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Setting up a self-service restaurant – Start-up guide, tips and requirements

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Starting the self-service business

The food business is undoubtedly the venture of the moment. Whether you set up a restaurant, a rotisserie, a cafeteria, a supermarket or a mini-market, among many other self-service business options, it is a safe and profitable investment if it is well managed.

That is why if you are looking to start your own business, this may be the option you were looking for. Below we show you how to set up a self-service business and start your independent business with everything you need, taking into account that laundry, products and restaurants are the central axes of this business concept.

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Running a self-service business

This business is related to the laundry system, product acquisition or restaurant, self-service, which are almost always located in shopping centers, and other spaces near residences, where people pay a modest amount.

Laundromats, product sales or self-service restaurants represent an expansion of the traditional service concept. Therefore, with a relatively small capital investment, you have the opportunity to start your own business that gives you the freedom of not having to be physically in a store or office all day. It would be enough just to go at the end of the day to collect the profits from the self-service operation.

Starting the self-service business

Why open a self-service business?

Proximity: you may wonder why set up a self-service store if there happen to be supermarkets. The problem with them lies in the word “everything”. They are too big, they offer an excess of options that leads to confusion, a crowd gathers in them during rush hours and finding what you are looking for can take time. So self-service shops come into play, offering the indispensable and faster.

Personalised attention: these businesses are usually attended to at the checkouts by their owners. This is one of the most valuable loyalty tools. It is not at all the same to be attended by a different person every day, who considers us a number, than by those who know us, know about our tastes and, therefore, can recommend us the best for us.

Requirements of a self-service business

This business, like all businesses, requires registration and documentation necessary for operation, especially since you will have to contact suppliers. Check with your local authority for the documents you need to register your self-service business.

On the other hand, within the requirements, you need a good location, which, as mentioned above, can be in a shopping center, but you should also consider residential areas and find customers such as students, families, tourists, executives, among others.

Another very important requirement is related to the quality and speed of the service, because if you want the self-service to become a profitable business you need to offer a high quality service.

How do I start my own self-service business?

First of all, to start from scratch and know perfectly how to set up a self-service business, you need to get a location. Of course, due to the characteristics of the business, it should be small.

Once you have it, the stage of equipping it begins. Here you will acquire refrigerated display cases, refrigerators, ovens, baking plates, stainless steel containers for the food in the rotisserie sector, gondola shelves, slicers and cash registers. Everything according to the type of business you want to install.

Do a market study and select the best suppliers. Then, it is time to select the personnel: for each area, choose suitable people in each sector: delicatessen, rotisserie, bakery, replacement, cadet shop, cash desk, administration, etc.

Key tips for opening a self-service restaurant 

Opening a business implies thinking about the clients and their needs, offering a space, whether it is a laundry room, a product shop or a restaurant, that is functional, easy to use and modern, with efficient last generation machines that all work. A supply service of the best brand, of recognized quality, as well as fair prices.

It is important to supply quality products, because on it and the efficiency of the service, depends the next visit of the users and the possibility of being recommended.

Weaknesses: gaining a position in the market is an aspect that is difficult, especially with the concept of self-service, since it takes time for customers to become familiar with the business mode and operation to obtain the service product. The absence of physical staff can be overwhelming for many people, especially those who will be using the service for the first time as is the case with older people in self-service washing.

To counteract this situation, what you can do is propose teaching and explanation days, as well as putting up simple operating manuals. This will prevent your customers from giving up the service.

Requirements of a self-service business

Advantages: Some advantages of the self-service business are the reduction of costs in the hiring of personnel, since it is not necessary to have a team of people offering the service or product during the whole day of availability.

On the other hand, it is a competitive concept, it offers an efficient service. It offers autonomy to both the employer and the customer. As there are no intermediaries, the process is faster and everyone wins with efficiency.

Self-service businesses establish a win-win relationship. Customers can quickly find the answers, without waiting for someone to attend or respond to an email, and the business solves simple problems without wasting valuable time and resources.

And you, what are you waiting for to start your business?