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(Fark)   Any farkers have luck opening a restaurant/tavern, or otherwise have thoughts/tips for someone before they pull the trigger on doing so themselves?   (fark.com) divider line 140
    More: Advice  
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660 clicks; posted to FarkUs » on 03 Oct 2013 at 7:14 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-10-03 01:10:38 AM  
My grandparents owned a bar/restaurant, and I grew up in one.

They are a LOT of work. Figure 10 times more than you can imagine, and then add a little bit. There is always something that needs to be cleaned, repaired, replaced, updated, painted, scoured, purchased, cooked, baked, or waxed.

Employees will drive you crazy. They can be late, sick, whining, unmotivated, dishonest, or just plain crazy...although there will be some great ones. Someone will quit on the busiest night of the year, and you will spend so much time hiring, firing and managing employes that you will wonder when you have time to run the place.

Customers will do what ever they want to. They will expect to get instant service at 6PM on a Friday night, will think nothing of trying to stiff you, and will badmouth you for reasons both good and bad. Everyone that walks in the door thinks they are the boss, and many seem to have learned their basic manners from a herd of goats.

There are entire government departments who live just to torture you. The liquor board will occasionally decide to enforce some picayune regulation on a whim, something like bottle labels on the liquor shelf face the wrong way. The health department will occasionally show up and fail you for something that they have passed on their last 20 visits.

People will drink way too much, then blame you when there is a $300 charge on their credit card after they bought 10 rounds of drinks. If they get drunk and get in trouble, they will sue you, but if you try to cut them off, they will sue you. Some will turn violent.

There are no real days off. Stay away for more than a day or two, and your head waiter will sell the place to the Russians. Trust an assistant chef to take a delivery of lobster, and he will accept 50 dead crustaceans.


OK, so that is a little over the top. It can be fun, you will meet some great people, and maybe even make a few bucks. Just be ready for lots of hard work, plenty of trials by fire, and more than a few headaches.
 
2013-10-03 01:23:02 AM  
Restaurants are one of the least successful small businesses.

They are a terrible idea, especially if you're blowing your load opening it.

If you desperately must open one, look into a franchise that tends to do well, like McDonald's or Outback, or anything but an independent place unless you're in a very small town with no competition.

But really, if you want to open a restaurant, you're likely to get higher average returns putting all the money in CD's or T-notes.

To summarize, if:

1. You have worked in restaurants for many years basically running the place for the owners.

2. And made a profit in that time.

3. And will be working in the same restaurant niche.

4. And will have minimal competition.

Then maybe you should consider it.
 
2013-10-03 02:42:36 AM  
My coworker is buying a restaurant that is already established, but he has worked in food service and his business partner is in the industry (she's a baker) and will be doing the day-to-day management (he's the finance guy).

So.... my thought is to see about buying a restaurant that's already existing, but even then wonder why it's for sale.
 
2013-10-03 02:47:25 AM  
1) Have you a feasibility study?
2) Do you have a actual business plan  based on that study
3) Do you have actual experience in the  type of restaurant you are opening and some F&B formal education to back it up
4) Can you take and fund a monthly loss of at least 25% for  the  first 24 months
5) are you willing to give up your life for the  next 60 months minimum to make your business a success

If you answered no to any of these questions do not open

6) Do you think that you will be a instant success and not have to worry about sales etc
7) Do you think that you can hire your way to success
8) Do you think your concept is unique and no one else has tried it
9) did your business idea come about while out with friends
10) Do you think David Irving will save you if you mess up

If you answered Yes to any of these questions do not open

Simple fact is that unless you have extensive food service management experience and are willing to give up your life you will most likely fail.

There is a reason that 70% of restaurants fail within 10 years.  think a lot before you try to jump the  shark.

If you want to open a restaurant with a lower risk of failure look at franchises, at least some of hte  chains will buy yuo out if you screw it up.
 
2013-10-03 07:17:07 AM  
Serve free booze with each plate, that may help.
 
2013-10-03 07:19:16 AM  
Don't
 
2013-10-03 07:24:55 AM  
Freakin' American laws ruin everything.

Back in the waybackwhen, every house in Athens was ALSO a bar/restaurant.

