How to open a restaurant in the United States this 2023?

Open a restaurant in the United States

Opening a restaurant not only requires a large capital or investment. You must also have a business plan and a solid commitment to carry out what you want. But this is not enough: beyond the money and effort, you must consider the permits and requirements demanded by the country in which you want to start a business. Learn below how to open a restaurant in the United States and begin to materialize your dream. 

Although starting a business is a complicated task, the truth is that more and more entrepreneurs decide to take the first step and take risks. Nobody has said that an enterprise is simple, when you have a realistic idea and great willpower everything is possible. 

Also read: How much to invest if you want to have a food and beverage business?

What does it take to open a restaurant in the United States? 

To open a restaurant or other type of business in the food sector, you will not only need a powerful idea and demand among potential customers. It is essential to have the necessary permits and licenses required by law. 

These requirements, in addition to helping you legally establish your business, will also become symbols of trust and security for your employees, suppliers and customers. 

However, before obtaining these permits, it is important that you have in mind other elements necessary to take your business to success. 

  • Establish your business idea. 
  • Conduct research that allows you to assess the demand for your product or service, market, scope and competition. 
  • Plan your finances to know how much you should invest. 
  • Seek financing if required. You can resort to bank loans or credits. 

How much does it cost to start a restaurant? 

This is perhaps one of the most common questions asked by entrepreneurs who want to know how to start a restaurant. Although there is no manual that determines a specific cost, there are several factors that can be taken into account that can help you establish a market share

type of restaurant

The cost of opening a food establishment will depend on the type of business you want to start. It is obvious that an haute cuisine restaurant will not cost the same as a fast food one. 


The location you choose for your restaurant will become a determining factor for your budget. Keep in mind that renting a place on the outskirts of the city or on the side of a highway will be cheaper than choosing a busy area with a high flow of vehicles and pedestrians. 

Licenses and permits 

Perhaps this is the most important part if you want to start a business, and that is that without restaurant certificates you will not be able to start your business legally. Remember that the prices of these requirements vary according to the city you choose. 

menu and service 

Without a doubt, the food and drinks that you offer will give you a clearer idea of ​​what your business can cost . The more select your dishes are, the greater the investment. This also applies to the service, because if you decide to offer it at home as well, you will need a larger budget. 

Marketing your business 

Few businesses today stand out from the competition without proper promotion. This is the point at which a marketing campaign that allows you to make your brand known comes into action. 

Equip your restaurant and hire your staff 

If customers are the essence of your business, employees and your entire work team are the heart. Therefore, you must consider in advance the furniture, tools, personnel and positions that you must cover. 


In the United States, the cost of insurance coverage is critical to opening a restaurant. If you want to protect your business, you can consult an insurance advisor to provide you with the best options and prepare you for any eventuality. 

Licenses and permits

As we mentioned before, licenses and permits to open a restaurant are fundamental and extremely important parts of proper operation. Here we will show you the necessary ones so that you can start operating immediately and legally. 

Business License 

 Meeting this requirement will classify your business as a legal business entity at the state and federal levels. 

Food handler’s license 

It is one of the most important licenses if you want to open a restaurant, as it will determine, through an inspection, that your business is a place where food can be handled professionally. 

Federal business license 

As its name indicates, this license is necessary for restaurants that have activities regulated by a federal agency, such as the transportation of foods of animal and vegetable origin. 

Health license 

It is granted by the Department of Health and certifies that your business has adequate food storage, pest control and employee hygiene. 

Tax permit

It is essential to start operating since the correct operation of your business before the law depends on this permit. 

Employee Health Leave

As its name indicates, it is a document that certifies that your employees have the necessary preparation to handle food. 

Alcoholic beverage license

If you offer alcoholic beverages in your business, you must have a certificate that allows it. 

Music license

This will allow you to play music in your business in any type of format. It is also necessary in case of hiring a DJ or including karaoke. 

Cabaret license

It is necessary if you plan to offer live music inside your restaurant. 

Trademark license 

Determine if your business is a franchise or an original venture. 

Building license 

It is issued by fire commissioners and certifies that your business or restaurant is safe, and has emergency exits and fire extinguishers, among other aspects. 

Food Facility Permit 

In case you plan to reform an existing business or plan to build a new one, you must obtain this permit. 

In this article on how to obtain a license to sell food in the US and Mexico, you will learn the best way to obtain this permit without major complications.    

Also read: How to choose the best place for a business?

How to start a restaurant business? 

As we mentioned at the beginning, opening a restaurant is not an easy task. However, it can be achieved successfully and effectively with the permissions that certify you and the following recommendations. 


Make sure you use the best quality foods for your dishes, in addition to creating a consistent and varied menu that gives your brand identity. We recommend you change your menu by season and add star dishes. 


Just as your menu must be varied and consistent, your service must not be left behind. Make sure you have reliable, committed employees who understand your business vision. Train them and communicate with them if you want to lead your business to success.

Location and Facilities 

These two factors will become the cover letter of your business to your customers. Keep in mind that your facilities must show the style of your menu, in addition to ensuring a pleasant environment for each client. 


Cleanliness and hygiene are not guaranteed only with a certificate. You must make an effort to keep your business clean at all times and ensure the hygiene of the uniforms and appearance of your collaborators, among other details of the establishment. 

Expense control 

This will become the backbone of your business since it will allow you to know the expenses and income of your business. Thanks to this information, you will know how to optimize tasks and processes that make your restaurant perform at its best. 

What types of businesses are more profitable? 

Sometimes, how to open a restaurant in the United States is not the most complicated thing. Many entrepreneurs do not know exactly the type of business to implement. If you find yourself in the same situation, the following ideas can guide you. 

Vegetarian or vegan food 

Although it is hard to believe, the vegetarian and vegan food sector offers very little competition. Therefore, it can become a good business option. Take it seriously and offer an attractive menu, facilities and costs. 

food trucks 

This business is still booming despite its years of existence. Its greatest benefit is mobility, which means that it does not require a greater investment than traditional restaurants and gives you the advantage of constantly innovating your products. 

Fast food 

This type of restaurant gives you the opportunity to offer products such as wings, hamburgers, and pizzas, among many others. They are businesses that have a wide market and constant income. Try to make your product stand out from the competition. 


It is a venture with a high initial cost, but that can provide you with safe, fast and constant profitability. This type of business has the advantage of obtaining loyal customers who will serve as unofficial promoters. 


It is a business that can become part of everyday life in an area. It can grow without the need for constant investment and offers a wide variety of food and drinks. 

Also read: 10 Coffee Shops Business Ideas You Can Start

What do I need to start my restaurant?

Opening a restaurant in the United States is a challenge that demands the best of every entrepreneur. Keep in mind that we are not only talking about a process that requires planning, investment and various licenses and permits to operate. It is also necessary to have a product and service that people need and require at all times. 

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