How to open a restaurant in Dallas

How to open a restaurant in Dallas

Dallas is considered one of the largest cities in Texas and is ranked somewhere between third-fourth in the United States. Dallas experiences pleasing but mildly cool temperatures in the winter. But the summers are comparatively hot with the ultimate level of humidity. This cosmopolitan city is very famous for its shopping malls and cafeterias.

The city is full of diverse folks and the elite, with half of the population being European or European-American. Dallas became prominent because of the dramatic television drama that oxygenated on TV from 1978 to 1991. The farm where the tragic show was shot is a prominent tourist attraction and has caught the eye of many.

Looking back at a time when Dallas wasn’t surrounded by foodie scenes. But with time, the country is now filled with fascinating places and exciting yet peaceful places to sit, eat and relax. If you are outlining to inaugurate a new restaurant in Dallas, here we mention the essential things that should not be overlooked while planning to open a new restaurant and be successful.




Always choose the location of your restaurant that offers free parking space People generally prefer to choose a place where their money is saved with the best ambiance and food offerings. Generally, it is observed that areas that have historical buildings near and far from residential places attract free parking lots.

Know the priorities of your neighborhood- Your neighbors are the first ones who would like to act first when they need anything on any occasion. Join groups in your neighborhood and build a pipeline of suggestions and likes from them.

Don’t think of downtown as a way to speed up your planning- Many people think the downtown area is the best and is an area that has good start-ups and a profitable bar scene. But for Dallas, that’s not true. As the operation time of some restaurants here is from 9 am to 5 pm on weekdays when the crowd is quite less. The facts of downtown are truly a difficult sight to comprehend, contemplate and believe.

Stay up to date with trends and culture- Dallas is very popular for the vibrant live music types in restaurants and bars. Moreover, it is also true that the priority of diners is to visit or locate the restaurant/outlet before going out for a concert or recital. If you are setting up your restaurant in a location that is a social hotspot, be sure to find out when events are to be held and give special offers and discounts accordingly.

Opening a restaurant in Dallas requires a lot of help and understanding. To exist in a competitive world, it takes courage to work legally and authentically with your business idea. Also, implementing your business idea requires permission to work and of course a good place and environment. Finding a good location is also a task as it takes time to think and search for a location that fits your pocket and suits your planned restaurant vibe.

Below are some of the things you should consider and think twice before trying your hand at a restaurant.

  1. Think about all the insurance you will need to carry with you before opening a restaurant in Dallas.
  2. Complete information about license, permission, and tax.
  3. A check on the health inspection of the restaurant.
  4. Good plan or tip to create or build a restaurant team.
  5. Which location and how to choose for your restaurant?

Insurance required to proceed with opening the restaurant-

All restaurants should opt for some insurance policy to protect themselves from any mishaps and fines. The policies differ from restaurant to restaurant depending on various factors such as the location of the restaurant, the technology equipped in the restaurant, etc.

General insurance- Insuring your business will help you fight against any unforeseen liabilities that may arise in the future. If someone gets injured at your location, be it a copyright threat, blemished honor, physical damage of any kind, etc.

Property Insurance- This type of insurance insures the entire assets of your business, be it the building, furniture, types of equipment, etc. This type of insurance covers everything you own. If you are in a rental place, your property insurance can be taken out by your landlord, but be sure to check whether your property is covered by the terms and conditions. Also check that the policy should properly cover damages caused to your restaurant due to natural calamities like earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.

Liquor Insurance- There is no rule for generally required liquor insurance in Dallas policy. But this insurance protects your restaurant in the event someone commits suicide under the influence of alcohol or causes harm to someone or your property.

Labor or worker Insurance- This insurance is legally bound by law for every organization. This is due to any uncertainty or illness that may occur at work with the restaurant’s working hours.

Food epidemic insurance- This will help your business to compensate for the loss of perishable food items due to power cuts in the middle of cooking.

Licenses, permissions, and taxes

What licenses and permits are needed to start a restaurant in Dallas?

Like any other country or state, Dallas has its regulations regarding the licenses and permits required to start a restaurant.

The following licenses and permits are required to start a restaurant in Dallas:

  1. Business License
  2. Food Service License
  3. Occupancy Certificate
  4. Sales Tax Permit
  5. Liquor License Permit
  6. Food Facility Health Permit

We will go through all these licensing and permissions in further context below, including what they are and reasons why you require them, and how to obtain them.

Business License

A business license is a government approval to run and operate a particular type of business. It gives the owner the privilege to conduct its activities in that country.

