Ramen, a Japanese dish made with Chinese-style wheat noodles in broth, has grown in popularity not just in Japan, but across the globe. In fact, one study showed that the global ramen market was valued at $33.1 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach $42.8 billion by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.0% during the forecast period. With its immense popularity, it's no wonder that many entrepreneurs are starting to venture into the ramen restaurant business. However, like any other business, starting a ramen restaurant can be a challenge without proper planning. In this article, we will guide you through the 10 necessary steps to open/start/launch your very own ramen restaurant business! Step 1: Develop a Comprehensive Business Plan Before starting any business, it is important to have a well thought-out plan to guide you through the entire process. This is especially true for the ramen restaurant business. Your business plan should include your mission, vision, target market, menu, pricing, and overall business strategy. It should also include a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) to determine the feasibility of your business. Step 2: Establish Legal and Accounting Systems Running a business requires compliance with laws and regulations. Establishing legal and accounting systems early on can avoid any legal or financial troubles down the line. You will need to register your business and obtain necessary permits and licenses from local and state governments. Additionally, you'll need to set up an accounting system to handle transactions and keep track of finances. Step 3: Create a Financial Model Starting a business requires financial investment and it's important to create a feasible financial model for your ramen restaurant. This should include projected costs, revenue, and profit margins. The financial model should be adjusted as necessary to align with any changes in business performance. Step 4: Find Necessary Funding Funding is the backbone of any business and it's important to find the right sources for your ramen restaurant business. You can either self-fund or seek external funding from investors or bank loans. It's important to have a solid financial plan and business strategy to convince investors to invest in your business. Step 5: Secure Necessary Permits and Licenses Permits and licenses are crucial to open and operate a ramen restaurant. Make sure to research the necessary permits and licenses required in your state and obtain them before opening. Step 6: Source Equipment and Supplies Ramen restaurants require specialized equipment and supplies such as commercial grade stove, pot, steamer, and bowls. Research and source the best quality and affordable equipment and supplies to save on costs. Step 7: Research and Select a Location Location is key to any business success. Research potential locations based on target market, proximity to competitors, foot traffic, and parking availability. Consider leasing or buying space based on your financial plan and budget. Step 8: Develop Marketing and Advertising Strategy Marketing and advertising is crucial to attract customers to your ramen restaurant. Develop a marketing strategy that includes social media marketing, Google advertising, and email campaigns among other tactics. Step 9: Hire, Train, and Manage Employees Hiring the right staff and training them well is crucial to provide excellent customer service and deliver quality food. Develop a training program that focuses on food preparation, customer service, and maintaining cleanliness. Step 10: Establish Customer Loyalty Programs Customer loyalty programs are an effective way to attract repeat customers and build brand loyalty. Develop programs that offer incentives, such as discounts, free meals, and other promotions that will encourage customers to come back. Opening a ramen restaurant may seem like a daunting task, but with effective planning and execution, it can be a rewarding venture. Follow these steps to ensure your ramen restaurant business is set up for success.

1. Develop A Comprehensive Business Plan

Before opening a ramen restaurant, it is vital to create a comprehensive business plan. Starting a business without a plan is like driving in an unknown direction without a GPS. A business plan outlines the entire roadmap for your business and sets the foundation for success. Here are the key elements to include in a business plan:

  • Executive Summary: This section should provide an overview of the business, its mission, and a brief description of the concept.
  • Market Analysis: Summarize the research you've done on the market, industry, competition, and target customers.
  • Business Structure: Outline the legal structure, management team, and roles and responsibilities of each team member.
  • Marketing Plan: Explain how you plan to attract and retain customers.
  • Financial Plan: Project revenue, expenses, and profit over a three to five-year period. Include any funding requirements for your business.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Don't skip the business plan step just because you're excited to jump into the business. A comprehensive plan is essential for success.
  • Be honest with your financial projections and make sure they are realistic. Overestimating your revenue can put your business in financial trouble.
  • Stay focused on your target market and don't try to please everyone. It's better to have a loyal customer base than trying to cater to everyone.

