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.
You should find out the basics about your target market (population size, income, age, and gender).
U.S. Census Bureau
Offers raw census data and reports.
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.
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.
ACF Chefs de Cuisine Association of St. Louis – List of Purveyors
Use this list as a starting point.
B&J/Peerless Online Food Service Catalog
Use this catalog to get sample pricing.