Getting a Business License in Dallas:

In Dallas, if your restaurant operates multiple branches in different cities, each restaurant must have a license in each county. The following are required for a business license: 

  • Employer identification number
  • Structure of your business
  • Name of the enterprise
  • Blueprint of restaurant business plan
  • Location of your restaurant
  • Mobile or phone number
  • A certificate of incorporation (COI)

 Food Service License

A food service license, also known as a food handler’s license, allows eateries, vendors, and other types of food-related businesses to serve and sell food in a safe manner on-site. These approvals verify that each management understands its role in keeping customers safe from foodborne diseases. They are also known as the Dallas Food Handler Card or ServSafe, named after the corporation that conducts the exam for most food handlers.

Getting Food Service License or Food Handlers License:

In Dallas, a food service license must be obtained by every restaurant employee who cooks or serves food within 30 days of employment.

Employees must complete a food hygiene and preparation test with a score of at least 70% to receive their food handler card as some jurisdictions have training in food safety procedures and requirements.

Occupancy certificate 

An occupancy Certificate is a piece of evidence that shows that the space occupied by your business is as defined for your type of business and is also in a safe condition to use.

Getting a Certificate of Occupancy in Dallas:

The paperwork is available online, but to receive certification, your firm must pass a plumbing investigation, fire investigation, electrical investigation, and building investigation. Check with the building and safety agency in your city or county. 

Sellers Permit 

A seller permit is required for any firm that intends to sell physical products liable to sales tax. This license allows them to charge sales tax. This form of license is known in Dallas as a sales and use tax permit.

Getting a Vendor Permit in Dallas:

In Dallas, there are two ways to apply for a sales tax permit: a paper application or through an Internet website.

The Data required for registration include: 

  • Structure of business
  • Dallas Secretary of State Dallas Corporation File Number
  • Official company name and federal employer identification number
  • Owners’ names, residences, phone numbers, social security numbers, and membership numbers
  • Physical and postal addresses
  • Monthly Taxable Sales Estimate
  • NAICS code: North American Industry Classification System

Dallas law requires that a phone number provided on an application for a sales tax permit be made available to the public.

 Liquor license

Any company that wants to sell and serve alcohol to its customers must have this license. A liquor license can provide many advantages to company owners. The highest profit margins, which range from 60% to 85%, are found in the alcohol industry.

Getting a Liquor License in Dallas:

The state of Dallas is responsible for issuing liquor licenses. To be eligible to apply for a liquor license, you must already have a vendor’s permit.

After applying for a liquor license, 30 days’ public notice of the application must be posted on your company’s property. In some cases, the applicant is required to give notice to his neighbors or publish a notice in the media. Additionally, they have to confirm that their establishment is properly designated for the sale of liquor.

The processing time for a liquor license application can range from 30 to 90 days, depending on the type of petition. The license has to be renewed every year. Thus, one has to pay the renewal fee immediately, failing which your license will be canceled.

Food Facility Health Permit

Before opening, all restaurants must have their health license and follow proper food handling, preservation, and cooking procedures every time. They protect the safety of employees and prevent foodborne illness among customers.

Obtaining a Food Facility Health Permit:

Unlike some liquor licenses, health permits are not transferable. A new health permit is required to be obtained when opening a new restaurant, even if it is at the location of a pre-existing restaurant.

Depending on the city, you can often apply for a health permit online. Next, you will need to inspect your facility and business operations to guarantee compliance with the Dallas Health and Safety Code and any relevant laws. If it confirms that your business is safe to operate, the owner will receive a health permit.

Income Tax

Restaurant owners are required to pay a tax on their income, which is known as a franchise tax in Dallas and is set at 0.75% of the business’s taxable margin. The taxation slabs are different for sole proprietors, partnerships, and other different types of businesses.

Sale tax

Dallas’ sales tax is a combination of three factors that are further divided into state tax, city tax, and special tax. Out of which the state tax is fixed at 6.25% and 2% depending on the other two taxes. Also, there are some items in the restaurant that are not taxed.

Health inspection in Dallas should be passed

To ensure the quality of service provided by the restaurant, the food should be inspected twice a year to see whether the restaurant meets the proper hygiene and sanitation standards. When it comes to inspection, don’t take it lightly as it can destroy your brand image and can lead to the closure of your outlet. 

In Dallas, TFER checks various protocols to ensure safety. It describes how to get and store food, at what temperature to keep it, etc. Also, various standards have been set for keeping equipment and utensils.

Building a restaurant team

Opening and constructing a business is not enough. The restaurant needs staff and other employees as well to be operational. There are few restaurant crew members which should be a must in any business to make it a smooth line process. A few roles would be consultants, insurance brokers, real estate brokers, accountants, attorneys, construction and remodeling, etc.

