Opening a restaurant business is not an easy task, but the rewards can be great if done correctly. This is especially true for a teppanyaki restaurant, where skilled chefs cook in front of guests on hot griddles. The teppanyaki restaurant industry has been growing steadily in recent years, with a forecasted revenue of $5 billion by 2025. With such a promising future, it is no surprise that many entrepreneurs are eager to venture into this industry. However, opening a teppanyaki restaurant requires careful planning and execution. In this blog post, we will guide you through the essential steps to starting your own successful teppanyaki restaurant business in 10 steps. Whether you're a seasoned restaurateur or a first-time business owner, this checklist will provide you with a comprehensive guide to launching your dream teppanyaki restaurant. Get ready to take notes, and let's begin your journey to success!

If you're planning to open a teppanyaki restaurant, it's crucial to research the industry and determine your target market. This helps you understand the demand, trends, and competition in the market. Once you've done your research, you need to develop a business plan and financial model. This helps you map out the direction, goals, and finances of your business.

At this point, you may wonder how to source funding for your new venture. Funding can come from various sources, including personal savings, investors, and business loans. Whatever your funding source, a solid business plan and financial model can help you secure the necessary financing.

The next step is to outline the restaurant design and menu. The design should align with your target market, theme, and brand. A skilled interior designer could help you achieve the perfect ambiance and aesthetics of your restaurant. The menu, on the other hand, should be carefully crafted to suit your target market's tastes and preferences. You may need to consider hiring a professional menu developer to ensure that your menu offers an extensive range of dishes that suit a diverse clientele.

Obtaining the necessary permits and licenses is another crucial step in starting a teppanyaki restaurant. This includes obtaining a business license, health permits, liquor licenses, insurance, among others. You may need to consult with your local authorities to ensure that your business complies with all regulations and policies.

After obtaining the necessary permits and licenses, you then need to choose a location and secure a lease. This is another critical step, as your restaurant location can significantly influence your business success. Consider various factors such as visibility, accessibility, parking, foot traffic, and competition. Once you've chosen the right location, negotiate your lease agreement, and sign on the dotted line!

The buildout and equipment installation come next, and this involves designing and building your restaurant area from scratch, depending on your lease terms. This could take several weeks or months, depending on the complexity of your design. And you cannot forget that your restaurant's equipment should be high quality, durable, and energy-efficient since it can significantly affect your food quality, restaurant safety, and operational costs.

You can't run a restaurant alone, so you need to hire and train your staff. Aside from hiring skilled chefs, you also need to develop a competent team of servers, bartenders, cleaners, and managers, among others. It would be best to train your team on customer service, food safety, menu knowledge, and policy compliance, among other things.

Finally, after completing your restaurant buildout and hiring staff, it's time to promote your new teppanyaki restaurant to your target audience. This includes creating social media accounts, running paid digital campaigns, implementing loyalty programs, and collaborating with local businesses, among other things. The goal is to reach as many potential customers as possible and establish your restaurant brand in your local area.

Opening a teppanyaki restaurant business may seem like a daunting task. But with the right checklist in tow, you'll have a comprehensive guide to starting and launching your dream restaurant. Whether you're an experienced restaurateur or a first-time business owner, this post should provide you with a clear roadmap to open your dream teppanyaki restaurant. Remember, the key is to stay focused, flexible, and passionate about your business. Good luck, and happy cooking!

1. Decide On A Business Model

The first step in opening a teppanyaki restaurant business is to decide on a business model. You need to determine what type of teppanyaki restaurant you want to open.

There are various types of teppanyaki restaurants out there, and you need to pick one that suits your needs and budget. Here are some of the most popular types of teppanyaki restaurants:

  • Traditional Teppanyaki: This is the most popular type of teppanyaki restaurant. It features a communal dining table and a chef who cooks food live in front of customers.
  • Upscale Teppanyaki: This type of teppanyaki restaurant is more upscale than traditional teppanyaki restaurants. It features premium ingredients, sophisticated presentation, and a more formal atmosphere.
  • Mobile Teppanyaki: This type of teppanyaki restaurant is a food truck or a mobile kitchen that can be moved around from one place to another.

