Many people dream of opening their own restaurant. However, often times they don’t realize how much work it involves. Restaurant owners work long hours and are responsible for everything from finances to scheduling to customer service. Restaurants are not a get-rich-quick opportunity, either. A successful restaurant requires patience and perseverance.There are many types of restaurant concepts to choose, from fast food franchises to elegant fine dining and everything in between. When considering what type of restaurant concept to choose, think about your intended customer base. It is families? Singles? College students? How much money are you willing to invest? Are you going to start small and grow or go big right from the start? It’s important to have a defined concept in mind before you sit down to write your business plan.A good location is vital for any restaurant, and not all locations are equal. Factors to consider when choosing a location for a new restaurant include visibility, traffic (either on foot or by car), size, and cost. If renovations are needed to the space, be sure you have it in writing, who pays for what (you or the landlord).One of biggest expenses of opening a new restaurant is buying commercial grade equipment. It can quickly eat up much of your start-up capital. The good news is that restaurant equipment is durable and buying certain pieces second-hand can save you a lot of money.You may choose to create a restaurant menu first and build your concept around it, or vice versa. Either way, creating a restaurant menu is more than just writing up a list of dishes with descriptions. You need to understand food cost, and how to maximize your profits. It’s also good to know some design tricks to make a menu easier to read.Today, restaurants across the country are under a great deal of scrutiny for their children’s menu, resulting in fast food giants like McDonalds including healthier options in their kid’s meals. This growing trend is likely to become the industry norm, so adjusting your children’s menu to offer healthy meals make sense. There are many ways to improve the nutritional value of children’s restaurant meals that are both easy and affordable.Effective restaurant management includes both the front and back-of-the house. Along with dealing with staff relations, managing a restaurant also includes managing finances, stock, inventory and dealing with customer complaints, public relations, and the list goes on and on.The promise of good food lures customers to your restaurant, while good service keeps them coming back. In a business where the customer is always right, how you handle customer complaints, show customer appreciation and promote your restaurant is important for return businessThere are many different types of restaurant promotions, from the standard happy hour to specialty tasting dinners. Promotions can run nightly, weekly, monthly or less frequently. They are a good way to bring in extra business during slower shifts, like mid-week evenings.Restaurant catering offers an opportunity to increase sales and expand your customer base. There are many different types of catering options -site to off-premise. Catering opportunities include business catering, holiday catering or large events like weddings, as well as community fundraising events. Catering is ideal for restaurants, which already employ a trained staff and own much of the equipment needed.