How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

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How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby stare » 25 Apr 2012, 16:44

Not too sure if this is the right place to post this but here goes.

I have been interested in opening a restaurant/bar in Taichung City for quite some time now. The thing is I don't know where to start my foray into filing papers and applying for licensing. I realize that after the ALA fire this is a touch topic in Taichung, I still want to test the waters and see where it gets me.

Has anyone ever opened a restaurant/bar in Taichung? If you have please tell me how you got started.

Cheers :beer:
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Re: How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby ichbinjenny » 25 Apr 2012, 20:18

What kind of restaurant do you want to open?
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Re: How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby stare » 26 Apr 2012, 07:17

The restaurant I have in mind is a Sports Bar and Grill.
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Re: How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby Puppet » 26 Apr 2012, 09:05

stare wrote:The restaurant I have in mind is a Sports Bar and Grill.

Just a head's up....

The reasons bars haven't been reopening is because of the new regulations put on them. They have to be in very specific places. The places they allow you to be in would cost (from a few former pub owner's descriptions) about 5 million NT just to get the building up to code. Never mind the actual bar itself, the inventory, chairs, decorations, TVs, etc.
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Re: How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby ichbinjenny » 26 Apr 2012, 15:05

Puppet wrote:
stare wrote:The restaurant I have in mind is a Sports Bar and Grill.

Just a head's up....

The reasons bars haven't been reopening is because of the new regulations put on them. They have to be in very specific places. The places they allow you to be in would cost (from a few former pub owner's descriptions) about 5 million NT just to get the building up to code. Never mind the actual bar itself, the inventory, chairs, decorations, TVs, etc.
[/quote]

Argh. That is the reason ONE popular bar did not reopen. Seriously. Other bars HAVE reopened. Apparently other establishment owners saw the cost of renovating and setting up a new place (or using stuff from their other place) as part of the cost of opening a new establishment. Opening a tea shop can cost a couple mil to just set up, so yes, it's going to cost some money to open a nice sports bar grill.

If you rent a place that was formerly a restaurant you won't have to spend as much time/money on renovations. I know of two restaurants in the West District on high-traffic roads that are available for rent, and both restaurants already have useable interiors and are up to code. Their rent is on the high side, at around 40K/mo, though. A friend recently closed his restaurant (for unrelated reasons) right next to Elementary Bar and I know it's still for rent. Might be good to be next to another bar... There are spaces all over town, at a whole range of rents.

Note: There is already a lot of competition for the foreign market in terms of sports grills. Or, are you going after Taiwanese patrons?

To answer your first question, though, yes, there are a good handful of foreigners who have opened businesses and these businesses are still open. You really should do a bit more research on the market -- Taichung is not very big and finding these foreign-owned establishments is not difficult. (The owners -- at least the ones I've met -- are also pretty nice, and probably will be willing to answer your questions.)

Really, good luck in opening a restaurant in Taichung. It's always great fun going to new places, and in Taichung, everyone seems to live to eat. :+)
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Re: How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby stare » 26 Apr 2012, 15:38

If you rent a place that was formerly a restaurant you won't have to spend as much time/money on renovations. I know of two restaurants in the West District on high-traffic roads that are available for rent, and both restaurants already have useable interiors and are up to code. Their rent is on the high side, at around 40K/mo, though. A friend recently closed his restaurant (for unrelated reasons) right next to Elementary Bar and I know it's still for rent. Might be good to be next to another bar... There are spaces all over town, at a whole range of rents.


I am definitely interested in something in the the West district. Please PM me and let me know where about the locations you are talking about. The rent amount you mentioned seems to be somewhat reasonable. This of course depends on a variety of factors: size, location, parking, being the main ones.

Clientele: The patrons that I would like to serve primarily would be local Taiwanese. I know that it is extremely difficult to make money of foreigners. This comes down to numbers simply put, we are the minority here. I think relying on foreigners for your income would be a foolhardy decision.

As I said please PM me the locations you are talking about.
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Re: How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby ichbinjenny » 26 Apr 2012, 16:25

Just did. Stop in anytime, too.
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Re: How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby ceevee369 » 26 Apr 2012, 16:30

Puppet wrote:
stare wrote:The restaurant I have in mind is a Sports Bar and Grill.

Just a head's up....

The reasons bars haven't been reopening is because of the new regulations put on them. They have to be in very specific places. The places they allow you to be in would cost (from a few former pub owner's descriptions) about 5 million NT just to get the building up to code. Never mind the actual bar itself, the inventory, chairs, decorations, TVs, etc.


if you are lucky, you could find offers on the 591 website. Some patrons can't cope with expenditures and want to let it take over.
Just maybe - you find a location with a take over of 1-2 million NT take over of equipment and a decent rent. Putting it up to your needs might be less all together than 5 MM. Success !
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Re: How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby Puppet » 28 Apr 2012, 03:11

ichbinjenny wrote:
Puppet wrote:
stare wrote:The restaurant I have in mind is a Sports Bar and Grill.

Just a head's up....

The reasons bars haven't been reopening is because of the new regulations put on them. They have to be in very specific places. The places they allow you to be in would cost (from a few former pub owner's descriptions) about 5 million NT just to get the building up to code. Never mind the actual bar itself, the inventory, chairs, decorations, TVs, etc.


Argh. That is the reason ONE popular bar did not reopen. Seriously. Other bars HAVE reopened. Apparently other establishment owners saw the cost of renovating and setting up a new place (or using stuff from their other place) as part of the cost of opening a new establishment. Opening a tea shop can cost a couple mil to just set up, so yes, it's going to cost some money to open a nice sports bar grill.

If you rent a place that was formerly a restaurant you won't have to spend as much time/money on renovations. I know of two restaurants in the West District on high-traffic roads that are available for rent, and both restaurants already have useable interiors and are up to code. Their rent is on the high side, at around 40K/mo, though. A friend recently closed his restaurant (for unrelated reasons) right next to Elementary Bar and I know it's still for rent. Might be good to be next to another bar... There are spaces all over town, at a whole range of rents.

Note: There is already a lot of competition for the foreign market in terms of sports grills. Or, are you going after Taiwanese patrons?

To answer your first question, though, yes, there are a good handful of foreigners who have opened businesses and these businesses are still open. You really should do a bit more research on the market -- Taichung is not very big and finding these foreign-owned establishments is not difficult. (The owners -- at least the ones I've met -- are also pretty nice, and probably will be willing to answer your questions.)

Really, good luck in opening a restaurant in Taichung. It's always great fun going to new places, and in Taichung, everyone seems to live to eat. :+)[/quote]

West district isn't set up for it. It's illegal to open there in most spots. I'd be VERY careful.

What is in the competition for the market of sports pubs? Interested to learn more.
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Re: How to start a Restaurant/Bar in Taiwan

Postby stare » 30 Apr 2012, 15:27

Agreed West district is the most difficult to open up in. Having said that, it is the place that everyone wants to be. All the new residences are there and it's ridiculous to think that people will travel across town to go out for a drink.

Sports bars in Taichung, in my opinion, are few and far between. The only one I can think of is The Londoner. As for Taiwanese owned I can't think of any. There used to be FUBAR but we all know what happened to them.

I do think it is possible and can be done but the location is the most important part. There is the location where FM is located. They have been shut for quite some time now, I think it's been about 8 months. From what I understand they are trying to get themselves a new license that will allow them to operate as a bar and restaurant. If you pass by FM and take a peek in the window you'll see that everything is there chairs, tables and even all the alcohol is on the shelves. I would love to have an opportunity to open a place there. It seems like the last place in the West District that could potentially allow a bar to open.
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