Interested In Setting up a Bistro restaurant? Here’s How

By: Rex Inego | Oct 27, 2011 06:01 AM

Typically a bistro often spelt bistrot can be classified into a moderately small restaurant that offers reasonably priced and down to earth food in reasonably decent surroundings. These restaurants are categorized by the food served by them and they specialize in serving home cooked healthy and slowly cooked food like cassoulet. 

Though no one knows exactly how the word bistro cane into being, it is believed that it is of Russian origin and meant ‘quickly’. The story goes that win 1815 hen Paris was occupied by Russia, Russian Cossacks who wanted to be served fast would go into these restaurants and holler ‘”Bystro”. This however was not accepted by the French linguists who felt that the word came from a kind of drink called bistrouille that was served in some of the restaurants that served affordably priced food.  

It is believed that the bistro was born out of the kitchens that used to be run in the basement of big apartment buildings in Paris where tenants paid for the rooms as well as food. These bistros often served food for outsiders too. They usually offered foods that could be made in plenty as well as preserved for future use. They also served wine and coffee. Oft times the size of the bistro was so small that they owners used to lay tables on the sidewalks where people could sit and have their meals. Slowly as this concept became popular people even started designing bistros to this effect. 

A Brasserie in France is a is a coffee shop that also works as a restaurant which offers one-dish meals in comfortable and stress free surroundings, while a bistro is more a place that serves as mentioned earlier affordable, simple food in modest settings. Bistros area preferred eating place particularly in Paris and among visitors to the country. A bistro in the English language refers to an eatery generally serving European food or a restaurant that serve a variety of foods.  

Initial steps involved in starting A Bistro restaurant

If you plan to start a bistro restaurant, think twice, because it can be risky other than involving a lot of investment and hard work. Hence it would be best to ensure that you do good homework about the market, the choice of food, the site for the restaurant and the financial liabilities. You should establish a bistro restaurant in a place where your targeted customers can reach it easily, like places where there is a lot of floating population. The bistro restaurant must be located such that it can be seen by passersby. In addition you should ensure that you establish the restaurant in a location where people are willing to give the bistro a try. In addition hiring people who are locals of the area could be to your advantage. 

In order to know how well a bistro restaurant business is accepted one must be able to able to study competition and their clientele. The interior, the settings, the atmosphere and food would all depend on what is being offered by a restaurant near where you are planning to start one. See what they are lacking in and improve on that; like if they have limited seating arrangement have a bigger place with more tables. If the competitor offers expensive wine, try offering a combination of both costly and cheaper stuff, etc. 

The point is that you have to create a unique image and individuality that will stand out showing off your better aspects that prove that you too have the necessary factors that can attract the crowd. Exhibit your selection of drinks, and have an alcove for a bar and seating arrangement such that people who prefer a little privacy can get it. Remember that food is an all important factor, so it should be finger-licking good and affordable to people from all walks of life. Do not be too stingy on the servings either. As a bistro restaurant owner, ensure that people serving wine know the selection you have so that they do not mess up. A good barman will be in a position to suggest wine depending on a customer’s requirements. Setting up any business is no easy task, but with lessons learnt from people who have preceded you in the bistro restaurant business things could be easier.