Resources for Restaurant Project

Recently, we looked into several information sources for the Culinary “Creating a Start Up Business” project. Here is a quick review of what we discussed:

Local Government and Community Websites

Once you have chosen your restaurant location, you should find local government and community websites to learn more about your area and your competition.

Official City/County/Town Website
e.g., City of Maryland Heights (website includes demographics, interactive city and crime maps and current road construction projects).

Visitors Bureau
e.g., Maryland Heights Visitors Bureau (includes list of restaurants, map of restaurants and events calendar).

Chamber of Commerce
e.g., Maryland Heights Chamber of Commerce (includes guide for starting a new business in Missouri and map of Maryland Heights).

Demographics

You should find out the basics about your target market (population size, income, age, and gender).

St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association
Includes county profiles, population statistics, and an economic overview.

St. Louis County Demographics
See St. Louis County Data Summary and Crime Incident Maps.

St. Louis City Census Reports
See Neighborhood Census Results and 2010 Census Map.

University of Missouri’s Office of Social and Economic Development Analysis
Includes Missouri census data.

U.S. Census Bureau
Offers raw census data and reports.

American FactFinder
Follow these steps to find specific information about your particular area:
1. Select Geographies
2. Enter your county, city, or zip code and click Go.
3. Checkmark your county or zip code (usually the top result in the list).
4. Click Add to add to your selections.
5. Click the x to close Select Geographies.
6. Open one or two Search Results.
7. Click on a subdivision under People (such as Income & Earnings) to narrow your results.
8. Open one or two Search Results to help you decide whether to narrow your results any further or conduct a new search.

Consumer Expenditure Survey
Shows what people spend their money on. Note the category Food Away From Home, which indicates money spent at restaurants. The Current Expenditure Tables break down the data by region, income, age, etc. Combine this data with your local demographics for a good idea of what people in your area are likely to spend at restaurants per year.

Local Restaurants

After you have learned about your area, you should look up local restaurants to find out more about your competition.

St. Louis Fine Restaurant Guide
Offers a basic lists of restaurants in certain St. Louis areas.

Sauce Magazine’s Find a Restaurant Tool
Search by location.

Riverfront Times Restaurant Search
Filter by neighborhood.

Urbanspoon St. Louis
Select your neighborhood.

St. Louis County Restaurant Inspections
Browse by zip code or use the “Advanced Report Search.”

St. Louis City Dining Establishment Health Ratings and Inspection Reports
Search by neighborhood or zip code.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Dining Section
Find restaurant reviews and news.

Gale Business and Company Resource Center
If your competition includes a large or chain restaurant, you may be able to find detailed company information and financial data in this database.

Potential Purveyors

ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis – List of Purveyors
Use this list as a starting point.

Yellow Pages
Food Wholesalers
Restaurant Supplies
Restaurant Equipment & Supplies

B&J/Peerless Online Food Service Catalog
Use this catalog to get sample pricing.

Small Business Resources

Small Business Administration
See Writing a Business Plan.

Sample Business Plans
See Restaurant Sample Business Plans.

Sample Marketing Plans
See Restaurant Marketing Plan.

ASBDC Resources for Small Businesses

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