Skip to Content

How to Start a Burger Restaurant Business

Burger Restaurant Business

A burger restaurant, also known as a hamburger restaurant, is an establishment that primarily focuses on serving hamburgers, which are a popular type of sandwich consisting of a cooked ground meat patty (typically beef) placed between two slices of bread called buns.

Burger restaurants often offer a variety of burger options, including different types of meat (such as beef, chicken, turkey, or vegetarian/vegan options), various toppings (such as lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, cheese, bacon, sauces, and condiments), and different bun choices (such as sesame seed, whole wheat, or brioche).

It is important to note that burger restaurants also provide a range of side dishes, such as French fries, onion rings, salads, and milkshakes to accompany the burgers. Burger restaurants may offer a casual dining experience with both table service and self-service options, or they may operate as fast-food or quick-service restaurants, providing a more efficient and convenient dining experience.

Steps on How to Start a Burger Restaurant Business

  1. Conduct Market Research

Conducting market research for a burger restaurant business is crucial to understand your target audience, competition, and market trends.

First, you would need to clearly outline what you want to achieve through market research. Identify the specific information you need, such as target demographics, customer preferences, competition analysis, and market size. Determine the demographic profile of your ideal customers, such as age, gender, income level, location, and lifestyle preferences. This will help you tailor your offerings to meet their needs.

Next, you need to develop surveys or questionnaires to gather insights from potential customers. You can distribute them online through social media, email lists, or in person at relevant locations. Focus on understanding their preferences, dining habits, desired menu options, pricing sensitivity, and what they look for in a burger restaurant experience.

Evaluate potential locations for your burger restaurant. Consider factors such as foot traffic, nearby competition, parking availability, visibility, and accessibility. Research local zoning laws, regulations, and any permits required for opening a restaurant.

Lastly, based on your market research findings, refine your business plan, menu offerings, pricing strategy, marketing plan, and overall business approach. Use the insights gained to make data-driven decisions that will increase your chances of success.

a. Who is the Target Market for Burger Restaurant Business?
  • Everyone who resides in and around the location where you have a burger restaurant
  • Tourists and visitors.
b. Is Burger Restaurant a Profitable Business?

Yes, the burger restaurant business can be profitable business if executed well. However, profitability depends on several factors, including location, competition, pricing strategy, cost management, and overall business execution.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no niche ideas when it comes to burger restaurants because burger restaurants are a niche idea in the chain restaurant industry.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Shake Shack
  • Five Guys
  • Whataburger
  • Wendy’s
  • Burger King
  • McDonald’s
  • White Castle
  • Smashburger
  • Culver’s
  • Fatburger
  • The Habit Burger Grill
  • Red Robin
  • Fuddruckers
  • Johnny Rockets
  • Steak ‘n Shake
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Hardee’s
  • Checkers and Rally’s
  • A&W Restaurants.
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Burger Restaurants?

Yes, there are county and state regulations and zoning laws for the burger restaurant business in the United States. Please note that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) sets the federal Food Code. However, the FDA doesn’t oversee individual burger restaurant businesses.

Instead, the various states use the Food Code as the basis for their own food codes. They may adopt its rules, interpret them differently or set their own rules.

Please note that in the United States, you are required to follow your own state’s food service code. Visit the FDA website for a list of food service codes by state. Use this to find the state authority handling restaurants and bars and view the laws that apply in your state.

f. Is There a Franchise for Burger Restaurant Business?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for burger restaurants, and here are some of them;

  • McDonald’s
  • Burger King
  • Wendy’s
  • Five Guys
  • Smashburger
  • Checkers and Rally’s
  • Wayback Burgers
  • Johnny Rockets
  • MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes
  • Elevation Burger.
g. What Do You Need to Start a Burger Restaurant Business?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A Good Restaurant facility
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Supplies and other food ingredients and drinks
  • Employees
  • Startup Capital
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable. Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for a burger restaurant business are;

Creative Burger Restaurant Name ideas
  • Big Bite© Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Susan Ricketts® Burger Restaurants, LLC
  • Tony Arthur© Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Food Nest® Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Tammy Martins™ Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Food Nation™ Burger Restaurants, LLC.
  • Tracey Paul© Burger Restaurants, LLC
  • Snack Court® Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Smith Macron© Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Evolve Benton© Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • House 10® Burger Restaurants, LLC
  • Republic Foods™ Burger Restaurants, LLC
  • Peter Pan© Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Richie George® Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Burger Go™ Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Monique Merlyn™ Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Burger Queen© Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Jerry Marson® Burger Restaurants, LLC
  • Fritz Golden© Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  • Kings Habitat© Burger Restaurants, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Burger Restaurants?

