How to Open a Restaurant in the UK: 5 Details you Shouldn't Forget

How to Open a Restaurant in the UK: 5 Details you Shouldn't Forget
Opening a Restaurant in the UK - Final Steps Before Opening

Opening a restaurant is an exciting and diverse journey. From creating a solid business plan to designing a tasteful menu and supervising kitchen installation, there are thousands of steps that need to be done right before opening.

With so many things to consider, it is easy to forget some final steps. This guide provides a list of things that you shouldn't forget, as they can make a huge difference in the success of your restaurant.

From choosing the right card reader for seamless payment transactions to creating the perfect atmosphere with the right lighting, these small yet crucial details will elevate your restaurant to the next level from the first day you start operating.

So don't stress, get inspired, and let’ begin!

Choosing the Right Card Reader for your Restaurant

Card readers are more than just devices for processing fast and secure payments, they are an essential part of the restaurant.

Nowadays, over 70% of customers pay with cards, rather than cash. Therefore, finding the right card reader is a crucial decision from a business and operating perspective. These devices are now equipped with a variety of useful services tailored for restaurants, and each company has different offerings and pricing models.

For instance, there are card readers such as Yavin and SumUp that include extra features specifically to meet restaurant’s needs.

Yavin SumUp
Group-7 SumUp-Orange--2-
Price of Terminal £199 £129
Monthly Fee £25 NA
Commissions ~0.7% 2.75%
Payout 1 day 1-3 days
PoS Integration 30+ integrations SumUp PoS
Google Reviews Yes No
Tipping Yes Yes
Link to offer Get started with Yavin Get started with SumUp

If you are opening a small restaurant or food truck, SumUp can be a more attractive option since their devices are economical and there are no monthly fees. The only downside is that the commission rates are higher, since you don't need to make a minimum number of monthly sales.

But if you are opening a more established restaurant, Yavin is a great option. Having higher transactions, give you access to lower commission rates. Also, with Yavin you can integrate more advanced PoS systems and add online reviews.

This is what you can expect from the most advanced card readers:

PoS integration

As a restaurant, the ability to integrate PoS system is a must and something you should definitely prioritize.

If you do not have a Point of Sale (PoS), SumUp offers its own PoS as an additional service.

On the other hand, if you are planning on acquiring one, Yavin has the ability to integrate any PoS.

Ability to accepts tips with card

This feature can significantly improve the average tip collection, mainly because diners who pay with card tend to not leave tip.

Remember that collecting tips is a great way to maintain your staff motivated!

Customers can choose the tipping percentage or type a specific quantity after paying the bill. The tip will then be registered in a different account to maintain a clear distinction between sales and tips.

Online reviews

With this feature, new restaurants can quickly accumulate Google reviews and attract new customers. The more positive reviews your restaurant receives, the higher it will rank on Google.

Yavin has done an excellent job with this feature. Diners can rate the service on the screen, and if they rate it highly, they will be asked to provide their phone number to receive a link and add a review instantly.

Other important features to consider include:

  • Touch screen
  • Ability to process fast and multiple transactions a day
  • E-tickets and customized receipts
  • 4G included
  • Resistant hardware
  • Long lasting battery

These are a range of features you can expect, that are worth the investment as they are designed to improve efficiency and customer payment experience.

📰 MobileTerminal: What is the best card reader in the UK?

Using Appropriate Lighting in the Restaurant

Proper lighting is often underestimated, but it is actually one of the most important parts of decoration. Playing with different colors, shadows, and lamps positioning will give totally different vibe. The right lighting can take a space from ordinary to extraordinary. So, it should always be given the attention it deserves when decorating a space.

Prioritize natural lights

During the day, natural light is one of the most essential elements when it comes to creating a warm and inviting atmosphere. It has the ability to make everything look better. From adding sparkle to the glasses to creating beautiful shifting shadows and tonalities throughout the day. So, in terms of design it is always recommended to prioritize natural lighting whenever possible.

Create a cozy environment with warmer colors

If your establishment does not have enough natural light, you can opt for warmer artificial light to create a cozy and inviting ambiance.

White lights can on the other hand, create a sterile and unpleasant atmosphere. So, it is highly recommended to avoid too bright lighting, especially in the dining area.

Use proper illumination during the evening

At night, secondary lighting like wall sconces, table lamps and candles are the best  way to create a warm and cozy atmosphere. These type of illumination make guests feel more relaxed and at home.

Avoid lamps that emit heat

When choosing lamps, it is important to select ones that do not emit heat, as this can increase the temperature of the area and make it uncomfortable for guests and servers.

Opt for LED lights as they remain cool and spend less energy which make them a great investment in the long term.

Take advantage of lighting placement

Strategically place lamps or candles throughout the establishment to create a beautiful tonalities and shadows. This detail will keep guests delighted!

To enhance food presentation, incorporate ceiling lamps at each table to light up the food. This will make it look more appetizing and Instagrammable.

Lighting, in particular, can be used in various ways to completely transform the ambiance. So, being creative is essential to achieve a unique and joyful ambience for a restaurant.

