If you’re looking for a way to flex your entrepreneurial muscles, the foodservice industry is still holding on strong, making it a potentially good investment. That said, you might stand a better chance at turning a profit depending on the type of eatery you elect to open. Even if you offer great prices and have years of experience backing you up, sometimes diners are simply drawn to certain kinds of experiences and up-and-coming trends.
From your classic bar and grill to the always-popular pizzeria, these are the most profitable types of restaurants that are perfect for the aspiring entrepreneur.
1. Bar and Grill.
The bar and grill is the American standard when it comes to commercial kitchens. Every town has one and they’re known for offering great prices, stiff drinks, and friendly atmospheres. It’s telling that so many bar and grill restaurants have repeat customers. The business model is one of the most popular in the industry and it’s about as close as you’ll come to a “failsafe” in the restaurant world.
Though many bar and grill businesses are part of larger national chains, some independent eateries consistently draw large crowds. Take Cindy’s Rooftop Bar in Chicago, for example. The business is typically bustling and is essentially a showroom for Chicago culture.
For a long time, vegetarian restaurants were considered niche. With their very specific menus and unique interior design services, vegetarian eateries often got a bad rep as catering to “hippie” diners. However, a surprising number of Americans eat vegetarian food on a regular basis, even if they haven’t subscribed to a fully vegetarian lifestyle. On top of that, meat is one of the biggest restaurant expenses, so if you’re able to cut that out, you might be able to widen your profit margins.
Leaf, in Boulder, Colorado, is a prime example of vegetarian cuisine done correctly. While the restaurant offers classics like a portobello burger, they also have an elevated food catalog that really stands out against the competition.
Many independent pizza restaurants do solid business if they produce quality products. Of course, depending on your restaurant equipment needs and the size of your space, costs can go up and thin out your profit margins. However, since the majority of pizza ingredients are fairly inexpensive, it’s often easy to rake in the dough—literally.
One pizzeria, Brooklyn’s Lucali, is the epitome of the classic cuisine done up to the nines. Even celebrities like Jay-Z have brought up Lucali, and since the venue is quite small, their restaurant supply needs are lower than your average eatery.
4. Food Trucks.
Food trucks are excellent because the constrained space means they require less commercial cooking equipment than most dine-in experiences. Since restaurant equipment requirements are fairly low, it’s easy to turn a profit, especially if you’re buying economical ingredients.
The Fukuburger Truck in Las Vegas is a prime example of how you don’t need a showroom or massive food catalog to draw in the customers. The truck is often rated one of the best burgers in Vegas and, without excessive restaurant equipment costs, they’re able to turn a solid profit.
Who knew sustainability was such a moneymaker? Many Americans are becoming more invested in clean eating and greener dining experiences which is something farm-to-table concepts offer in spades. Of course, there’s a bit of a trade-off here. You’ll still have to pay for overhead and quality restaurant equipment to treat your locally-sourced ingredients well. However, many patrons are willing to pay more for the experience.
Farm Spirit in Portland embodies the concept well. With a catalog of farm-sourced ingredients and a sustainable mindset, they continue to prove popular with diners.
Of course, your ultimate profit margins will depend on things like design services, restaurant equipment purchases, and leases. However, if you’re looking for a niche that could amp up your take-home pay, you can’t go wrong with these five options.