Picking the right type of teppanyaki restaurant is crucial because it will determine the cost of opening the business, the size of the location, the type of equipment needed, the number of staff required, the type of marketing strategy to use, etc.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Research the local market and competition to determine the demand for teppanyaki restaurants in your location.
  • Consider partnering with a chef who has experience in teppanyaki cooking to ensure the quality of food and service.
  • Decide on a target market and create a menu that appeals to their tastes and preferences.

Excel financial model

Teppanyaki Restaurant Financial Model

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

2. Perform Market Research & Determine Target Market

Without conducting proper market research, your teppanyaki restaurant business may fail before it even starts. Market research provides you with valuable information about your competition, target customers, current food trends, and other factors that can affect your business success. Here are some important steps you need to take when performing market research:

  • Analyze the competition: Identify other teppanyaki restaurant businesses in your area and examine how they operate, their menu offerings, prices, and customer reviews. This will help you to determine how you can differentiate your restaurant from the competition.
  • Define your target market: Determine who your ideal customers are by looking at their age, gender, income, lifestyle, and dining habits. This will help you to create a menu that caters to their preferences and needs.
  • Identify industry trends: Keep up to date with the latest food trends, especially those related to Japanese cuisine and teppanyaki. This will allow you to stay ahead of the competition and offer your customers something unique.
  • Assess the demand: Determine the level of demand for teppanyaki cuisine in your area by speaking to local residents, online surveys and reviews, and checking on social media.
  • Set realistic expectations: Assess the feasibility of your business by setting realistic goals and expectations based on your market research and financial forecasts.

Tips & Trics:

  • Visit teppanyaki restaurant businesses in other cities and take note of their menu offerings and customer experiences.
  • Speak with food distributors and suppliers to determine ingredient costs and availability.
  • Use online tools such as Google Trends and social listening software to stay on top of food trends and customer preferences.

Once you have conducted market research, you should have a clear understanding of your target market and how to reach them. Keep this information in mind when developing your business plan and marketing strategy.

3. Develop A Business Plan & Financial Model

Before starting a Teppanyaki restaurant business, it is essential to develop a sound business plan and financial model. A business plan acts as a roadmap for your restaurant, outlining the strategies, goals, and vision for your business. Similarly, a financial model gives you an idea of the projected revenue, cost, and profitability of your Teppanyaki restaurant. Here are the essential chapters to include in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: This section should provide an overview of your Teppanyaki restaurant, outlining the mission statement and the key objectives of the restaurant.
  • Market Analysis: This section should include detailed information on the competition, target market, and industry analysis of Teppanyaki restaurants.
  • Menu and Pricing Strategy: This section should include a detailed menu of Teppanyaki dishes and the pricing strategy, including the cost of the ingredients and labor.
  • Marketing and Advertising: This section should outline the marketing strategies to promote your Teppanyaki restaurant, including branding, advertising, social media, and promotional events.
  • Management and Personnel: This section should describe the management structure, staffing requirements, and job roles for your Teppanyaki restaurant.
  • Financial Plan: This section should outline your financial model, including the projected revenue, cost, and profitability for the Teppanyaki restaurant.

Developing a financial model is also an essential step in starting a Teppanyaki restaurant business. The financial model gives you an idea of how much capital you will require to start the business, the expected revenue and profit margins, and the return on investment. Here are the critical factors to consider when developing your financial model:

  • Capital investment: This includes the cost of rent, kitchen equipment, furniture, and promotional expenses.
  • Revenue: This includes the expected price per dish and the number of customers you expect to serve per day/week/month.
  • Cost of goods sold: This includes the cost of ingredients, labor, overhead, and other expenses.
  • Profit margin: This includes the expected profit margin per dish and the expected monthly/annual profit.
  • Cash flow: This includes the expected cash inflow and outflow for the restaurant, including payroll and inventory management.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Consider hiring a professional business consultant or financial expert for help in developing your business plan and financial model.
  • Don't just copy a business plan or financial model from another restaurant. Customize it to suit your Teppanyaki restaurant business.
  • Update your business plan and financial model regularly to account for any changes in the market, competition, or costs.

