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Diner Business Idea

Learning how to start a diner is just the beginning of an exciting and promising business venture. Typically, diners are not as negatively affected by economic downturns as some other food service businesses are.

Diners generally offer good food at reasonable prices which makes them extremely popular at any time.

Start the licensing and registration processes early by contacting your state and local health department and governing agencies. As you learn more about how to start a diner, you will find that diners are subject to numerous food safety regulations.

Some states require that food handling licenses be obtained by anyone handling food for public consumption. Many of the local and state regulations will have a direct correlation to the actual building you choose.

Regulations may include laws about how many bathrooms the diner must have, the distance the bathrooms must be from the dining area and kitchen, what the requirements are for air filtration, and other mandatory regulations.

If these laws are not followed, your diner may not be allowed to open or may be forced to close until you meet the requirements.

How To Start A Diner – Keys To Success

Choosing the right location is essential. Not only do you have to make sure the location complies with health regulations, the location must already have a steady stream of potential customers nearby.

This is especially important for new businesses that don’t yet have name recognition. Your location should include or have room for the kitchen, bathrooms, seating, tables, booths, counters, and food and supply storage.

Many successful diners use a theme by which to distinguish themselves. For example, a diner decorated in a 1950s theme with a name like “Fab Fifties Diner” will be unforgettable. Nostalgia is a popular diner theme, but other possible themes include country, fishing, nautical, trains, trolleys, and historical.

A unique atmosphere and catchy name will make your diner stand out from the rest.

As you learn more about how to start a diner, remember that diner patrons expect good food and friendly service. They may first be attracted by the diner’s name and motif, but it’s great service, reasonable prices, and tasty food that bring them back.

Bringing Customers In Your Door

Happy customers will tell their friends about your diner so high quality food and service is your first line of attack. Freely give out business cards, coupons, and menus.

Consider joining the local Chamber of Commerce and become involved in their events. Partnering with nearby businesses during the holidays or for charity events will often bring more customers to your diner.

Other ways to find new customers may include the following:

  • Advertise in the local media
  • Attend community events
  • Offer free food along with a specific purchase
  • Offer return customer incentives
  • Create a small, informational web site where you include your hours, address, driving directions, phone number, and menu

Expanding Your Business

Thinking about how to start a diner is only the beginning. As more people hear about your diner’s quality food and service, you may find yourself looking for ways to add more seating. Catering is a service that could be added to potentially increase profits as well.

If you have room, part of the diner could be made available to customers to rent for private parties and business meetings. If business is excellent, you may choose to add an addition or move to a larger location.

As you learn how to start a diner, become successful, and continue to grow, remember the basics. Offer diner patrons an experience they can’t get anywhere else and they will come back again and again.

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