of course, you’ll also have to make travel plans to get yourself and your belongings abroad and then find a place to live.
Attend to the logistical side of what you’ll do once you get abroad, and make sure you have enough money for the process. In addition to the moving costs and your living expenses until you get your restaurant going strongly, you’ll need some working capital and plenty of time to get the restaurant started. You’ll have to find a building, renovate it, purchase and install the restaurant equipment you need in the kitchen and get the dining room ready. You will also have to find a reliable supplier for your food.
Develop a marketing strategy that focuses on methods that are appropriate for the country you are opening the restaurant in. While social media is a great resource in countries that are well connected to the Internet, word of mouth may be a better approach in countries that are still developing the technological infrastructure.
Starting a restaurant abroad will be hard work, but it gives you the chance to experience a different culture while bringing a bit of home with you. Take it one step at a time and remember to expect the unexpected!