4. Source Funding

Once you have a solid business plan and location for your Teppanyaki restaurant, the next step is to source funding. While starting a restaurant may seem like an expensive venture, there are many funding options available. Here are some ways to source funding for your Teppanyaki restaurant:

  • Self-Funding: If you have enough personal savings, this can be a good option for funding your restaurant. However, it's important to consider the risks involved and have a contingency plan in case things don't go as planned.
  • Bank Loan: Approach your local bank and apply for a loan. You will need a solid business plan and a good credit score to increase your chances of getting approved. You can also opt for a small business administration (SBA) loan, which is specifically designed for businesses.
  • Investors: If you don't have enough funds or can't get a loan, consider finding investors who believe in your business idea. They can provide the necessary capital to help you get started. However, be prepared to give up a percentage of ownership in exchange.
  • Crowdfunding: Consider using an online crowdfunding platform to raise funds for your restaurant. This involves requesting small donations from a large number of people, and can be a good option if you have a strong social media presence and a compelling story.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Start small and grow gradually to reduce the amount of funding needed.
  • Consider partnering with a more established restaurant or chef to improve your chances of securing funding.
  • Be prepared to provide collateral or a personal guarantee if you are applying for a loan.

No matter which funding option you choose, make sure you have a solid plan for paying back the funds and achieving profitability. This will increase your chances of success and help you secure future funding if needed.

5. Outline Restaurant Design & Menu

In the restaurant industry, it is often said that people eat with their eyes first. This highlights the importance of having an appealing restaurant design and mouth-watering menu. As you plan to open your teppanyaki restaurant, it is crucial to put into consideration the following:

  • Choosing the right restaurant location: It is essential to choose a location that is easily accessible to your target market. You should also consider the ambiance of the location and ensure that it aligns with your intended restaurant atmosphere.
  • Designing the restaurant: Your restaurant design should be attractive and unique. This can be achieved by utilizing warm lighting, installing good quality furniture, creating a welcoming entrance, and integrating your brand colors into the design.
  • Creating a functional kitchen: The kitchen should be well-equipped with high-quality appliances and utensils to ensure smooth operations and food preparation. It should also be designed to maximize efficiency and safety.
  • Developing a menu: A menu with a wide range of teppanyaki dishes will attract more customers. You should also incorporate fresh and local ingredients to provide a unique taste experience.
  • Choosing a pricing strategy: You should strike a balance between providing value to your customers while still making a profit. Conduct market research and factor in the cost of ingredients, rent, utilities, and labor when setting your prices.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Offer seasonal specials to keep your menu fresh and exciting.
  • Consider offering vegan and gluten-free options to cater to a wider customer base.
  • Utilize social media to promote your restaurant and engage with customers.

Investing in a well-designed restaurant and menu is critical to your teppanyaki restaurant's success. Ensure that your restaurant is appealing to your customers' senses, and your menu offers a wide range of dishes that are both delicious and unique. By doing so, your restaurant will stand out in the market, making it the go-to choice for customers.

6. Obtain Necessary Permits & Licenses

Before opening a teppanyaki restaurant, you must obtain necessary permits and licenses. These permits and licenses include:

  • Business License - This is a general operating license that allows you to legally operate your teppanyaki restaurant.
  • Food Service License - A food service license is required in most states and cities. This license is issued by the health department and confirms that your teppanyaki restaurant meets food safety requirements.
  • Liquor License - If you plan on serving alcohol, you'll need to obtain a liquor license from the state's liquor control commission.
  • Building Permit - You'll need to apply for a building permit to make any changes or alterations to your restaurant space. This permit ensures that you're following state and local building codes.

