Tips on Opening a Fine Dining Restaurant

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Much like any other forms of business, the opening a fine dining restaurant requires a thorough amount of preparation. You can’t just dive into the water and swim with the fish. You have to think like the fish. Unlike the other types of restaurants, fine dining requires a great deal of attention to detail in serving the finest food, great service, and creating the perfect atmosphere to go along with.

Here is a list of what you need to do before opening up a fine dining restaurant:

1. Define what you mean when you say “fine dining”. People have different interpretations and how you present your restaurant will greatly mirror what is your own interpretation. You can claim that your restaurant is a fine dining restaurant but maybe for some who have higher standards, yours just falls under the category of casual dining. Always give high priority on the food, the service and the set-up of your restaurant. 

2. Select a location. Selection an accessible location is important. If your targets are people who have deeper budgets, then you would want to establish your restaurant near commercial buildings, or near exclusive villages. Always a strategic location that is conveniently accessible for your target customers. In Dubai, DIFC and The Palm Jumeirah are the most prestigious areas where you can find unique high end restaurants.

3. Create a fine dining menu. Offer something that would set you apart from your competitors. Make sure the presentation of the menu is elegant.

4. Purchase fine dining equipment. There should be a separate plate, glass, spoon, knife, etc. for every food. The size of your utensils like plates, fork, knife, and others should also be based on your menu. People who enjoy fine dining restaurants will recognize and appreciate bone china and Bohemian crystal glasses.

5. Hire highly trained staff who are skilled in providing high quality service and possess proper etiquette. Waiters should know the menu like the back of their hand. This way they can immediately answer any questions by the customers regarding the food and not keep asking the chef for the answer and making the customers wait. That is bad service. Also hire a chef that is not satisfied with the current recipe. Someone who wants to keep improving and grow. If he grows, then your business also will.

6. Connect with farm owners. This way you can ensure yourself that you will have supply in your restaurant and that they are always fresh. This will also save you money by purchasing directly from the source and not going through middlemen. There is a number of farms in UAE that produce organic fruits and vegetables.

7. Follow a reservation system. Formulate a procedure on how customers can reserve a table and how long should you keep it reserved before giving it away to walk-in diners with no reservations. 

8. Always provide only first class service and always prioritize the convenience of your customers. Fine dining restaurants should guarantee customers an unforgettable dining experience each time. 

Also, keep in mind that there is nothing like a restaurant which has a good local feel to it.  Once you have decided on the location and the cuisine, you have to blend in with the local community. So your fine dining restaurant will become a place where people are greeted at the entrance as someone who goes there every day. Fine dining restaurants are the places where business partners seal deals and gentlemen propose marriage. Such places should be very special and in the same time comfortable.

*By Gergana Mineva, certified Senior Real Estate Consultant, specializing in DIFC and Downtown. If you are looking for a suitable commercial space for a fine dining restaurant, you may contact the author by email.

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