Starting a Fine Dining Restaurant

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gourmet restaurant

It’s a tough time for restaurants at the moment with more casual-dining outlets and fine dining chains closing than any time in the last decade. A combination of growing business rates, the increased price of ingredients, the rising minimum wage, and reduced consumer confidence surrounding Brexit, have all impacted the restaurant industry.

Despite this, fine dining restaurants are still thriving across the UK’s towns and cities. Diners that want to get a taste of the chef’s table are showing a willingness to pay up for a special experience.

In this luxury industry, there’re plenty of opportunities to make big bucks. The best of the best are taking in hundreds per head. If you want to enter this thriving industry, you need to know the ins and outs of fine dining. Let’s get started.

What is a fine dining restaurant?

A gourmet restaurant prepares dishes from the highest quality ingredients using skill and practised techniques. They specialise in working with fine ingredients and preparing them with expert craft.

To take a traditional dish to the next level, chefs like to introduce new and exciting elements. This might involve introducing a particularly special ingredient, or using a certain culinary technique. The way the final dish is presented sets a gourmet restaurant apart from its competition.

The importance of healthy fine dining

The rise in popularity of the gourmet restaurant is in part thanks to a change in the way consumers are buying the food they eat.

Increasingly, people are concerned with where their food has come from and what nutritional value it has.

The gourmet restaurant model is able to offer food that has been ethically sourced, skilfully prepared and beautifully presented. Gourmet food and restaurants are only set to grow in their appeal, as health and well-being are priorities for many Brits.

How to start a fine dining restaurant

  1. Work out your budget. Just like in any venture, you need to know from the start how much starting a business is going to cost you. Launching a fine dining restaurant is going to come with high start-up costs. Remember: you’re going to have to attract the best chef’s in the business with generous pay-packets and make sure that your restaurant has the right equipment to master your menu.
  2. Choose the right location. For a fine dining restaurant to succeed, it’s going to need to be accessible to the right clientele. Setting up shop in a trendy location will guarantee that you will visible to diners with expensive tastes.However, it’s less important for a fine dining restaurant to be in an area with high footfall than a more casual establishment. The quality of your food should entice customers from far afield. That’s why some of Britain’s best restaurant experiences are found far away from the city, in the county’s quaint towns and villages.
  3. Find the right talent. If you want to start a restaurant that people will share with friends, family and colleagues, you need to have the right people in the kitchen. These are the individuals that are going to define your restaurant and its distinctive taste. With the best culinary talent being in high demand, it can be hard to pry gourmet chefs away from their current restaurant. You need to show them that you are building something special and that it is going to reflect well on their portfolio. To do that, you need to come up with a unique concept for your restaurant that your staff can buy in to. That could mean anything from specialising in specific cuisine to offering a mesmerising restaurant experience.
  4. Start a franchise. The easy way to tackle all of these dilemmas is to team-up with a brand that already has the solutions. Franchises like Veeno provide bespoke training programmes to help educate you and your staff in the art of a particular cuisine. Established restaurant franchises have already done the work in sourcing the finest ingredients. Partnering with a brand that has already done the research means that you simply have to follow a set-recipe for success.

The fine dining industry

Recently, casual dining and fast food outlets have been feeling the pinch. Customers are beginning to get tired of the menus of some of the country’s biggest high street restaurants.

This change in consumer dining habits is a result of people wanting more out of their dining experiences. A lot of the time, they want to know the nutritional value of what’s on their plate. This has opened the door for new health-inspired restaurant concepts to enter the market, and to charge a premium price for their signature dishes.

Fine dining is cashing in on this consumer demand for expert quality. Crystal Champagne glasses and starched white tablecloths are being replaced by trendy restaurant concepts that are appealing to the next generation of gourmet diners.

Examples of successful fine dining restaurants

When you’re entering a new industry, it always makes sense to research its success stories. Though copying them is not going to do you any favours, investigating their business strategies can inform you on what the market is receptive to.

Let’s have a look at some of the excellent fine dining restaurants that are serving up a storm here on the Point Franchise network:

Loaded Burgers

But a gourmet restaurant doesn’t need to be expensive to be enjoyable. Take Loaded Burgers for example. The priciest dish on the menu is the Fully Loaded burger at £22, yet this restaurant franchise has taken comfort food to the next level.

Loaded Burgers has made a name for itself in the capital by offering customers with giant portions of the finest ingredients around. Established by five brothers who were tired of only being able to find skinny, unappetising burgers around London, Loaded Burgers offers fresh, delicious burgers at reasonable prices. And to ensure that all customers could enjoy their top quality, flavoursome burgers, all the meat served is halal and approved by the Halal Food Certification.

The story of Loaded Burgers

This is a new brand with the first restaurant being opened in 2014, followed by a second in 2016. Due to the popularity of the concept to offer gourmet food for under £10, it’s now looking to expand through recruiting dynamic, ambitious and fun franchisees. This is a great opportunity to become part of an exciting franchise right at the beginning of its journey, as it’s set to grow by establishing restaurants all over the country.

Loaded Burgers franchise opportunities

If you’re considering investing in a franchise, then this opportunity is ideal if you want to take advantage of a considered and highly successful brand image. The Loaded Burgers franchise seems to be the answer to the demands of consumers who want a premium product at prices that won’t break the bank.

To become a franchisee, Loaded Burgers requires a minimum investment of £20,000. For this initial start-up cost, you’ll be granted rights to use the Loaded Burger image, name and identity, provided with shop equipment, and receive a great deal of support and assistance. This includes an initial training period, help to select a restaurant location, and advice on marketing and growth strategies. Loaded Burger's dedicated franchise specialists will be on hand to offer support throughout the early phases of the business.

Veeno

Veeno is UK-based chain of Italian wine bars that is filling up the glasses of its customers with the finest Sicilian flavours. All of its wine is sourced from the remote vineyards of rural Sicily, where the local terrain and environment combine to produce an excellent product.

To complement its wine list, Veeno also offers an apertivo menu that is packed with the tastes of the Italian south. Whether you are after some spuntini or a Sicilian-inspired salad, Veeno’s refined menu doesn’t disappoint.

With minimum start up-costs ranging from £75,000 to £100,000 depending on the scale of your venture, the Veeno franchise package offers potential for substantial turnover. By joining the brand, you will be following in the footsteps of the two Italians – Nino Caruso and Andrea Zecchino – who first brought Veeno to UK shores in 2013.

Since then, they were on the receiving end of the following accolades at the 2016 English Italian Awards:

  • Best Multiple Operator
  • Best Newcomer
  • Best Deli & Café

Other successful fine dining restaurants

Another great example of a famous fine dining experiment is The Araki, which is owned by internationally renowned sushi master Mitsuhiro Araki.

His restaurant and its singular tasting menu have won two Michelin stars. The dishes on the sushi menu include tuna with truffle, Irish abalone, and sea bream sashimi. His restaurant is also one of the most expensive in London too, with the 11-course tasting menu costing £600 for two people, and that’s without the wine.

With these market-leaders setting the pace in the fine-dining industry, you are going to need to be on your game to make a name for yourself. If you’re up to the challenge, this industry can earn you a fortune.

>> Read more articles on the Restaurant sector

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