So basically your kitchen opened up to an area where people could come for a wine and some grub in exchange for a few drachmas. If you were full, they'd go next door.
 
2013-10-03 07:25:19 AM  
Before you start, make sure you have a good bankruptcy attorney.
 
2013-10-03 07:32:30 AM  
Yeah, I've got a tipe.

Don't.
 
2013-10-03 07:35:32 AM  
Worst comes to worst, subby, try to get on Restaurant Impossible.
 
2013-10-03 07:38:40 AM  

Gig103: My coworker is buying a restaurant that is already established, but he has worked in food service and his business partner is in the industry (she's a baker) and will be doing the day-to-day management (he's the finance guy).

So.... my thought is to see about buying a restaurant that's already existing, but even then wonder why it's for sale.


Very few restaurants outside of the chains are really worth anything more than the equipment.

most are for sale because the owners got tired of working 80 hours a week for 40k a year and constant ungodly stress.
 
2013-10-03 07:41:01 AM  

mr_a: My grandparents owned a bar/restaurant, and I grew up in one.

They are a LOT of work. Figure 10 times more than you can imagine, and then add a little bit. There is always something that needs to be cleaned, repaired, replaced, updated, painted, scoured, purchased, cooked, baked, or waxed.

Employees will drive you crazy. They can be late, sick, whining, unmotivated, dishonest, or just plain crazy...although there will be some great ones. Someone will quit on the busiest night of the year, and you will spend so much time hiring, firing and managing employes that you will wonder when you have time to run the place.

Customers will do what ever they want to. They will expect to get instant service at 6PM on a Friday night, will think nothing of trying to stiff you, and will badmouth you for reasons both good and bad. Everyone that walks in the door thinks they are the boss, and many seem to have learned their basic manners from a herd of goats.

There are entire government departments who live just to torture you. The liquor board will occasionally decide to enforce some picayune regulation on a whim, something like bottle labels on the liquor shelf face the wrong way. The health department will occasionally show up and fail you for something that they have passed on their last 20 visits.

People will drink way too much, then blame you when there is a $300 charge on their credit card after they bought 10 rounds of drinks. If they get drunk and get in trouble, they will sue you, but if you try to cut them off, they will sue you. Some will turn violent.

There are no real days off. Stay away for more than a day or two, and your head waiter will sell the place to the Russians. Trust an assistant chef to take a delivery of lobster, and he will accept 50 dead crustaceans.


OK, so that is a little over the top. It can be fun, you will meet some great people, and maybe even make a few bucks. Just be ready for lots of hard work, plenty of trials by fire, and more than a few headaches.


This sounds about right.
 
2013-10-03 07:44:24 AM  
3.bp.blogspot.com

Don't skimp on money for signage.
 
2013-10-03 07:48:51 AM  
I've always heard that the easiest way to get a million dollars in the restaurant business is to start with two million...

Seriously though, just what is it that makes you think that you will succeed when 70-90% of them fail within a few years?  There are a lot more fun ways to blow all that money in a few years that don't involve working 110-120 hour weeks, working every holiday & weekend, & giving up most of your current friends (most of whom won't show up because they know you'd want to comp them & don't want to take advantage of you (your good friends), or won't show up again because you didn't comp them the first time (your not so good friends).

So the best suggestion I can come up with is - don't.
 
2013-10-03 07:53:15 AM  

Gig103: My coworker is buying a restaurant that is already established, but he has worked in food service and his business partner is in the industry (she's a baker) and will be doing the day-to-day management (he's the finance guy).

So.... my thought is to see about buying a restaurant that's already existing, but even then wonder why it's for sale.


One other thought on existing restaurants. Make sure you get a good CPA with experience in restaurant valuation and sales.

the guys selling them will shove you all kinds of bullshiat financial information. you will see everything from them claiming their place is very pprofitable But they haven't paid the owners, or their kids who work full time a salary in years to them expensing the hell out of everything to the business. Your CPA should be able to go through their tax returns and note unusual items for more investigation and adjustment. FYI at least here, anyone can call their self a business broker. That's not to say they all suck, but lots do. No education, license, or testing, just a fancy business card and slick talking.
 
2013-10-03 07:55:55 AM  
Why is this clogging up the business section rather than the FARKUS section?


Just my two cents if subby is coming to Fark for business advice his business is already doomed.
 