Excel financial model

Ramen Restaurant Financial Model

  • 5-Year Excel Financial Projection
  • 40+ Charts & Metrics
  • DCF & Multiple Valuation
  • Free Email Support

2. Establish Legal And Accounting Systems

When it comes to starting a successful ramen restaurant business, managing finances can be a tough task. While your focus might be primarily on the food and customer service, it is crucial to have legal and accounting systems set up. This not only ensures compliance with the legal requirements but also helps you with managing your finances more effectively.

2.1 Register Your Business

The first step towards establishing a legal framework for your ramen restaurant is to register your business. You need to decide on the business structure, obtain licenses, and register for taxes before opening your restaurant. The legal formalities may vary by state/country, so it is advisable to seek professional assistance to fulfill the legal requirements.

2.2 Secure Permits And Licenses

Permits and licenses are vital to ensure compliance with the local and state regulations. Make sure to obtain a foodservice permit, liquor license (if applicable), music license, and fire, health, and safety permits. These licenses not only provide security but are also essential for acquiring funding or investments.

2.3 Open A Business Bank Account

One of the crucial steps to effectively manage your finances is to open a separate business bank account. It helps to keep your business expenses and revenue organized, provides easy access to capital, simplifies accounting procedures and assists in filing taxes accurately.

2.4 Accounting System

Setting up an effective accounting system ensures that your finances are correctly managed, your financial records are maintained, and you can track your profit and loss. It also helps with bookkeeping, invoicing, payroll processing, and tax returns. As a ramen restaurant business owner, it is advisable to use accounting software that helps you automate tasks and streamline financial operations.

2.5 Legal Contracts And Insurance

Legal contracts and insurance are essential to manage your business risks. Make sure to have legal contracts for employees, suppliers, and landlords. Also, obtain insurance policies like liability insurance, property insurance, and workers' compensation insurance. These policies protect you from unexpected expenses that can damage your business financially.

Tips & Tricks

  • TIP 1: Seek consultation from a professional legal and accounting firm to ensure compliance with regulations.
  • TIP 2: Choose and use an accounting software that is user-friendly, efficient, and reliable.
  • TIP 3: Keep your legal and insurance documents updated and renewed timely.

To sum it up, establishing legal, and accounting systems are essential for managing finances, complying with the regulations and protecting your business from unforeseen risks. As a professional business consultant, my advice would be to seek assistance from experts to fulfill the legal requirements and to use the latest technology that can streamline accounting and bookkeeping tasks.

3. Create A Financial Model

Creating a financial model is essential to understand the financial feasibility of your ramen restaurant business. It helps you determine the amount of capital required, forecast revenue, and estimate profitability. Here are the steps to create a financial model:

  • Identify startup costs: Determine the costs associated with starting the ramen restaurant, such as equipment, leasehold improvements, legal fees, licenses, and permits.
  • Estimate operating expenses: Calculate the ongoing expenses, such as rent, utilities, wages, food and beverage costs, marketing, and insurance.
  • Forecast revenue: Use research, industry benchmarks, and market analysis to estimate how much revenue the restaurant will generate per month or year.
  • Develop profit and loss (P&L) statements: Use the estimated revenue and costs to create profit and loss statements for each month of the first year of operation.
  • Prepare cash flow projections: Use the P&L statements to prepare monthly cash flow projections for the first year. This will help determine if the business will have enough cash to cover its expenses in the early months when revenue may be lower.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Be conservative in your revenue and expense projections, as unexpected costs can arise in the restaurant industry.
  • Include a contingency fund in your financial model to cover unexpected costs.
  • Prepare different financial scenarios to test the sensitivity of the business to different revenue and cost assumptions.

In conclusion, creating a financial model is critical to understanding the financial feasibility of your ramen restaurant business. It helps you determine how much capital you need, forecast revenue and estimate profitability. By following these steps and tips, you can create a financial model that will be useful for making informed decisions about your restaurant business.

4. Find Necessary Funding

Opening a ramen restaurant business requires a significant amount of capital investment to cover startup costs, such as leasing a space, purchasing equipment, hiring staff, and stocking inventory. Finding adequate funding is crucial for the success of your ramen restaurant business.

