5 Things You Should Consider When Starting A Restaurant Business In Malaysia

Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures, especially when it comes to food. The local culinary talents are a dime a dozen, where many dream of opening their own restaurant. With that said, building a restaurant is no easy task.

As eating-out in Malaysia is a common thing, customers are easy to come by – and that means secure revenue. The right restaurant in the right location has a high chance of generating large profits.

A business plan is the foundation of any enterprise. A careful analysis will help steer your restaurant on a successful path, ensuring a good return on your investment. If you are thinking of starting a restaurant, café or any sort of F&B outlet in Malaysia, here are a few key aspects you should have a clear vision about.

1. Concept

Every business starts with an idea. Coming up with the concept is generally the most fun part of starting a restaurant. However, the fun ends when you need to consider more practical things, like your investment capital, financial aids, expected profits and marketing plans. While not as fun as designing your menu, these aspects are crucial to minimize the risk of failure.

2. Menu [restrict]

The menu is part of your restaurant’s overall concept. Many jump to designing their menu without first thinking about the things mentioned above. This is a mistake. You need to understand your financial projections thoroughly before delving into the menu. How are you going to price your items if you don’t know your budget?   A menu should be planned alongside the financial aspects so that you get a realistic vision of what you can do.

3. Location

A bad restaurant in a good location will almost definitely do better than a good restaurant in a bad location. Why? Traffic, accessibility and visibility. Consider your target market and financial abilities when selecting a location. Bangsar is a great location for food outlets, but if the rent costs more than your profits, then what’s the point?

4. Marketing

Marketing has always been a competitive industry, but you will need to get word of your new restaurant out. Nowadays, you can take advantage of social media to market your enterprise at a much lower cost. Just be sure to have interesting and engaging material that will attract people to check you out.

5. Licensing

For Malaysia, a Malaysian business license is the first thing you need to secure, depending on the status of your investor. You will also need to secure a Signboard License, Halal License, Music License and Alcohol License (if you plan on serving alcohol).


These basic aspects of starting a restaurant should steer you into a clearer direction. However, it is still important to do the due diligence to know more on what is vital in starting a restaurant in Malaysia.

There is no such thing as doing or knowing too much, as all information will prove to be useful at some point.

Actionable Takeaway: With any business, there will always be challenges that arise. With a restaurant business, customer service is at the forefront of your reputation. When all your foundations have been secured, you will be able to focus on running your restaurant and serving customers to the best of your abilities!


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