How to Open A Casual Dining Restaurant In Bahrain

women enjoying a casual dining restaurant experience

Tourism is a crucial part of Bahrain’s economy. Every year around 12 million tourists come to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – an economic union of the gulf countries of which Bahrain is also a part. 

The contribution of tourism clocks around 7% of Bahrain’s GDP and is expected to increase to 11% by 2028. Accordingly, Bahrain is actively promoting tourism-based sectors, offering diversified hospitality, and developing an increasing variety of restaurant and entertainment options.

If you plan to start a casual dining restaurant in Bahrain, it is a great time to make it a reality. A casual dining restaurant offers a fun-filled calming atmosphere and delicious food in a nominal price range. It must suit the tastes of both – locals and tourists. 

Opening A Casual Dining Restaurant In Bahrain

Starting a casual dining restaurant business is not that easy – you need to think about funding, kitchen equipment, staff, and cuisines. But here is a quick guide to help you kickstart your journey:

  • Concept of Restaurant: You cannot open a restaurant without having a concept and plan in mind. You should have a clear vision about what kind of services you want to give. How much should it cost? What do you want on your menu? How will you raise funds? You can have it on paper for future needs. Research about your target customers and then format a restaurant plan as per the needs and wants of your customers.
  • Funds for the Restaurant: Without working capital, you cannot open your casual dining restaurant. Getting proper finance or adequate funding is the biggest hurdle when you start your restaurant. There are several ways to secure funds for the restaurant, like,
    • Self-funding or private funding: Either you, your family, or your friends invest in your restaurant. That said, spending all your savings in one go is not recommended. You can borrow from friends and family and return once your restaurant business starts generating profits.
    • Partnership: You can choose partners. You will be sharing your income and losses with them. It is advised to have someone as a partner who shares the same vision as you and sign the partnership agreement.
    • Bank loans: You can easily get your initial funding through bank loans. It is given against any property. You have to pay off the loan in installments with interest.
    • Venture capitalists: If the concept of a restaurant is good and you are earning from it, then venture capitalists might invest in it. They will give you funding in return for equity shares or as per their terms. It will help gain working capital.
    • Restaurant financing companies: It is a relatively new method of raising funds. In this, financial companies will ask you about the total sales, cost including food, rental, labor, and equipment. You have to be thorough with the details, and then they will grant you loans to expand your current restaurant business or start a new one.

Also Read: How to Get a Loan for Your Restaurant Business from Restaurant Financing. companies. 

  • License for the Restaurant: You must have a food license and necessary permits to open a casual dining restaurant. The following documents are required to get a license:
    • Approval form from Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism official entities
    • Identity card and passport
    • Copy of land/property ownership
    • Written consent from the property owner, if leased
    • Details of the project, start and end date of the project, project cost, and proportion of employment
    • Qualification and experience of the restaurant manager
    • Bank statement showing the financial position of the project

You also need commercial registration and approval from all official entities like Tourism Affairs, Health Department, and Fire Department. Also, all restaurant staff must go for periodic medical examination services as directed by the Ministry of Health.

Tip: You can also go to the Sijilat portal to obtain a commercial registration and business license without needing to visit a government service location.

  • Location for the Restaurant: It is very important to select a location that is easily accessible and visible. You have to ensure that people can see your restaurant while passing by. Also, there are a few other things to consider, like does it have enough space? Or will you be able to make parking or valet parking? The surroundings of the location must be clean and hygienic. Plus, the location should also meet a food license.
  • Equipment for the restaurant: Every restaurant needs reliable kitchen ingredients and equipment at a reasonable price. You will need a lot of restaurant equipment, including kitchen appliances, cutlery, furniture, housekeeping materials, and even a credit card machine. Certain things should be kept in mind while buying restaurant equipment, like the need, cost, maintenance, safety, and user-friendliness. Whenever you are buying big appliances like a freezer or ovens, always ask for a test run.
  • Employees for the restaurants: Maintaining the quality and consistency in terms of foods and services are important. For this, you need a highly efficient and talented staff. Before hiring any candidate for any casual dining restaurant, write things you are looking for in your employees. You must conduct a background check or cross-reference check before hiring anyone. In the restaurant business, you need:
    • Chef
    • Night chef
    • Assistant or backup chefs
    • Kitchen helpers
    • Housekeeper
    • Stewards 
    • Waiters/Waitresses
    • Watchmen 
    • Manager
    • Cashier
    • Storekeeper 

Any staff you hire should have their health certificates and undergo a thorough physical examination. If you are hiring any foreign staff, make sure they have a work permit.

  • Integration of Technological in Restaurant: To stay on the top of your game, you must integrate technology into the restaurant’s day-to-day services. A unified restaurant management platform increases productivity and efficiency by helping you manage stock and inventory, running logistics tools to check the growth, among others. Such a platform gives you details about the everyday business, staff performance, and makes restaurant management easier for you.

Opening a restaurant is not as difficult as it seems. Follow the steps in this guide to open your casual dining restaurant in Bahrain. The success of a restaurant depends upon the customers, so build something people would want to visit and talk about. 

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