How To Start A Restaurant Business In Chicago City?

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Food is delicious and one of the most important parts of our life.

In the business world, the food industry is one of the most profitable sectors. However, running a restaurant business in this competitive sector is not easy.How To Start A Restaurant Business In Chicago City

There are many rules, licenses, and guidelines that come with the business of serving delicious food to people. In addition to that, maintaining a restaurant and making sure that top-quality food is being served is harder than opening one.

If we talk about Chicago City, then the food of this city is famous among the residents and the majority of the tourists. So, opening a restaurant business in this city means competing with some of the famous food that the city offers.

Without further ado, lets discuss about starting restaurant business.

How To Start A Restaurant Business In Chicago City

Restaurant Business In Chicago City

Starting a restaurant business is not easy, and there will always be ups and downs. There are a few steps that you must follow in order to successfully start a restaurant business. These steps are-

Step 1: Make A Business Plan

Make A Business Plan

The first step of starting a business is to make a clear plan. You will have to plan everything, starting from business strategy to budget, requirements, and many more.

This plan will help you to set up your business and meet the requirements of becoming a successful restaurant owner.

Step 2: Determine Target Customers

Determine Target Customers

Once you have a clear business plan ready in your hand, it is now time to think about your target customers. The target customers of your restaurant refer to the people whom you will cater to.

Determine the number of people you can serve in the restaurant at the same time and how many people you can serve in a day. Think about their food choices and priorities.

Step 3: Choose The Location

Choose The Location

The location where the restaurant will be opened, is one of the most important factors to consider. Most of the time, the sales and popularity of the restaurant depend on where it is located.

You can either build a restaurant on a plot or rent a building, floor, or room to set the restaurant up. It is better to choose a location that can be easily accessed by the public and provides an amazing view of the Chicago City. You can also choose a place that is near to the famous tourist spots or museums in the city.

Step 4: Get All The License And Permits

Get All The License And Permits

Each business requires some permits and licenses by the government that gives you the green light to go forward. When it comes to a restaurant business, the numbers of permits increase as food is related to the health of the people.

If you want to open and operate a restaurant in the Chicago City, then you must register it under the State of Illinois.

If you are confused or do not know much about the registration process, then visit The City Of Chicago’s Official Site. On this site, you will receive all the necessary information and forms that will help you to register your restaurant.

You will also have to make sure that you have a session with the BACP Business Consultant before starting the business.

For restaurants, you will require permits for almost every small matter such as food, fire safety, outdoor seating, building, and so on.

At least one of your staff members must have a Food Service Sanitation Certificate, and you have to make sure that the certificate is ready for presenting anytime in the restaurant.

Step 5: Select The Decoration

restaurant decoration ideas

After sorting out all of the steps mentioned above, it is now time to decorate the interior and exterior of the restaurant. You can either get the decoration done by a professional designer, or you can take help from friends and family.

The look and décor of the restaurant are crucial as they help you to attract customers to your place.

Step 6: Hire Competent Staff

Hire Competent Staff

The next step is to hire professional and competent staff members. There are many restaurants in Chicago City that are owned and operated by family members. If that is the case for you, then you do not have to hire servers or cooks.

However, if you want to hire servers and cooks for your restaurant, make sure to hire. Professionals as customers do not appreciate slow or unprofessional service.

Step 7: Make Menu

Restaurant Menu

Once you are done hiring the staff, it is now time to make the right menu for the customers. While making the menu, you have to keep your targeted audience in mind and choose dishes and cuisines based on that. Make sure that you properly consider the pricing of the food and add food that you can serve regularly to the customers. Follow our menu and pricing here.

Step 8: Inspection

Health Inspection

The final step to starting your restaurant business is to get a green light on the inspections conducted by the state and local governments. They will check for issues related to hygiene, food quality, ingredients, food safety, fire safety and so on. Once you pass all the inspection checks, all you have to do is open your restaurant and welcome the public!

Tips and Precautions When Doing A Restaurant Business In Chicago City

Tips and Precautions When Starting A Restaurant Business

Food Quality

Food Quality

One of the most important factors that you must ensure in a restaurant business is the quality of your food.

You will not get customers if the look or taste of your food is not up to the standards. You will also have to make sure that the food you are serving to the customers is made of fresh and good-quality ingredients and safe to eat.


Hygiene Essentials for Restaurants

We have seen thousands of restaurants being shut down all over the world due to poor hygiene. You must maintain the hygiene of the kitchen, sink, and serving area to make sure that there are no germs or harmful bacteria.

These germs or bacteria can cause stomach illness and various other health problems. Food stations and restaurants often get inspected, and if the inspection results show hygiene issues, then you will either have to pay a hefty fine or lose your business license.

You also need to have a proper garbage disposal system in place so that your kitchen stays clean and hygienic.


You will have to get the word about your new restaurant out to the public to encourage them to visit your restaurant.

You can advertise about your new venture on the restaurant website or in the local newspaper to attract customers. You can also print signs and boards that will pique their interest in coming to the restaurant.


Running Facebook, Google ads or staying active in social media are other ways you can let your target people know about your business.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Cost Of Opening A Restaurant Business In Chicago City?

The cost of opening a restaurant business in Chicago City varies depending on the location, audience, decoration, type of food, and so on. There are a few fixed costs such as licenses, permits, etc.

Other than these fixed expenses, the rest of the money required to start the restaurant depends on the owners’ target and several other factors.

2. Are Licenses And Permits Necessary To Start A Restaurant?

Yes, in order to start a restaurant, you must have all the necessary licenses and permits. These include restaurant license, business license, food permit, construction permit and so on.

If you operate a restaurant without the required permits, you will have to pay a hefty fine to the government and will be punished according to the law. In addition to that, the restaurant might also be sealed permanently.

3. Do We Have To Renew The Licenses And Permits?

Yes, each and every license and permit come with a fixed validation date. You must contact the respective departments and renew these documents before the expiry date. Few permits come with a validation date of 1 year, while some come with an expiry date of 2 to 5 years. So, you must keep a proper record of the dates to make sure that you don’t fail to renew them.

4. Is It Worth Opening A Restaurant In Chicago City?

Yes, Chicago City is quite popular among residents and tourists because of its amazing sights and food. If you can serve delicious and premium quality food to the customers, then starting a restaurant business in Chicago City is definitely worth the money and hard work.

5. How Much Is Restaurant Tax In Chicago City?

Each and every restaurant has to pay a certain percentage of tax to the government in order to continue operating. The restaurant tax that the owners have to pay in Chicago City is 10.75 percent. This percentage was 10.25 percent and was increased by 0.5 percent starting from the 1st of January 2020.

Final Words

Food is a necessity in life and one of the most enjoyable things in the world. Opening and operating a restaurant in a developed and popular city is not easy, but you can make it a success with your hard work and determination.

We hope that our guide on how to start a restaurant business in Chicago City will help you to make your restaurant successful.

Good things and success in life take their own sweet time, so make sure that you are patient, honest, and dedicated towards your restaurant.