The ideal business structure for a burger restaurant business is determined by a variety of factors, including the size of the company, the number of owners, the level of personal liability the owners are ready to accept, and the tax consequences of the various business structures.

However, we normally recommend that you start the business with minimal liability. An LLC is a hybrid corporate form that provides the flexibility of a partnership while also providing its owners with limited liability protection. An LLC can have one or more owners, and the owners are not personally accountable for the debts or liabilities of the business. This business form is frequently used for small to medium-sized organizations.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open a Burger Restaurant Business?
  • General Business License
  • Health and Safety Permit
  • Food Handler’s License
  • Liquor license
  • Health and trade license
  • Lift clearance license
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Operational State Facility Inspections
  • A dumpster placement permit that specifies where you can put your trash dumpster outside the burger restaurant
  • Sidewalk permits if you plan to offer outside seating
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to Open a Burger Restaurant Business?

These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own burger restaurant company;

  • Clean Health Certificate
  • Food handler Certification
  • Catering Training Certificate
e. What Documents are Needed to Open a Burger Restaurant Business?
  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

When it comes to intellectual property protection for a burger restaurant, trademarks are typically the most relevant form of legal protection. For a burger restaurant, securing a trademark is particularly important to protect your brand identity and prevent others from using similar names or logos that could confuse customers.

It’s advisable to consult with a qualified intellectual property attorney to determine the specific protection needed for your burger restaurant and to guide you through the trademark registration process

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start a Burger Restaurant Business?

There is no clear-cut startup cost for a burger restaurant, but available data show that the costs for a small to medium restaurant can range from $150,000 to over $450,000.

b. What are the Costs Involved in Starting a Burger Restaurant?
  • Business Registration Fees – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $3,300.
  • Marketing, Branding, and Promotions – $2,000.
  • Business Consultant Fee – $2,500.
  • Insurance – $8,400.
  • Rent/Lease – $150,000.
  • Other start-up expenses include stationery ($500), and phone and utility deposits ($1,800).
  • Operational Cost (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • Start-up Inventory – $35,000
  • Store Equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $1,750
  • Furnishing and Equipping the Restaurant – $75,000
  • Website: $600
  • Opening party: $3,000
  • Miscellaneous: $2,000
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening a Burger Restaurant Business?
  • The size of the burger restaurant
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The type of facility
  • The type of related snacks, foods, and drinks retailed in the burger restaurant and additional services offerings
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost of branding, promotion, and marketing of the burger restaurant business
  • The cost of furnishing and equipping the burger restaurant business
  • The cost of the insurance policy covers
  • The cost of registering the business
  • Source of your burgers, food ingredients, supplies, and ongoing expenses
  • The cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost of the purchase and customizing of uniforms
  • The cost of the grand opening of the burger restaurant business
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

In reality, it is not compulsory to build a new facility for your burger restaurant business, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own facility.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of a Burger Restaurant Business?
  • Cost of Goods Sold (COGS): This includes the cost of ingredients and supplies needed to prepare the burgers and other menu items.
  • Payroll and Employee Benefits
  • Rent and Utilities such as electricity, water, gas, and internet
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Equipment and Maintenance
  • Licensing and Permits
  • Insurance
  • Inventory Management
  • Professional Services (accounting, bookkeeping, legal, and possibly consulting services
  • Miscellaneous Expenses
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner) – $55,000 Per Year
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager – $38,000 Per Year
  • Restaurant Manager – $38,000 Per Year
  • Accountants/Cashiers – $33,000 Per Year
  • Chefs (Burger Flippers) – $30,000 Per Year
  • Waiters Waitress – $26,000 Per Year
  • Cleaners – $25,000 Per Year
  • Security Guard -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start a Burger Restaurant Business?
  • Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raising money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Applying for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from the government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc. is a new and innovative burger restaurant concept that aims to bring a unique dining experience to the vibrant city of Chicago, Illinois. We are equipped to provide high-quality, gourmet burgers with a focus on exceptional flavors, locally sourced ingredients, and a welcoming atmosphere for our customers.

