What is needed to open a successful restaurant?

12 Feb. 2018

In fact, being a Food Entrepreneur is neither all about the food nor all about the entrepreneur. Rather, it is a perfect equilibrium that requires industry and technical knowledge, practical experience, managerial skills, and a professional network. While these skills and relationships can be difficult to develop, each element combines to set up an entrepreneur for the best possible outcome, and therefore attention to all sides is essential.

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1. Industry knowledge

Possessing knowledge and experience of a targeted industry is critical for an entrepreneur entering into any new business venture, but this is especially the case in the food and beverage industry. Having familiarity with the ins and outs of restaurant operations, menu and concept planning, staffing, and finances is not enough. An in-depth understanding of how the multiple moving parts fit together could be the differentiating factor that pushes a restaurant to success. 

Through the Master Class in Culinary Arts at Ecole hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL), students work both in kitchen and service allowing them to obtain a well-rounded view of operations. Developing, executing, and experiencing the multiple concepts provides them also an understanding of the various challenges in a food and beverage environment. Additionally, students will enjoy related business field trips to various restaurants where they will familiarize themselves with the industry.

2.Practical skills

Practical skills should not be underestimated. Being trained in different areas of food and beverage operations, knowing the requirements of each department and being aware of potential challenges allows managers to more accurately plan and prepare. Armed with academic and practical knowledge as well as emotional intelligence, managers can direct efficiently the business of restaurant operations.

EHL employs many Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, meaning students will learn techniques from world class chefs in top facilities. Senior Lecturers directing service and banqueting are industry professionals who pull from their knowledge and years of experience in the field to challenge students and equip them with the insight and skills needed to succeed.

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3. Managerial skills

Practical skills, while insightful, are not enough to ensure success of a restaurant. Education regarding business practices, financing, and marketing are equally imperative. Restaurants can shutter for a plethora of reasons, not least of which is due to inexperience or a lack of knowledge in key areas of the business. Entrepreneurs are not expected to be fluent in all areas, but a basic knowledge of other subject areas can provide a wealth of insights when choosing who to partner with.

Practical coursework is balanced with time in the classroom at EHL. Arming students with the necessary knowledge in key subject areas ensures that entrepreneurs have both the information as well as the resources they need at their disposal in order to most successfully start a new venture.

4. A strong network

The renowned EHL network counts alumni in a multitude of sectors, worldwide. Whether students are looking for fellow entrepreneurs, associates in food and beverage, or professionals in the hospitality or other industries, they will have the opportunity to join a supportive and enthusiastic alumni network, which counts entrepreneurs, professionals, leaders and influencers as its members.


While opening a restaurant can be a challenging venture, equipping oneself with the proper knowledge, skills, and network can make a difference between a successful restaurant and a flop. EHL is committed to arming students with the support they need to succeed in this fast-paced industry and embrace their culinary passion.

From professional training in world class facilities to education from top-of-their-field professors and Meilleurs Ouvriers de France, to experiencing all sides of the industry, the Master Class in Culinary Arts program provides students with a well-rounded education in the world of Food and Beverage.

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