4.1. Determine the Startup Costs

The first step towards finding necessary funding is to determine the startup costs for your ramen restaurant business. This includes calculating the costs associated with:

  • Leasing a storefront and renovating the space.
  • Purchasing kitchen equipment, such as refrigerators, freezers, stoves, and ovens.
  • Buying furniture, tableware, and decorations.
  • Marketing and advertising expenses.
  • Hiring staff and training them.

Creating a detailed business plan can help you estimate these costs accurately.

4.2. Seek Investment from Family and Friends

You can seek investment from family and friends who believe in your business idea. This can be a great way to raise capital as they are more likely to trust you and invest in your business. You can present your business plan and discuss the investment opportunity with them.

4.3. Apply for Business Loans

If you don't have enough funding from personal sources, you can apply for business loans from banks and other financial institutions. You will need to have a good credit score and a solid business plan to get approved for a loan. Compare different loan options and select the one that is most suitable for your business needs.

4.4. Look for Investors

You can look for investors who are interested in funding your ramen restaurant business. Investors can provide not only financial support but also valuable expertise and connections. You can reach out to angel investors, venture capitalists, and other individuals or firms who specialize in investing in small businesses.

Expert Tips & Tricks

  • Make sure to have a solid business plan that outlines your goals, strategies, and financial projections.
  • Be prepared to present your business idea and answer tough questions from potential investors.
  • Consider crowdfunding as an alternative funding option.

Finding necessary funding is a critical step in opening a successful ramen restaurant business. With a clear understanding of your startup costs and the right funding sources, you can turn your dream into a reality.

5. Secure Necessary Permits And Licenses

Before you can start serving delicious bowls of ramen to your customers, you'll need to secure the necessary permits and licenses to legally operate your restaurant. This step can vary depending on your location and the specific regulations that apply to your business, but there are a few important considerations to keep in mind.

  • Research the requirements in your area: Your local government will have specific regulations and requirements for starting a restaurant business, including permits and licenses. Make sure to research these thoroughly so you know exactly what you need to do to comply.
  • Apply for necessary permits and licenses: Once you know what's required, start applying for the necessary permits and licenses right away. This could include food service permits, liquor licenses, health inspections, and more.
  • Stay compliant with regulations: Once you have all of the necessary permits and licenses in place, it's important to stay on top of any ongoing compliance requirements. This could include regular inspections, renewals, or other obligations.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider hiring a lawyer or consultant to help you navigate the permitting and licensing process.
  • Make sure to keep all of your permits and licenses up-to-date and in a visible location for inspectors.
  • Take advantage of any training or resources offered by your local health department or regulatory agency to help you stay compliant.

While this step can be time-consuming and sometimes expensive, it's an essential part of starting a successful ramen restaurant business that's in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. By putting in the effort to secure all necessary permits and licenses, you'll be on your way to serving up steaming hot bowls of ramen in no time!

6. Source Equipment And Supplies

As you embark on starting your own ramen restaurant, it is important to source the right equipment and supplies that will allow you to make and serve delicious ramen dishes to your customers. Here are some key steps to consider:

  • Make a list of required equipment
  • The first step in sourcing equipment for your ramen restaurant is to create a comprehensive list of everything you will need, from the noodle cooker to the chopsticks. This will help you to stay organized and ensure that you don't forget anything important.

  • Research equipment suppliers
  • Next, you will need to research suppliers who sell the equipment you need. Look for suppliers who specialize in restaurant equipment and have a good reputation among other businesses in the industry. You may also want to consider second-hand equipment if it is in good condition and can save you money.

  • Compare prices and quality
  • Once you have identified potential suppliers, compare their prices and the quality of the equipment they offer. Don't just go for the cheapest option, as low-quality equipment can break down easily and cost you more in the long run. Look for a balance between quality and price.

  • Purchase equipment and supplies
  • Once you have found the right equipment and suppliers, it's time to make your purchases. Make sure you have everything you need before launching your ramen restaurant. This includes ingredients, utensils, bowls, and even kitchen aprons and gloves.

