Even though the financial climate is not ideal if you are prepared to look at the possiblity of opening your own restaurant as a long-term prospect now could be the right time, especially if you have a deep love of good food and wine and enjoy entertaining people.

Perhaps the thought of opening a restaurant may have often occured to you, especially if your social peers encourage you to take the plunge. On the other hand it may have always been a secret ambition since childhood. If the dream of owning a restaurant is gaining momentum, now may be time to see if you will really make a restaurateur.

However you came to the decision to open a restaurant before you make the commitment remember that this line of business is one of the hardest to make a living from; you really need to understand not just about producing great food, but also how to handle all types of people.

To have any chance of success you will require plenty of cash or sound financial backing, boundless energy, an ability to keep cool under pressure and above all a real dedication to what is not so much a job but more a way of life.

If you are determined to go ahead and make the dream a reality we would simply say take heed of the few common sense practicalities listed below:

Bear in mind it is one thing turning out delicious meals for friends and family it is quite another matter choosing, purchasing, organising and cooking food twenty-four/seven.

You will need excellent health and enormous reserves of energy – standing on your feet all day preparing food is one of the most exhausting jobs you can do.

The restaurant trade is very competitive and many fail within the first year.
It is very difficult to take time off or go on holiday when you are the boss.

Top class staff, whether in the kitchen or waiting at tables can be expensive and difficult to find – although perhaps not so much as before.

If you need financial support from the bank you will need a well-prepared and realistic business plan before putting forward your case.

Choose a location for your proposed restaurant where you are guaranteed regular customers with plenty of disposable income. Also never purchase a property that requires too many structural changes.

Avoid the peril of having no budget left over from setting up expenses. You will always need a float to tide you over during the quiet times that are inevitable.

Ensure that you have plenty of reliable sources for fresh local produce as these can often be the mainstay of a popular menu.

Choose comfort over style when it comes to seating. The elderly and people with back trouble won’t bother to return if they can’t wait to get out of hard upright chairs.

Invest in good quality table linen, china, glass and cutlery as stylish tables can speak volumes about your restaurant.

If you feel the need for background music, keep it low-key and unobtrusive.

Good and plentiful parking can often make the difference between success and failure, so choose premises where plenty of hungry diners can park easily.

Make sure you have a workable booking system and remember that two sittings in an evening, no matter how profitable it may appear on paper, can lead to serious problems if people are late or linger too long over their coffee.

Check out the competition, find out how successful they are and try not to imitate their style too much. Contrast is usually more enticing for would-be diners, who prefer to ring the gastronomic changes.

You will need a strong marketing strategy if you are going to snatch customers away from other restaurants in the area.

Remember initial curiosity will help fill tables but only excellent food and good service will keep the punters returning again and again.

Serving cheap ingredients at inflated prices is the sure road to ruin.

When you first strike out on your own it can at times, especially when business is slack, seem very depressing and frightening. Don’t worry this is dead normal, even some of the UK’s most innovative and successful entrepreneurs have been through this. If you are still convinced that running a restaurant is for you just grit your teeth and remember that bad times usually improve after a period of time.