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Opening a restaurant...


Verjuice
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if i were your mom i would seriously ask myself this question: why aren't there any breakfast spots around her? has nobody honestly ever noticed this? is the only reason there aren't any--other entrepeneurs' blindness?

i think it's easy to have that aha! sort of feeling at first, and convince yourself that there is an unexploited market. but step back from that and try to be as rational as possible. picture a breakfast spot there owned by somebody else, maybe one serving only so-so food; is it successful?

i'd also advise her to be honest with herself up front. spend sometime recognizing her weaknesses, and be ready to deal with them.

not to be discouraging, but the dream of running a joint can turn very sour indeed without A LOT of thinking. i've experienced both success and failure as a restaurateur. since the success of a joint can so often be totally random, you can't rule out the downside.

This is very good. I agree.

The mindset should be:

prevent capital loss (losing money)

Once that is successful, then change to:

build and grow the business as much as you can

Herb aka "herbacidal"

Tom is not my friend.

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After enduring 18 long years in the restaurant business, my wife and I left to find a more reasonable way to make a living. To that end we opened a small retail store that has nothing at all to do with food. This decision saved both our relationship and our financial lives. As business owners we work long hours, under some of the same stresses found in the restaurant business. But, the crucial difference is that we can control our destiny to a much greater degree than can a restaurant owner. No one will ever get food poisoning from us, nor will alcohol casue any lawsuits at worst, or hard feelings at the least. Nor will our employees be tempted to rob us blind whenever our backs are turned.

There have been some very good points brought up on this thread, and I would like to just add this; To open any business at all, you must decide that you will live every day, seven days a week, 24 hours a day thinking about your business. The ability to relax and forget about your business for even a minute is a extremely rare occurance. If deep down inside you feel that opening a business is your destiny than have at it, but be forewarned, there is no turning back once the genie is out of the bottle.

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H. L. Mencken

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Nice addition to the thread; Tim D.

I hope you are not completely jaded about your restaurant experience??

I have been there a few times my-self, so I understand the scenario.

stovetop

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Nice addition to the thread; Tim D.

I hope you are not completely jaded about your restaurant experience??

I have been there a few times my-self, so I understand the scenario.

stovetop

Thanks stovetop. I'm not jaded, just very cautious. In fact I've been approached several times over the past few years to become a partner in one venture or another and it is always very tempting, but so far I've managed to stay clear.

I've often compared being an ex-restaurant worker to being an alcoholic, every morning I get up and have the same conversation in my head:" I will not go back into the restaurant business today, I will not go back . . .". It's worked well so far, but a 'relapse' is always a possibility :smile:

Having said that, if someone feels that they too have heard the call of the kitchen, and they have done lots of research (why is it that there are no breakfast places in your neighborhood?) than I will always pull for them. I'm always the first in line to support a new local business.

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H. L. Mencken

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Tim D; I too have desires to once again don the multi hats and embark on the restaurant train, it is my life; I started in 1979 in Edmonton Alberta at highlands golf course; this summer job has turned into a life long obsession with things that are restaurants and food, I enjoy opening restaurants which is one of the most challenging things to do, it utilizes all the brains powers and problem solving skills, nothing ever goes exactly what was planed, I have made those journey on other peoples money as well as my own money, most of the projects I have done where on subleases or contracts, so not too much money was lost, the last one I did was in whistler BC, I lost a years income and a few brain cells, but I feel it was worth the experience, I am not married but know many in the business who have experienced the pressures that the business can have on a relationship, the partner has to be fully engaged with you so their is no hard feelings, both being involved in the business helps but still it can put huge pressure on the relationship and marriage, if children are involved, even more challenges, will be faced.

I am still looking now for a business venture but I have streamed lined my concept to be a small business that can have more then one income center, I want more control over the hours of operation, thus controlling the amount of time needed to spend in business; the one thing I did learn is that you do not make more money opening more hours, I found that all that happens is costs increase, but not profit.

Staff is a big headache, I do not enjoy baby sitting staff, and just being a employment and tax collector for the government, so if I do it again; I would have very limited staff and only open the hours that I can be there. This would alleviate some of my frustrations with the business.

I believe in this day and age it is hard to make a living if you only have one income center; you need something that brings in money of site; like catering or some kind of wholesale or service that you can provide with increasing your capital cost.

I have been researching this for about ten years and feel that I think I have something but now I must get all those ducks in a row like getting rid of personnel debt, get some cash flow, find a suitable town or city to try again, or maybe just get out like you did, oh what webs we weave.

stovetop

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I started in 1980 in Vermont and have since lived all over the country and to be honest, there is hardly a place in the country that couldn't use a "new (insert cusine here) restaurant".

I do agree with the multiple revenue streams idea. You always need to have something to fall back on, when the slow times come, and they will come.

Retail is just as hard as food service in many ways, and my (and my wife's) experience in the heat of battle has served us well. Someday we might open a little spot, but more than likely we'll open some kind of wholesale production type of business. Mo money, less hours.

"An idealist is one who, on noticing that a rose smells better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup." - H. L. Mencken

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Yes, that is a good idea, I have began to have those same kind of thoughts, Some kind of secondary products that you can outsource, open day hours, close two days a week, no nights, stay away from the booze, not so many restrictions, I personely feel that booze is not always the huge cash cow, at least up here in the great white north, big brother gets most of the money any way.

stovetop

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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