2013-10-03 07:58:32 AM  
www.film.com

I'd have to advise against it.
 
2013-10-03 08:00:26 AM  
Papa John's
 
2013-10-03 08:01:30 AM  
A lot of people in this thread are being pretty negative, and rightfully so. I think that what they're saying is valid. And now that they've spoken, and you've heard what they've said, chase that dream. Do it with your eyes open and know that at one time or another, all of the things mr_a mentioned will come to pass. But do it anyway if it's your dream.

There are damn few jobs on this Earth that are always perfect, and 99.9% of all of us will have a job that we can complain about if we think about it for any length of time. But not all of us can start a business doing something we love, and have a chance to chase a dream. If this is something you always wanted to do, take a deep breath and be prepared to work your ass off and deal with the headaches that might come with it. Because most people, even if they have a great day at work, are still doing something that only leads to a paycheck.
 
2013-10-03 08:01:56 AM  
Just open it up and call Robert to fix it...
bloximages.chicago2.vip.townnews.com
 
2013-10-03 08:06:20 AM  
I was in food service for nearly 10 years, management for 5 and I'd also like to say:

Don't. for all the reasons given above.

If you still want to, I'll echo the advice above about being able to operate at a loss for 2 years. The last place I worked had the financial partner essentially back out 3 weeks after opening. The owner eventually drove himself into bankruptcy taking shady loans to try and stay open.

Also, make damn sure you have enough exclusive parking that your place can be full. If it's a strip mall or anything similar that may not be true, and it will sink you. That was a big part of the place I mentioned going under.

Finally, know when to back out. Have a plan for failure. If you try to hold on until you are forced to close you could be in debt for a long, long time.
 
2013-10-03 08:12:28 AM  

wraith95: I was in food service for nearly 10 years, management for 5 and I'd also like to say:

Don't. for all the reasons given above.

If you still want to, I'll echo the advice above about being able to operate at a loss for 2 years. The last place I worked had the financial partner essentially back out 3 weeks after opening. The owner eventually drove himself into bankruptcy taking shady loans to try and stay open.

Also, make damn sure you have enough exclusive parking that your place can be full. If it's a strip mall or anything similar that may not be true, and it will sink you. That was a big part of the place I mentioned going under.

Finally, know when to back out. Have a plan for failure. If you try to hold on until you are forced to close you could be in debt for a long, long time.


This is the other thing. Make sure you have financing in place up front. Don't depend on your partners income to fund losses. A large reason the failure rate is so high is due to the owners thinking it will cost x and when it costs y they just can never recover.
 
2013-10-03 08:19:47 AM  
theelvee.com
 
2013-10-03 08:22:36 AM  
Watch every season of kitchen nightmares. Realize that every place on there thought they were going to succeed. Realize that even Gordon Ramsay has had restaurants fail.

Then don't do it.
 
2013-10-03 08:27:42 AM  
Other than working a restaurant for less than a year I have zero owner/management experience - and even as a 16 year old kid I could see what the owner went through even at an established placed that had already survived decades.

Reading this its also incredibly obvious why we're stuck with so many damn chain places and so few great independents - probably be easier to get a loan to buy a house on a gardeners salary than one to open an independent restaurant.
 
2013-10-03 08:30:44 AM  

SmackLT: A lot of people in this thread are being pretty negative, and rightfully so. I think that what they're saying is valid. And now that they've spoken, and you've heard what they've said, chase that dream. Do it with your eyes open and know that at one time or another, all of the things mr_a mentioned will come to pass. But do it anyway if it's your dream.

There are damn few jobs on this Earth that are always perfect, and 99.9% of all of us will have a job that we can complain about if we think about it for any length of time. But not all of us can start a business doing something we love, and have a chance to chase a dream. If this is something you always wanted to do, take a deep breath and be prepared to work your ass off and deal with the headaches that might come with it. Because most people, even if they have a great day at work, are still doing something that only leads to a paycheck.


This is exactly what we're doing and well said. My wife and I were both laid off and no matter how much we polished the resume or all the certs/training/school, nothing is biting. I'm fascinated by the restaurant biz so we're pulling the trigger.