Choosing the location of the restaurant

There are two things the owner must have to choose the location where you want to open the restaurant. Firstly, the owner should know what kind of customer segment he wants to attract, and secondly what extra effort your restaurant will take to break the existing bond of customers with old goodies.

If a customer gets something extra that they are expecting and gets it in an exciting amazing place with the right ambiance, vibe and food taste amazing to match, then the extra effort is worth it. It is readily available to promote your restaurant with a word-of-mouth strategy. Opening your restaurant in Dallas is not such a quick process. It requires a big decision and of course, many rules and regulations have to be followed to get profit from your business plan.


Some steps to keep in mind while opting to open a new restaurant in Dallas


If you enjoy cooking or serving food, then a career in the restaurant industry may be right for you.

Without a doubt, entering the restaurant business can be profitable if done the right way. But wanting to operate a restaurant and understanding how to do it are two different things. Opening a new restaurant can be exciting, but it can also be a stressful endeavor.

Opening your restaurant can be daunting, especially with so much competition in the food business. To develop a successful restaurant company, take the proper steps to launch a restaurant.


Following are the steps to open a restaurant:


Choosing and finalizing the type of restaurant

You must first choose the type of restaurant you want to open. A sensible concept can instantly improve your reputation with customers and turn your restaurant into a highly attractive place to visit. Therefore, do thorough market research before deciding on a restaurant idea. Making decisions about menus, pricing, style, advertising, and other aesthetics can help with your target customer profile in mind.

 Brand your restaurant

You can choose a name and brand for your restaurant after you have a clear vision for it in your mind. The phrase you only get one chance to make a first impression is common sense. This is also valid for restaurant names. However, it is more important when it comes to business, especially in the restaurant sector.

If you don’t win your customers the first time they come, you usually won’t see them again. Try to choose a name for your restaurant that accurately reflects the essence of your establishment. Your restaurant name should be unique and above all, it should be remembered by your customers.

 Writing a business strategy

Before starting any new firm, a comprehensive business plan should be prepared. Having a plan will save you frustration. A strong business plan will help you through each step of starting and running your business. You’ll use your business strategy as a blueprint to help you organize, manage and expand your new company.

 Create a menu

One of the fundamental elements of the dining experience is the menu, which is also the main marketing tool for your establishment. If you love cuisine, the process of creating a menu can be the most fun. The equipment you buy, the food producers, and even your crew, especially the cooks, will be affected by your menu.

Create a budget and raise money

Budgeting is important in the beginning because starting a new restaurant can be expensive. Determine your start-up expenses as well as ongoing expenses until you start making a profit. When you are sure of the amount you need, it is time to get the necessary finance.

Decide on the location of your restaurant

A restaurant’s location is essential to its success. If you’re in an unattractive neighborhood or one with minimal foot traffic, customers may have trouble finding you, or they may decide not to make the extra effort. 

Enrol for licenses, insurance, and permits.

Many rules and regulations, both local, state, and municipal, apply to the food service sector. When it comes to health codes, permits, and licensing, it is important that you fully understand these regulations and follow the law. 

Plan the layout of your restaurant

The room will fill up fast, and you won’t have as much as you believe you do. Take accurate measurements and create a sketch of the layout you want for your business. If the floor layout of your restaurant is well designed, it can affect your profit margin.

 Buy equipment and hire a food vendor

One of the most time-consuming steps in operating a restaurant is purchasing the necessary equipment. Presenting your restaurant can be thrilling as soon as your vision begins to take shape. Restaurant operations are improved and productivity is increased with high-quality and effective equipment. 

Recruit staff for the restaurant

One of the most annoying components of any organization is hiring employees. Hire right the first time to avoid frequent employee turnover. Hire someone with the right background and temperament for the job. Your cook doesn’t need to be as outgoing as your waiter, who should be social and friendly.

Create a promotional strategy.

Now that every aspect of your restaurant’s operation is in order, it’s important to attract customers ahead of its launch. The success of a restaurant depends on restaurant marketing efforts.

Great advertising strategies will bring people to your door, while it is the power of your offers that will keep them coming back for more. Post information on social media as opening hours approach. Everyone enjoys seeing pictures of food. In exchange for promoting your brand, invite food bloggers for a teaser trailer or exclusive deal.

Celebrate the opening of your restaurant!

You can opt for a modest start with fewer crowds or a larger opening. Consider the advantages and disadvantages of a grand versus soft opening before deciding which is ideal for your company. After the thrill of opening your restaurant, it’s important to stay on top of the daily requirements, finances, and procedures. If you keep advertising your restaurant and try to improve it, you will be successful.