With a strong emphasis on customer satisfaction and culinary excellence, we aim to become a leading player in the local burger restaurant industry.

House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc. will operate as a chain of upscale burger restaurants strategically located throughout Chicago. Our primary target market includes burger enthusiasts, families, young professionals, and tourists seeking a premium dining experience.

House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc. stands out from competitors through our commitment to culinary innovation, locally sourced ingredients, and a cozy yet contemporary restaurant ambiance.

Our focus on creating unique flavor profiles, using premium ingredients, and providing exceptional customer service will set us apart from traditional fast-food burger chains. Additionally, our partnerships with local farms and suppliers will contribute to supporting the community.

b. Products and Service
  • We will offer a diverse menu of burgers that caters to various dietary preferences, including high-quality beef burgers, vegetarian and vegan options, gluten-free choices, and customizable toppings.
  • We will also provide a range of side dishes, such as French fries, onion rings, salads, and milkshakes to accompany the burgers.
c. Mission Statement

At House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc., our mission is to provide a distinctive dining experience by serving gourmet burgers made from locally sourced ingredients. We are committed to delivering exceptional flavors, ensuring customer satisfaction, and fostering a welcoming atmosphere.

Vision Statement

Our vision at House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc. is to be recognized as the leading gourmet burger restaurant chain in Chicago, known for our commitment to culinary excellence, exceptional customer service, and a warm dining ambiance. We aim to create a community of loyal customers who appreciate the unique flavors and superior quality of our burgers.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of a burger restaurant business are to provide an outlet where people can visit to buy and eat burgers.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Executive Officer (Owner)
  • Human Resources and Admin Manager
  • Restaurant Manager
  • Accountants/Cashiers
  • Chefs (Burger Flippers)
  • Waiters/Waitress
  • Cleaners
  • Security Guard

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
  • House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc. prides itself on offering unique and innovative burger flavors, creating a distinct competitive advantage in the market.
  • The use of locally sourced ingredients ensures freshness, and quality, and supports the local community.
  • House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc. places a strong emphasis on delivering outstanding customer service, creating a positive and memorable dining experience.
  • The restaurant’s cozy yet contemporary ambiance provides a welcoming atmosphere that appeals to a broad customer base, including families and young professionals.
  • House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc. strategically selects prime locations in high-traffic areas of Chicago, maximizing visibility and customer accessibility.
  • As a new entrant to the market, House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc. may face challenges in establishing brand awareness and competing with well-established burger restaurant chains.
  • Ensuring consistent and efficient operations across multiple locations may pose challenges, requiring effective training and standardized processes.
  • The setup costs for restaurant facilities, equipment, and marketing efforts may require a significant initial investment.
  • The burger restaurant industry in Chicago is experiencing steady growth, with a strong demand for gourmet and unique dining experiences, providing ample opportunities for House 10® Burger Restaurants, Inc. to capture a significant market share.
  • Chicago’s vibrant culinary culture and thriving foodie scene present an ideal environment to attract customers who appreciate culinary innovation and premium dining experiences.
  • Collaborations with local businesses, influencers, and hotels can expand brand visibility, attract new customers, and increase sales.
  • The burger restaurant industry in Chicago is highly competitive, with well-established national and local chains.
  • Evolving consumer preferences and dietary trends, such as the rise in vegetarian and vegan options, pose a threat if not effectively addressed in the menu offerings.
  • Economic downturns, inflation, or changes in consumer spending patterns can impact the restaurant industry, potentially affecting sales and profitability.
b. How Do Burger Restaurants Make Money?

The primary source of revenue for burger restaurants is the sale of their menu items, including burgers, sides (such as French fries, onion rings, and salads), beverages, and desserts.

c. Payment Options
  • Credit and debit cards
  • PayPal
  • Apple Pay and Google Wallet
  • Gift cards and store credit
  • Cash on delivery.
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies

Our marketing strategy will focus on a multi-channel approach, utilizing online platforms, social media engagement, targeted local advertising, and collaborations with influencers to build brand awareness and attract customers.

