restaurant in Toronto

The Challenges in Setting Up a Restaurant in Toronto

Running a restaurant business in Toronto can be lucrative. But that is subjected to a constraint—it should encounter success.

If it fails to be successful, you will suffer immense losses. But, again, you cannot guarantee success due to the stiff competition prevailing.

If you look at the restaurant business landscape in Toronto, you will see that many restaurants open yearly. Still, many of them close within a few months of operations.

The reason is not difficult to figure out. Due to the availability of several restaurants, new ones find it challenging to attract customers. As a result, such restaurants encounter losses.

As such, becoming a successful restaurant owner is not an easy venture. And, finding success in this line of business is tough.

Therefore, if you have decided to enter the restaurant business in Toronto, you should make yourself aware of the inherent challenges of running the business.

One of the effective ways of successfully running a restaurant can be opening it in a high-traffic location. Although you cannot guarantee success, there can be a possibility of getting footfall in your restaurant.

Again, you will encounter another challenge in setting up a restaurant in a high-traffic location that gives more visibility to your restaurant. Usually, the costs for such spaces are very high. As a result, you will have to incur a high initial investment for setting up the restaurant.

Regardless of the associated challenges, a restaurant business can be lucrative. However, to be successful, you have to deal with the challenges. And for that, you have to gather all the essential information.

The Challenges You are Likely to Encounter

The first thing to consider is the challenges you will likely face while setting up and running your restaurant. Remember, you cannot escape encountering challenges.

Again, you should clarify why you want to enter the restaurant business. For example, food can be your passion. And you want to monetize your passion. Likewise, your intent for running a restaurant can be to interact with customers with the same passion as yours.

Can You Fund the Entire Expenditure?

You should have the necessary funds to start your restaurant venture. And you must have a significant budget to start the ball rolling. Also, the initial costs are substantial.

Again, you might consider obtaining a bank loan to fund your project. But you will encounter a challenge here also. Most banks do not prefer granting loans to new businesses. So, you might fail to get a loan sanctioned for setting up your restaurant by a bank.

Therefore, you must arrange the funds for your venture on your own. At the same time, you can look for some part financing options, such as business loans, if available.

When it comes to the financing options, you must ensure that you can fund all the expenses, such as the rent, employee salaries, ingredients, items, cleaning services, appliances, etc.

Therefore, you should arrange for the funds before launching your restaurant venture.

Have You Found a Suitable Space that Works for You?

The space where you set up your restaurant is a crucial decisive factor for the success of your restaurant. Therefore, do not fail to find an area that will work for your business venture.

Bear in mind that your restaurant venture will fail if the space does not work for you. And you will suffer severe financial losses in case of failure.

Again, finding a suitable space to set up your restaurant in Toronto can be challenging. Despite that, you should try to find an area with substantial footfalls.

Have You Obtained the Necessary License for Serving Food and Drink?

You cannot run your restaurant just by getting it ready. You should also obtain the required licenses and permits.

As you might know, serving alcohol is essential to attract customers in Toronto. But you must know you need a license to serve alcohol in your restaurant.

In addition, you will also need a permit to serve food.

However, there is no need to worry. The process of obtaining the essential licenses and restaurant permits is not very difficult. You can easily obtain them. We will discuss the involved procedure later on.

Are You Ready to Comply with the Regulations in Toronto?

You must remember that running a restaurant in Toronto calls for the adherence to a set of stringent regulations. Therefore, you should run your restaurant adhering to the mandated rules.

Remember that you have to comply with stringent kitchen maintenance rules. And inspectors will often visit your restaurant to inspect the kitchen.

Therefore, you should ensure that your restaurant’s kitchen is always up-to-date, adhering to the regulations related to food handling and storage requirements.

Procedure for Obtaining Restaurant License

Before applying to the Licensing and Permit Issuing Office to obtain a restaurant license, you must furnish an approved Zoning Review of Business License.

However, it is not required if you are taking over an existing restaurant with a valid business license.

After furnishing the Zoning Review of Business License, you can proceed to obtain the restaurant license.

The first pre-requisite for obtaining the license is submitting the essential ID proofs, which can be two pieces of the following government-issued identification:

  • Canadian Passport
  • Driver’s License
  • Canadian Birth Certificate
  • Citizenship Card
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • SIN Card (Social Insurance Number)
  • Valid Work Permit

You can apply for the license online or in person by visiting the office. The online mode is convenient and time-saving. So, it will help if you apply through the online mode.

You must notify the Medical Officer of Health before starting your restaurant business.

The Final Say

Despite running a restaurant in Toronto, many restaurant owners are finding success, including newbies. You need to take calculated risks and go ahead. And you also assess the possible challenges you are likely to encounter in your restaurant venture. And you should formulate a counter-strategy to tackle the possible challenges. In addition, you need adequate funds to run your restaurant business apart from a suitable place to set up your restaurant in Toronto.