April 7, 2014

City of Chicago’s Small Business Center Sets Restaurant Start-Up Workshop Series

Writing a Business Plan, Legal Issues, and Creating a Menu Among the Topics

David Staudacher Information Coordinator
Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection     312.744.5291

Chicago is full of foodies and we want to keep their pallet satisfied! The city is stocked with a diverse assortment of restaurants, delis, cafes, and bakeries. Every new establishment adds to the vitality and vibrancy of the city’s neighborhoods. To help upcoming neighborhood restaurateurs get their business started, the City of Chicago has partnered with Lema Khorshid, Partner, of Fuksa Khorshid, LLC, to present a series of small business education workshops geared toward starting a restaurant. 

The series, called A Comprehensive Guide to Starting a Restaurant, consists of six workshops, which will be held once a month, except in September, and runs until October. Each workshop will be held at City Hall’s Small Business Center (SBC) in room 805. The series kicks off on Friday, April 11, at 9:30 am with the workshop Establishing Your Restaurant Concept and Writing a Business Plan.

“The workshops are designed to provide entrepreneurs with all the tools they need to open a successful restaurant – from developing a solid concept and writing a detailed business plan to executing effective marketing, advertising, and social media tactics that get customers through the door,” said Lema Khorshid, founding partner of Fuksa Khorshid, LLC. “Throughout these sessions, we will discuss how to estimate start-up costs and secure funding, what legal considerations must be addressed, how to create an enticing and cost-effective menu, and what accounting and tax requirements restaurants owners need to know.”
“Workshops presented by the Small Business Center guide entrepreneurs through the licensing process, which includes inspections, zoning, permits and more,” said Mika Stambaugh, Director of Communications at Business Affairs and Consumer Protection. “This series will enhance what the City of Chicago is doing and provide a different prospective on starting and operating a restaurant.”

The series will complement the workshops that are already offered by the City of Chicago’s Small Business Center, and the Restaurant Start-Up Program that Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced in 2012. The Restaurant Start-Up Program is a comprehensive guide that simplifies and streamlines the process for getting a restaurant started in Chicago. The guide is available at www.cityofchicago.org/restaurant.  

The SBC’s small business education workshops are held every Wednesday and Friday in Room 805 at City Hall, 121 N. LaSalle St., Chicago. To register for a workshop or for more information, call 312.744.2086 or email BACPoutreach@cityofchicago.org. Workshops are conducted by city officials, SBC partner organizations, and industry experts. Learn more about SBC programs and events by visiting www.cityofchicago.org/SBC.  

Workshop Series: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting A Restaurant

4/11   Establishing Your Restaurant Concept and Writing a Business Plan
9:30 to 11 am
Presented by Ginna Shannon, of Ginna Shannon Enterprises, LLC, and Lema Khorshid

This workshop will discuss the basics of writing a business plan, including how to clearly define your concept, how to develop your menu and pricing, and what financial information to include.

5/30   Protecting Your Restaurant: Legal Considerations
9:30 to 11 am
Presented by Lema Khorshid

This presentation will explore different funding sources, teach basic principles of how to protect you in the claws of litigation, discuss intellectual property laws, and provide practical approaches on how to implement a solid intellectual property plan. We will review restaurant space lease agreements to help demystify confusing legalese and provide tips for finding the best restaurant location.

6/27   Creating an Enticing and Effective Menu
9:30 to 11 am
Presented by Bill Post, Co-Founder & President, Roti Mediterranean Grill and Lema Khorshid

This workshop will look at recent trends in the food-service business to help you plan what type of food and beverage to include on your menu. We will discuss cost-effective pricing and management strategies that will help to ensure you make a profit, and review liquor licenses and discuss the benefits and obligations of serving alcohol in your restaurant.

7/23   Securing Adequate Restaurant Financing
3 to 4:30 pm
Presented by Thomas Abraham, Senior Vice President, Ridgestone Bank, and Lema Khorshid

This workshop will cover how to estimate your start-up costs by looking at expenses like renovations, employee wages, marketing capital, and commercial kitchen equipment. We will explore different sources of financing, such as personal resources, private investors, and small business loans. You will learn about the basic loan application process, including what details to add into a business plan and how to prepare for a bank interview.

8/20   Recording and Reporting Financial Statements & Payroll: Accounting
3 to 4:30 pm
Presented by Mike Francone, Managing Partner, AmCheck, and Lema Khorshid

This presentation will discuss accounting principles and establish guidelines for your cash flow, accounts receivables, and accounts payable. We will review tax requirements, covering payroll, and qualities to look for when selecting the right restaurant accountant and payroll services provider.

10/15   Establishing Your Brand and Growing Your Business:  Marketing and PR
3 to 4:30 pm
Presented by Michelle Mekky and Lema Khorshid

The last workshop will teach you how to develop a marketing plan and devise the best strategies to promote your restaurant. Learn how to create a strong brand image and reinforcing it through menus, signage, décor, and customer service. We will look at ways to use social media and traditional marketing tactics like advertising and public relations.

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