Do you want to have your food business in Illinois and do not know where to start? If what you are looking for is to bet on the popular food in the area, we will give you a guide to how to open a mexican restaurant in chicago.
According to the city government, 60 restaurants open monthly, strengthening the gastronomic community. Also, being home to the second largest Mexican-born immigrant community in the United States, there is a wide market to target.
But it is not an easy road to travel due to the number of quality establishments that are available. These offer both traditional and modern flavors and techniques to satisfy the demands of increasingly demanding diners. Other than that the failure rate of Mexican restaurants is high.
That is why we advise you to take into account some information before starting with the procedures to formalize the business. For example, although your restaurant will have typical ingredients available because Chicago is a center for the production and distribution of Mexican foods, this will not be enough.
Prepare your successful recipe
To ensure success you will need to use high quality ones in winning recipes and a solid pricing model.. All of this has to be combined with good business leadership because cost management will be the key to avoiding closure.
Take the competition into account and determine how strong it is. If there is a lot, look for a less competitive site. Establish a mentoring relationship with an out-of-town Mexican restaurant owner so he doesn't feel threatened.
One point in favor is that the Latino group represents about 30% of the city's residents. Of this conglomerate, the majority are or have Mexican and Puerto Rican roots, the rest are made up of citizens from Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Hispanic-Latinos have increased their presence in suburban Cook and Illinois by between 100.000 and 310.000. In addition to this, the Mexican restaurant industry will benefit from the return of Americans to work and the improvement in their income after the pandemic. This indicates that there are generally good prospects.
How to Open a Mexican Restaurant in Chicago
After studying the variables, like any company, you must develop a business plan and establish a legal entity. For the former you can rely on the local chamber of commerce and for the latter at the Small Business Solutions Station.
Experts advise that you opt for the Limited Liability Corporation because it keeps personal assets separate from those of the company. If you are a sole proprietorship or general partnership operating under a fictitious name, you must register with the Cook County Clerk's office.
All other entities register with the Illinois Secretary of State, go to https://www.ilsos.gov/departments/business_services/home.html. Also request a State of Illinois Registration Number at this office. In addition to the Department of Revenue Business Tax Number or IBT at https://www2.illinois.gov/rev/Pages/default.aspx.
In addition, you must obtain the Employer Identification Number from the Internal Revenue Service.
Then prepare the first consultation with the business advisor of the town hall. You can make an appointment with him through www.cityofchicago.org/restaurant. Before the interview you already have to have the description of the activity that you will carry out, such as types of liquor and food.
Identify the places where your Mexican restaurant could work, if you have photographs, take them with you. Check these sites for building code violations. You can check it on the city government page. Likewise, during the appointment, it will be verified if there are restrictions on the location and the requirements to request the authorization of use of public road.
Necessary and mandatory permits to open a restaurant
Followed by this obtain the food hygiene certificate from the city of Chicago. All facilities that sell food require an employee with this permit issued by the Food Sanitation Service. Providers of this certification are available from Harold Washington College, http://hwc.ccc.edu or from the Illinois Restaurant Association, www.illinoisrestaurants.org.
You also need to get approval from the Department of Zoning and Land Use Planning. Remember that each district has its own regulations on this matter. If you have to build, you have to apply for building permits.
When you apply for an alcohol sales license and the restaurant plans to receive more than 100 people, submit the application for signs of occupancy capacity. At the moment of receiving the approval of the zoning and the plans you will be able to request the license for food sales establishments for less.
To process this, you must provide the name of the business and the business address. As well as the lease or proof of ownership of the property and Illinois Business Tax Number (IBT). Aside from the Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN), property information, and a photo ID.
Then prepare for inspections by the Department of Public Health after paying the corresponding fees. As well as the revisions to the premises if it is necessary to build.
Tips to pass the inspection of health
Many times a few mistakes can cause a big setback in the process of legalizing your restaurant. The best thing is that you review in detail everything you should have ready for when they come to inspect the premises.
Make sure you have at least one sanitation certificate from the city's food service on display. Certified food handler must be on site during operations. Complies with the provision of installing a 3-compartment stainless steel sink with drain board, grease trap and backflow device.
A sink should be located separate from the food preparation area stocked with soap and towels. You must also have a refrigerator that can maintain a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or a freezer that can maintain a temperature of 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Everyone should have a thermometer.
Install an exhaust hood over kitchen equipment, a bathroom for employees and keep the establishment clean and tidy. Another important detail is to have a pest control service contract and another for garbage collection and a grease container.
To be better prepared, download the list of requirements at www.cityofchicago.org/health under the “Food Protection” section. The Chicago government advises that businesses obtain liability insurance to protect themselves from potential lawsuits. With the approval of the inspections and the licenses in hand, you can open the establishment.
If you are not sure about starting a restaurant in Chicago, know the requirements you need to open one in California.