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What are the Best Restaurant Hours? Daily decision-making is a part of any restaurant business especially if the venture is newly undertaken. One such important decision would have to be the hours of operation of your restaurant. Limiting your restaurant hours can also limit your chance to turn a profit. Open too often and you may be looking at an empty restaurant for an extended period of time. Coming up with your restaurant’s operating hours hinges on the general theme and concept of your business. The operating hours of an upscale establishment are different from that of a casual, family-style eatery. If you are thinking of opening a bar, you need to consider if you will also serve food like a brewpub. Look around the neighborhood of your establishment and note what kind of businesses and potential customers are in the vicinity. Is the neighborhood filled with places serving breakfast, or is there no breakfast place that opens early? Is the customer traffic sufficient to prop up your business? If a bar is what you have in mind, what food and drinks can you offer that other bars in the area can’t? Opening a bar also means checking with the local city hall the zoning regulations that may limit your business hours. An example would be the strict noise and crowd zoning rules that apply to establishments close to residential houses.
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You may also want to take into consideration the life/work balance you see yourself having. If you intend to serve all three meals, you have to be around from sunrise to sunset and supervise the staff for each shift. As a new restaurant owner, you may want to try first opening for breakfast/lunch or lunch/dinner only.
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Beside the hours, you also need to think the days you will be open. Many restaurants take a break once a week which is normally a Monday. Nevertheless, if your neighboring restaurants are closed on a particular day of the week, open yours so you can capture all the famished people looking for a place to eat. If your establishment is in a business district and your market is composed of office workers out for lunch or breakfast, it might be sensible not to open on weekends when they are not around. It is possible someday that your customers will demand longer operating hours as your business satisfies their needs. But before extending your hours, cautiously look at the consequences in terms of operation and manpower needs. Compute whether the supplemental profits you will earn from the additional hours are enough to cover the costs of extra utility and manpower. Know your breakeven point and make your schedule in conformance to what is appropriate.