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7 Easy to Follow Tips for Opening Your Very Own Floating Restaurant

7 Easy to Follow Tips for Opening Your Very Own Floating Restaurant

Nowadays, traditional restaurant styles are losing their appeal because aside from wanting great food, people also want to have a great experience. So, if you want to open a restaurant that will draw people in, you will need something that truly stands out and gives diners a great experience.

Why not open a floating restaurant? These types of restaurants are gaining popularity in Southeast Asian countries, and they are becoming a favorite of tourists and locals alike. But before you even think of starting on this endeavor, you will need a plan. Here are seven tips for opening your very own floating restaurant.

Build a Sturdy Boathouse

When it comes to opening a floating restaurant, it is important that you build a sturdy boathouse first. The boathouse is technically a maneuverable floating platform, so it does not really need to be boat-shaped. This exotic look is the hook as tourists and locals alike are intrigued by the concept.

When you build your boathouse, make sure that you use the best materials possible. In choosing your floating platforms you should use plastic floating docks. It is a better material than wood because it does not rot or splinter and it is definitely a lot more durable than wood. The house should be light enough to float, so you should use lighter materials that are still sturdy enough to withstand strong winds without sinking the ship. The house does not need to have a lot of fixtures; all you really need is enough space for a kitchen, dining room, and of course a restroom for your guests and staff.

Once the house is built, it should be welded to a metal framework and fastened on top of pontoons made up of plastic floating docks. Next, make sure that the weight is well-distributed. The houseboat may look unwieldy at first, but with the pontoon platforms, it should be maneuverable enough to travel through rivers.

Come up with a Great Name

To come up with a name for your floating restaurant, you could use the names of landmarks or rivers in your area, but make sure your floating restaurant’s name is both catchy and fits your overall theme. It should also have a connection to your menu. But, before you start advertising your restaurant, you should make sure that no other company or another restaurant is using the name.

Plot out Your Floating Restaurant’s Course

River routes can be somewhat unpredictable as there might be rocky areas or waterfalls, or even other boats in the area. So, before you take your floating restaurant for a spin, it is important that you plot out your course. Make sure that your chosen course is as safe as possible and check out how many boats are usually in that area.

Provide Entertainment

As entertaining as it is to ride a houseboat, the novelty can run out pretty fast. So, if you want your guests to keep having fun, you should make sure that you provide as much entertainment as possible. You can have a band or a comedy show to perform, but only if there is ample space for both your customers and your performers on the boat. You don’t want people to feel cramped and uncomfortable.

Have a Set Theme

Your restaurant should also have a theme. This is important because your theme will help set your restaurant apart from other restaurants and it will also guide you in how you should decorate your restaurant. Your theme could be Hawaiian where you have a Luau and a fire pit in the middle for a pig roast, or you could even have a Louisiana riverboat experience, complete with casinos and cabarets.

Create a Fitting Menu

When coming up with a menu, it is important that the food matches your overall theme. It would be a bit strange if your theme is a Louisiana riverboat experience, and you serve Hawaiian cuisine. It does not really match and could ruin the ambiance of your restaurant.

It is also imperative that your kitchen crew is used to working on a boat. Remember that the boat will be moving most of the time, so you should make sure that none of your kitchen crew has motion sickness. They should also know how to work in tight spaces because your boathouse may not have that much free space.

Make it as Safe as Possible

Remember that there are risks to running a floating restaurant. The engine may malfunction and your boathouse could get stranded, or it could spring a leak and rapidly sink. Even if your boathouse is well-made, there is no way to predict whether an emergency will arise. This is why you should be as prepared as possible.

First things first, you should equip your boathouse with lifejackets. Make sure that there are enough lifejackets for all of your guests and staff members on board. It is also advisable that your boathouse has lifeboats. That way, should there be an emergency your guest could evacuate the craft quickly. Fires could also start in the kitchens, so you should place fire extinguishers in strategic locations.

The floating restaurant business is like any other business. There are risks involved, and it is your job to minimize these risks as much as possible.


Running a floating restaurant can be difficult. Aside from maintaining an efficient restaurant, you also need to ensure a safe journey for your guests. Luckily you are armed with the knowledge to get started the right way.

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by Lottie Pritchard // Lottie Pritchard is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.