It's important to research and understand the specific permits and licenses required in your state and city. Contact your local government's business license department and health department to get information on the necessary permits and licenses and the process for obtaining them.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Start the permit and license application process early as it can be a lengthy process.
  • Ensure that your restaurant meets all the requirements set by the fire marshal. This includes having proper fire suppression systems and exits, among other things.
  • Find out if there are any zoning regulations that might affect the location of your teppanyaki restaurant. You don't want to invest in a location only to find out later that it doesn't meet zoning requirements.

Once you've obtained all necessary permits and licenses, make sure to keep them up to date at all times. This includes renewing them on time and following all regulations set by the issuing authorities.

As a business consultant, I've seen many restaurants fail due to not obtaining the proper permits and licenses or letting them expire. Don't let this be the reason why your teppanyaki restaurant doesn't succeed. It's worth the time and effort to ensure that you have all the necessary permits and licenses in hand before opening your doors.

7. Choose A Location & Secure A Lease

Choosing a location for your teppanyaki restaurant is crucial for its success. You need to consider factors such as visibility, accessibility, and foot traffic. Your restaurant should be easily accessible to your target market and should be in an area that receives a considerable amount of foot traffic.

  • Identify your target market: Before choosing a location, you need to identify your target market. You want to choose a location that your target market can easily access, such as near a university or office complex.
  • Consider the competition: Research the area and identify the competition. Look for a location that has a gap in the market.
  • Check for zoning regulations: Ensure the location you choose is zoned for a restaurant and that it meets the requirements for your intended use.

Once you identify a location that meets your requirements, it is time to secure a lease. A lease is a legal agreement that outlines the terms and conditions for renting the property. Before signing a lease, ensure you read and understand the terms to avoid any hidden costs.

  • Understand the terms: Review the terms of the lease carefully and consult a legal advisor if necessary.
  • Negotiate rent: Negotiate the rent with the landlord, keeping in mind that you want to keep the costs as low as possible.
  • Review the landlord’s history: Research the landlord's history to ensure they have a good reputation and are not prone to increasing rent every few months.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Research online: Utilize online tools to identify areas with high foot traffic and demographics that match your target market.
  • Have a plan B: Always have a backup plan in case you don't get your preferred location.
  • Consider sub-leasing: If you're on a tight budget, you could consider sub-leasing space from someone else.

Choosing a location and securing a lease is a crucial step when starting a teppanyaki restaurant. You want to choose a location that is easily accessible to your target market and has a gap in the market. Once you identify a location that meets your requirements, negotiate the rent and read and understand the terms of the lease before signing it.

8. Complete Buildout & Secure Equipment

The buildout and equipment of your teppanyaki restaurant are crucial as they create the foundation for your business operations. Below are the necessary steps to complete your restaurant's buildout and secure important equipment:

  • 1. Hire a professional contractor: Hire a licensed contractor who has experience in restaurant construction to ensure that the buildout follows all local codes and regulations.
  • 2. Map out your restaurant's floor plan: Plan out your restaurant's layout, allocate kitchen and dining areas, design a seating arrangement, and ensure that there is enough space for your teppanyaki grills.
  • 3. Install necessary utilities: Install gas, electricity, ventilation, and plumbing as required for your restaurant buildout.
  • 4. Choose and secure equipment: Teppanyaki restaurant equipment includes grills, cooktops, knives, utensils, refrigerators, and freezers. Choose high-quality equipment and secure them from reputable vendors.
  • 5. Safety and hygiene: Ensure your restaurant has all the necessary safety and hygiene measures in place, including fire safety equipment, first aid kit, and sanitation requirements.

Tips & Tricks:

  • Tip 1: When buying kitchen equipment, choose quality over price to avoid costly repairs and replacements.
  • Tip 2: Consider energy-saving equipment to lower your utility bills and increase profitability in the long run.
  • Tip 3: Conduct regular safety inspections and training for your staff to ensure that they follow proper safety procedures in the kitchen and dining areas.