We will also implement loyalty programs and engage in community events to foster customer loyalty and positive word-of-mouth. Additionally, strategic partnerships with local businesses and hotels will help drive sales and expand our customer reach.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for Your Product/Service?

On average, a basic burger at a fast-food chain typically ranges from around $2 to $5, with combo meals (including fries and a drink) generally priced between $5 and $10.

In casual dining restaurants or gourmet burger establishments, prices tend to be higher due to the use of premium ingredients and a focus on creating unique and gourmet flavor profiles. In these establishments, prices for a single burger can range from $8 to $20 or more, depending on factors such as the quality of the meat, specialty toppings, and the overall dining experience provided.

b. How Much Profit Do Burger Restaurant Owners Make a Year?

It depends, but available reports show that on average, burger restaurant owners make anywhere from $31,000 a year to $155,000. They also estimate that the national average is around $65,000 a year. estimates a similar range, between $29,000 and $153,000 per year.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the burger restaurant
  • The types of related food, snacks, and other drinks retailed in the restaurant
  • The location of the burger restaurant
  • The management style of the burger restaurant
  • The business approach of the burger restaurant
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the burger restaurant.
  • The number of years the burger restaurant is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of a Burger Restaurant?

On average, profit margins for burger restaurants typically range from 5% to 15% of total revenue. However, it’s important to note that this is a general range, and actual profit margins can be higher or lower depending on the specific circumstances of each restaurant.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for a restaurant. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year: $350,000
  • Second Fiscal Year: $520,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $1.2 million
  1. Set Up your Shop/Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for the Burger Restaurant?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to families
  • The demand for burgers in the location
  • The purchasing power of the residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location and the road network
  • The number of burger restaurants, and regular restaurants in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking, and security et al
b. What State and City is Best to Open a Burger Restaurant?
  • Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Palm Beach, Florida
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Scottsdale, Arizona
  • Portland, Oregon
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Washington DC
  • Chicago, Illinois
  • New York City, New York
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Los Angeles, California
  • San Francisco, California
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate a Burger Restaurant?
  • Grills and Griddles
  • Deep fryers
  • Food Preparation Stations
  • Refrigeration and Freezers
  • Bun Toasters
  • Holding Cabinets
  • Food Processors and Blenders
  • Point-of-Sale (POS) Systems
  • Utensils and Cookware (spatulas, tongs, knives, cutting boards, pans, pots, baking sheets, and other items necessary for cooking, serving, and food preparation)
  • Dishwashing Stations.
  1. Hire Employees

The decision to hire or not to hire employees for a burger restaurant business depends on the size and scale of the operation. If the business is small and operates on a small scale, it may be possible for the owner to handle all aspects of the business on their own.

However, as the business grows and the sales increase, it may become necessary to hire employees to handle various aspects of the operation.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

In recent times, no burger restaurant opens its door for business without first organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening party if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the burger restaurant, you will be able to officially inform people in your city that the burger restaurant is open for business.

a. What Makes a Burger Restaurant Business Successful?
  • Choose a good location and facility to launch the business
  • Make sure you offer different ways of preparing burgers (give your customers options)
  • Throw an open house grand party before officially opening the burger restaurant business
  • Be deliberate with your marketing and sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your burger restaurant business
  • Leverage all available online and offline platforms to promote your burger restaurant business
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at a Burger Restaurant?
  • Staff members arrive early to set up the kitchen, dining area, and POS systems.
  • Preparing ingredients, including slicing vegetables, portioning meat, and prepping sauces.
  • Greeting and serving customers, both at the counter and through drive-thru or delivery channels.
  • Taking orders accurately and efficiently, using the POS system.
  • Preparing and assembling burgers according to customer preferences, including cooking patties, toasting buns, and adding toppings and condiments.
  • Stocks are taken and reports are written and submitted to superior officers
  • The business is closed for the day.
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build a Burger Restaurant Business?
  • Excellent culinary skills (burger flipping skills)
  • Excellent customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Accounting and bookkeeping skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining skill
  • Work experience in a restaurant environment or niche restaurant
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in preparing a wide variety of burgers and side dishes.