Ensuring Noise Absorption Inside the Restaurant

There is nothing better than having a great conversation while enjoying a delicious meal. Unfortunately, not all restaurants are noise friendly. Plenty of places have bad acoustics creating a noisy environment where people have to raise their voice to talk, converting the moment into a very painful experience.

As a restaurant owner, creating a pleasant dining experience involves also thinking in ways that you can improve the acoustics of the rooms and regulate the noise level. Here you can find some recommendations:

Incorporate absorbing materials inside the walls

Restaurant’s acoustics can start from the construction stage, by adding absorbing materials like acoustic panels inside the walls and sealings. This will help to absorb the waves of the sound and reduce the overall noise in the dining area.

Avoid flat walls

Flat walls reflect the sound directly to the common areas as the sound waves do not get destroyed. Prefer non-flat walls like decoration with patterns as they distribute the sound to different parts of the room, helping to decrease sound waves and redirect them to less crowded spaces.

Avoid dense materials

Materials like marble, ceramic, glass, and concrete score high in noise reflection meaning that sound will  easily bounce back. Rather, choose plaster walls, as the porosity helps absorb sound and reduce to redistribute sound.

You can still use hard materials in moderation  in strategic areas like the entrance or bathrooms.

Prioritize porous materials

To balance acoustics, use decoration made of soft and porous materials such as fabric curtains on the windows or tablecloths. Porosity is a great absorber of sound because the materials trap sound waves and prevent them from bouncing around the room.

Use decoration to pivot the sound to other areas

Same as with non flat walls, the decoration can redistribute the sound to different areas of the room like the sealing or  floors. Some examples are plants, statutes or even chunky furniture.

Don't let your diners feel like they're eating in a crowded food court! Get creative and have fun with the materials you choose to improve your place's acoustics. Keep the good vibes flowing and ensure your diners have an enjoyable time!

Finding the Best Restaurant Table Layout to Improve Movement

Creating an aesthetically pleasing environment is undoubtedly important for your restaurant. However, it is equally important to think of the most optimized layout to improve efficiency.

A well planned table accommodation will likely reduce accidents caused by constant bumping between the staff and the diners. On the other hand, it will improve the efficiency and ability of staff to move faster and smoothly from the kitchen to the dinning table.

To plan the perfect layout:

  1. Start by considering the style of the restaurant. Each style requires a different layout. For example a fine dining restaurant needs more privacy between tables, thus requiring more space from table to table. Casual restaurants can have tighter spaces, but it's crucial to pay close attention to walkway length, and whether they're wide enough for two people to walk in different directions.
  2. Sketch multiple layouts prioritizing a clear and intuitive path for diners. From the moment they arrive at the restaurant, to when they walk to the bathroom.  Think form every perspective of every table and trace routes until you find the perfect layout.
  3. Create a specific route for restaurant staff. One walkway should be used for going in one direction like the kitchen and the other for coming back to the dining area.
  4. Test the layout and decide the one that best works for your space. There are online platforms where you can sketch the layout and fully maximize the spaces.
  5. Finally, train the staff so that they understand the flow and the walkways that will be mostly used by diners and the ones specifically used by the staff.

Remember that a well planned layout is the foundation to operating smoothly and reducing times to deliver fast service. So take the time to make sure you get the best layout possible, experiment, move some tables around and watch the efficiency increase!

Ensuring Accessibility in your Restaurant

Ensuring accessibility in your restaurant is undoubtedly important to make everyone at your establishment feel welcomed.  Basic measures include having a wide door entrance, ramps for wheelchair access, and a disabled toilet.

And if you are wondering if restaurants have to be wheelchair accessible in the UK, the answer is yes. If your restaurant is larger than 250 square meters or has a capacity of over 16 people, having a disabled toilet is a legal requirement.

But we recommend going beyond these regulations by implementing additional small and easy changes to create a fully comfortable experience for everyone.

Make the restaurant easy to navigate

Going beyond the basics in terms of restaurant accessibility means providing a space where diners can enjoy their meals without any complications. To achieve this, consider having wheelchair-friendly tables at the entrance and having a wide walkway that leads to the restroom. You can also place stickers at the front of the restaurant to let people know it's accessible for them.

Menu accessibility

Providing a menu in Braille for visually impaired customers is a small gesture that can make a huge difference for those who need it. This will enable them to read the menu at their own pace without having to rely on the server to recite it.

Moreover, vision often worsens considerably after the age of 45, making it difficult to read small fonts. Therefore, having menus in bigger fonts is another way to enhance the restaurant experience for everyone.

Other especial modifications

  • Train your staff to always ask about allergies to provide a safe dining experience for all guests.
  • Make it accessible for customers with service dogs, so they feel comfortable. Consider buying dog supplies like treats and bowls of different sizes so that the animals can drink water.
  • Use non-slip mats or anti-slip tape in areas like stairs and entrance to prevent falls. This will be especially helpful for elder customers.

Elevating your Restaurant to Success

The restaurant industry is so competitive and providing an amazing service sometimes is not enough.

Details can play a big role in making the restaurant efficient while creating the best atmosphere.

Creativity plays a big role on standing out and surely by incorporating these details your restaurant will be on its way to success. 🚀

Best of luck and don’t forget to visit the blog for more tips!

📰 MobileTerminal: What is the best card reader in the UK?