  • Organize your supplies and equipment
  • Finally, make sure you organize your supplies and equipment in a way that makes it easy to find and use everything you need. This will help you to work quickly and efficiently in the kitchen and provide a better experience for your customers.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider leasing equipment if you can't afford to purchase everything outright. This can be a good way to spread out the cost over time.
  • Don't forget to order extra supplies so that you never run out when a rush hits.
  • Invest in high-quality equipment that can withstand the demands of a busy ramen restaurant.

7. Research And Select A Location

One of the most important decisions you will make when starting a ramen restaurant is choosing the right location. This will have a significant impact on your business's success. Here are some steps to help you research and select a suitable location for your ramen restaurant:

  • 1. Identify your target market
  • 2. Consider foot traffic
  • 3. Look for nearby competition
  • 4. Research the demographics of the area
  • 5. Investigate the availability and cost of commercial real estate
  • 6. Check for zoning regulations and permits
  • 7. Evaluate the parking situation

1. Identify your target market: The first step is to identify your target market. Consider the age, income level, and lifestyle of your potential customers. Determine whether your ramen restaurant will appeal to college students or working professionals. Knowing your target market will help you choose a location that allows for easy accessibility, and meets their needs and preferences.

2. Consider foot traffic: The location of your ramen restaurant should have high foot traffic. Choose a place with constant pedestrian traffic to increase your visibility, build brand awareness and attract potential customers. You can look for busy street corners, near transit stations, or shopping centers for high density foot traffic.

3. Look for nearby competition: While choosing a location, make sure there are no competitors in the nearby area. However, a small amount of competition can be good as it indicates higher demand for the product. You may look for a location that is unique and has a factor of exclusivity to attract more customers.

4. Research the demographics of the area: It is essential to study the demographics of the area where you plan to start your ramen restaurant. A location populated with people interested in Japanese culture, cuisine and a broader age demographic would be the ideal choice. You can obtain information on the demographics in the area through local census data and databases.

5. Investigate the availability and cost of commercial real estate: Consider the availability and cost of commercial real estate in the location you have in mind. Ensure that the cost of the lease or rent you are going to pay is in line with your budget. You can work out the estimated rent by per square footage in the area.

6. Check for zoning regulations and permits: Before signing a lease or purchasing a property, ensure that you have checked for all the zoning regulations, permits, and licenses. This will help you avoid any legal complications that may arise later. You may seek professional advice to help you go through the legal procedures and avoid mistakes.

7. Evaluate the parking situation: Consider the parking option and availability of the location. If you plan to run dinner services, the availability of ample parking space will be an essential factor to consider. Look for a location with a designated area for parking or available parking nearby.


  • Don’t overlook on-site foot traffic
  • Think beyond the visible frontage of a property
  • Choose a location with easy accessibility

Finding the right location for your ramen restaurant business takes time and effort. It is essential to weigh your options and make an informed decision. By considering the tips outlined above, you will be well-equipped to choose a location for your ramen restaurant that contributes to its success.

8. Develop Marketing And Advertising Strategy

After laying the foundation and setting up the operations, it's crucial to develop a marketing and advertising strategy that will attract your target customers and keep them coming back for more. The following are key steps to develop a marketing and advertising strategy for your ramen restaurant business:

  • Identify your target customers: Who are your ideal customers? What are their demographics? What are their preferences? The better you understand your target customers, the better you can create a marketing message that resonates with them.
  • Develop a unique value proposition: What sets your ramen restaurant apart from others? What is your unique selling point? Your value proposition should be compelling and communicate why customers should choose your restaurant over others.
  • Build a brand identity: A strong brand identity will help your business stand out from the competition. Develop a logo, color palette, and brand messaging that reflects your restaurant's personality and values.
  • Create a digital presence: In this digital age, having an online presence is essential. Create a website that showcases your menu, location, and reviews. Also, set up social media accounts and use them regularly to engage with customers and promote your business.
  • Offer promotions and discounts: Offering promotions and discounts can help attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back. Consider offering a discount to first-time customers, or creating a loyalty program for repeat customers.
  • Host events and collaborations: Partnering with other businesses or hosting events can help expand your reach and bring in new customers. Consider hosting a ramen festival or collaborating with local businesses to promote your restaurant.