In conclusion, the buildout and equipment of your teppanyaki restaurant determine your business's success from the start. Follow these guidelines and secure high-quality equipment to run a successful and profitable teppanyaki restaurant.

9. Train & Hire Staff

The success of a restaurant highly depends on the quality of the service provided by its staff. Therefore, hiring and training the right people is crucial to the growth and sustainability of a teppanyaki restaurant business.

1. Determine your staffing needs

  • Identify the different roles required in your restaurant such as teppanyaki chefs, servers, bartenders, host/hostess, kitchen staff, and managers.
  • Determine the number of employees needed in each role based on the restaurant's seating capacity, business hours, and menu.
  • Factor in any local labor laws, minimum wage requirements, and taxes.

2. Create job descriptions

For each role, create a job description outlining the responsibilities, skills, and qualifications required. Be specific about the required experience, education, and language proficiency if needed. This will help you attract the right applicants and make the selection process easier.

3. Develop a hiring process

  • Design an application process that involves reviewing resumes, conducting interviews, and checking references.
  • Use pre-employment testing, assessments or trial shifts to evaluate candidates.
  • Ensure that your process is compliant with anti-discrimination and labor laws.

4. Train your staff

Invest in thorough training programs for your staff to ensure that they understand your expectations and can provide excellent service.

  • Provide training on menu items, cooking techniques, food safety, and health standards.
  • Train servers on upselling techniques and customer service skills.
  • Train bartenders on different beverages and cocktail making techniques.
  • Invest in regular training programs to keep staff updated on new menu items, cooking techniques, and customer service best practices.

Tip and Tricks:

  • Incentivize your staff by offering incentives for upselling, providing excellent service or increasing sales.
  • Perform regular staff evaluations and offer constructive feedback to identify their strengths and areas where they need improvement.
  • Provide opportunities for growth and advancement for your staff to encourage loyalty and retention.

By following these steps, you can successfully select and train a qualified team that can help you achieve your business goals and ensure the growth and success of your teppanyaki restaurant.

10. Market & Promote

Now that you have your Teppanyaki restaurant up and running, it's time to shift your focus on marketing and promoting your business to increase your customer base. Here are a few steps to take:

  • Create a website: In today's digital age, having a website is a must. A professionally designed website will add credibility to your business and help potential customers learn more about your restaurant.
  • Utilize Social Media: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can help you connect with your customers and promote your restaurant. Utilize these platforms to share pictures of your delicious dishes and special offers.
  • Join Business Listings: List your restaurant on popular business directories such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Google My Business to help increase your online presence and visibility.
  • Offer Special Deals: Offering special deals such as discounts, free drinks, or special promotions can help attract new customers and keep them coming back.
  • Partner with Local Businesses: Partnering with local businesses such as hotels, tourist attractions, and event planners can help you reach a wider audience and attract more customers.
  • Host Events: Hosting special events such as cooking classes, live music, or cultural events can help increase foot traffic and attract new customers to your restaurant.

Tips & Tricks

  • Offering a loyalty program can help retain customers and encourage repeat business.
  • Adding seasonal dishes to your menu can help keep your offerings fresh and attract repeat customers.
  • Encourage customer reviews and respond to them promptly to build a positive online reputation.

Marketing and promoting your Teppanyaki restaurant requires creativity, patience, and consistency. By following these steps and tips, you can increase your restaurant's visibility, attract new customers, and grow your business.

In conclusion, opening a teppanyaki restaurant business requires careful planning, execution, and passion. In this blog post, we have outlined the ten essential steps you need to take to start and launch your dream restaurant. Remember, the teppanyaki restaurant industry is growing steadily, with a forecasted revenue of $5 billion by 2025. By performing market research, developing a solid business plan and financial model, sourcing funding, outlining restaurant design and menu, obtaining necessary permits and licenses, choosing the right location, completing buildout and securing equipment, hiring and training staff, and marketing and promoting your business, you can launch a successful teppanyaki restaurant. Good luck, and we hope this checklist helps you achieve your dreams!

Excel financial model

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