How to Open a Restaurant Business in Idaho: Business Plan, Setup Cost, Requirements, and License/Permit

Opening a restaurant business is an exciting venture that requires careful planning and execution. A restaurant business is an enterprise that provides food and drinks to customers for a fee. This can range from casual dining, fast food, fine dining, or even catering services.

How to Open a Restaurant Business in Idaho

How to Open a Restaurant Business in Idaho

Different Types of Restaurant Businesses in Idaho

  1. One of the most common types is the fast food restaurant, which serves quick and affordable meals that are often pre-prepared or cooked in bulk.
  2. Fine dining restaurants offer an upscale experience with high-quality cuisine and attentive service. These restaurants usually have a dress code and require reservations in advance.
  3. Fast casual restaurants are a relatively new concept in the food industry, bridging the gap between fast food and sit-down dining. They offer higher quality meals than fast-food chains while providing quick service.

How Do You Choose a Location for Restaurant Business in Idaho?

  • The right location can attract many customers and keep them returning for more. You need to determine your target market and ensure that your chosen location will be accessible to them.
  • The next important factor to consider when choosing a location is foot traffic. Look for an area with high foot traffic, such as busy streets, shopping centers, or near landmarks that attract tourists.
  • Another key factor is accessibility. The easier people get to your restaurant, the more likely they will visit. Ensure ample parking is nearby, and public transportation options are available.
  • Consider your target market when selecting a location. If you’re targeting families with children, choose an area near parks or schools. If you’re catering to young professionals, determine areas where they work or live.

Steps to Create Restaurant Business Plan in Idaho

  1. Determine what type of food you want to serve and what kind of experience you want your customers to have. This will help guide menu selection, decor, ambiance, and marketing decisions.
  2. To begin creating your business plan in Idaho, start with research. This includes understanding the local market trends, identifying competitors and their strengths/weaknesses, and determining where there may be gaps or opportunities in the market.
  3. You should make sure to have a clear concept for your restaurant. This means determining what type of cuisine you will serve, the atmosphere you want to create, and what sets your restaurant apart from others in the area.
  4. Location is key to any business. Ensure your chosen site has ample parking and is easily accessible for potential customers.
  5. Choosing a menu for your restaurant is the most important step in opening a successful business. You must consider food trends, customer preferences, and local ingredients when creating a menu.
  6. Hiring staff is a crucial aspect of opening a restaurant business. Your employees are the face of your establishment and can make or break your success. It’s important to find skilled individuals in their respective positions and align with your restaurant’s culture and values.
  7. Register for licenses with the state or city government, such as liquor or health permits.
  8. Focus on providing excellent customer service. Your staff should always be well-trained and attentive to guests’ needs.
  9. Pay attention to food quality and consistency. Consistently delivering high-quality dishes will keep customers coming back for more.

Cost to Open a Restaurant Business in Idaho

Opening a restaurant in Idaho requires a significant financial investment, and the cost can vary greatly depending on several factors. The type of restaurant business you want to open, its location, size, and the quality of equipment you need are just some factors that impact startup costs. Depending on various factors, opening a new restaurant will require an investment between $95,000 and 2 million.

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Dining at a Restaurant

What are the Financial Considerations for New Restaurants in Idaho?

  • When starting a new restaurant business in Idaho, it’s important to consider the financial aspect of the venture. The startup costs can vary depending on location, size, and type of restaurant. It’s crucial to have an understanding of your budget and plan accordingly.
  • One major expense when starting a restaurant is equipment. Purchasing or leasing commercial-grade cooking appliances, refrigeration units, tables, and chairs can quickly add up. 
  • Another financial consideration is staffing. Hiring experienced cooks and servers can increase expenses and improve the service quality provided by your establishment.
  • Marketing and advertising are also important aspects that shouldn’t be overlooked when creating a budget for your new restaurant business in Idaho. Social media campaigns, flyers distribution, paid ads, etc., should all be considered while planning finances.

License/Permits to Open a Restaurant Business in Idaho

  • There are several licenses and permits that you need to obtain before you can start operating. These requirements ensure your business complies with the state’s regulations and standards.
  • Firstly, you’ll need a Business License to operate within Idaho legally. This license ensures the state recognizes your restaurant as an official entity for tax purposes.
  • A Certificate of Occupancy will be required, which shows that your premises meet all safety codes and building requirements.
  • Obtaining a Food Handler’s License or Food Service License is crucial. This permit certifies that at least one person on your team has undergone training in food handling techniques, ensuring staff and customers’ safety.
  • If you plan on selling any taxable goods like alcohol or tobacco products, then obtaining a Seller’s Permit is mandatory.
  • If serving liquor, then acquiring Liquor License Permit from the State Liquor Division covering what types of drinks can be sold under restrictions is necessary.
  • If catering services and regular dining facilities are offered, getting Catering Business Licence must also be completed.
  • A Food Facility Health Permit must be obtained showing compliance with hygiene protocols set out by local health departments.
  • Employee health permits must be acquired, indicating safe food preparation practices.

Promote Your Restaurant Business in Idaho

  • You can promote your business in many ways, both online and offline. There are many strategies you can use to attract customers. Social media platforms can effectively promote specials, events, or new menu items. 
  • One effective strategy is to create a website for your restaurant, where you can showcase the menu, prices, photos of the dishes, location information, and contact details. 
  • Hosting events at your restaurant is another great way to attract new customers. 

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Serving Meal


Opening a restaurant business can be an incredibly rewarding experience, both personally and financially. With careful planning and execution, successful restaurants can generate significant revenue year after year.


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