Marketing Tips

  • Utilize online food ordering platforms such as Grubhub or Uber Eats to reach more customers and increase revenue.
  • Use email marketing to keep your customers informed about new menu items, promotions, and events.
  • Offer delivery services to reach customers who prefer to eat at home.

Developing a marketing and advertising strategy for your ramen restaurant business is an ongoing process. Continuously evaluate your strategy and adapt as needed to ensure your business stays relevant and competitive in the market.

9. Hire, Train And Manage Employees

One of the most important aspects of running a successful ramen restaurant is having a team of well-trained and motivated employees. Here are some key steps to help you hire, train and manage your staff:

  • Identify the roles you need to fill: Determine what positions you need to hire for, such as cooks, servers, dishwashers, and managers.
  • Create job descriptions: Develop detailed job descriptions that outline the responsibilities, qualifications, and requirements for each role.
  • Recruit candidates: Advertise the open positions on job boards, social media, and in local publications. Also, ask for referrals from your network and consider attending a job fair.
  • Interview candidates: Conduct interviews to assess candidates' skills, experience, personality, and fit for your business.
  • Train new hires: Provide comprehensive training to new employees to ensure they understand your operations, culture, and customer service expectations.
  • Establish clear policies and procedures: Create a handbook that outlines your employee policies, such as attendance, dress code, and code of conduct.
  • Communicate regularly: Schedule regular meetings with your staff to discuss progress, challenges, and opportunities. Encourage feedback from employees.
  • Provide incentives: Offer incentives such as bonuses, promotions, and recognition to motivate and retain your staff.

Tips & Tricks

  • Invest in ongoing training: Provide ongoing training and coaching to ensure your employees continue to grow and develop.
  • Communicate openly and transparently: Foster a culture of open communication and transparency to build trust and loyalty with your staff.
  • Lead by example: Model the behavior and work ethic you expect from your employees to set the tone for your business.

By following these steps and incorporating the tips and tricks, you can build a strong and effective team that will help your ramen restaurant thrive.

10. Establish Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty is key for any restaurant business. It is more expensive to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones. This is where customer loyalty programs come in. Implementing customer loyalty programs in your Ramen restaurant business can be beneficial. These programs encourage customers to come back repeatedly, leading to increased sales and profits.

  • Create a Loyalty Program: A loyalty program should be easy to understand and use. Choose a program that suits your business model. For example, give customers points for each purchase and reward them with a free meal once they reach a certain number of points.
  • Offer Discounts and Rewards: Consider offering discounts and rewards to loyal customers. It could be in the form of free drinks or a discount on their next meal.
  • Personalize the Experience: Personalizing the experience for customers can increase customer loyalty. For example, if a customer regularly orders the same ramen bowl, make sure to remember their order and address them by name.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider partnering with other businesses to offer joint loyalty programs. It can be helpful to expand your customer base and increase sales.
  • Make the loyalty program easy to use. Use a digital system that does not require customers to carry a physical card.
  • Consider offering VIP perks to high-spending customers. It could be in the form of special menu items, reserved seating, or exclusive access to events.

Implementing a customer loyalty program can be a competitive edge for your Ramen restaurant business. It can help you build a loyal customer base, leading to increased sales and profits. Don't underestimate the importance of customer loyalty.

In conclusion, starting a ramen restaurant business requires careful planning and execution. With the global ramen market valued at $33.1 billion in 2019 and expected to reach $42.8 billion by 2027, it's clear that there is potential for success in this industry. By following these 10 necessary steps - from developing a comprehensive business plan, to hiring the right staff, and establishing customer loyalty programs - you can set your ramen restaurant up for long-term success. Remember to prioritize legal compliance, financial planning, and location selection, and to focus on effective marketing and advertising to attract customers to your restaurant. With these strategies in mind, you can achieve your goal of launching a thriving ramen restaurant business.

Excel financial model

Ramen Restaurant Financial Model
  • 5-Year Financial Projection
  • 40+ Charts & Metrics
  • DCF & Multiple Valuation
  • Free Email Support