We're not going in with a partner. I can't take on that hassle and yes, we can get 100% financing without leveraging a single asset in our names. We have absolutely no illusions this will be easy, we'll work shorter hours but with us having nearly perfect credit, absolute incentive and a serious marketing plan to drive traffic we might just do it...or not :) Besides, if it fails I only have myself to blame, not some shiatty company that had a bad quarter and wants to look good to the investors so they start dumping bodies. We're not going anywhere near a bank or the SBA since neither will touch us. Private lenders baby...

I can't stress these two items enough: A solid business plan (let a pro write it, you'll fail otherwise) and get a credit coach. Do everything possible to keep the credit score high or raise it further.

Chase it, do it.
 
2013-10-03 08:39:08 AM  
Capital, capital, capital.

It will cost 2x your estimate to get the space equipped and inspected. It will take 2x the time, also.

If you're getting a liquor license, cultivate the patience of Job.

Budget for full expenditures for the first 6 months (labor, food, supplies, services).  Budget for zero revenue for the first 6 months.

Find a really good manager/assistant manager.  You can't be there 24/7, and you need somebody you can really trust to fill in those gaps.
 
2013-10-03 08:40:00 AM  

Azlefty: 1) Have you a feasibility study?
2) Do you have a actual business plan  based on that study
3) Do you have actual experience in the  type of restaurant you are opening and some F&B formal education to back it up
4) Can you take and fund a monthly loss of at least 25% for  the  first 24 months
5) are you willing to give up your life for the  next 60 months minimum to make your business a success

If you answered no to any of these questions do not open

6) Do you think that you will be a instant success and not have to worry about sales etc
7) Do you think that you can hire your way to success
8) Do you think your concept is unique and no one else has tried it
9) did your business idea come about while out with friends
10) Do you think David Irving will save you if you mess up

If you answered Yes to any of these questions do not open

Simple fact is that unless you have extensive food service management experience and are willing to give up your life you will most likely fail.

There is a reason that 70% of restaurants fail within 10 years.  think a lot before you try to jump the  shark.

If you want to open a restaurant with a lower risk of failure look at franchises, at least some of hte  chains will buy yuo out if you screw it up.


Great post.  I'm just going to add...

I've watched shows like Hotel Impossible and Bar Rescue (don't care much for the latter)...and one of the common threads of why these businesses are failing is that the owners had NO experience in running a hotel or restaurant (they just thought it would be a fun idea)...or if they did have experience, it was running the hotel/bar the same way their grandparents did.  Why people get into a business they know nothing about running boggles my mind.

Many years ago when I was in my 20's, I worked with a bar manager who's  job was opening up nightclubs across the country.  He was paid VERY well (I think his base was crap but he got a percentage of profits or big bonuses based on number...if the bar sucked, he didn't make squat).  He set up the processes and personnel (including finding/grooming his replacement) to keep the bar running successfully (he was usually at a bar for a year or 2 before moving on).  If you don't have good experience, you'd better hire a professional that can do it for you...and that WiLL cost you.  Just like anything else, really good people are hard to find.


 
jgi
2013-10-03 08:46:31 AM  

Enormous-Schwanstucker: Chase it, do it.


I'm going to ask a personal question, so don't feel you have to answer. If both you and your wife have been unemployed for a while, how the hell are you securing enough financing to open a restaurant? I gather from your post, perhaps incorrectly, that you don't even have restaurant experience. What's the deal?
 
2013-10-03 08:46:57 AM  
On top of sid_6.7's rule...  always try to be full. Do your sums and you'll realise that a restaurant's costs are heavily leaning towards fixed costs: rent, heating, lighting, advertising, a certain minimumnumber of staff. Just being open with a waiter standing around is costing you a huge amount of money - you want to then be maximising your tables at all times.

So, Friday and Saturday night, you fill the place and charge full price. Midweek, you cut prices as much as possible. 10 tables where you make £5 on a meal is better than 2 tables where you make £10 on a meal. Plus, those ten tables are going to drink, and that's the best markup.

And do what you do, and do it well. Don't throw hundreds of bizarre dishes on the menu.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-10-03 08:48:28 AM  
I know a woman whose best friend's husband ran off with the waitress they were opening a restaurant with. So you've got that going for you.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-10-03 08:55:44 AM  
More seriously, this TFer has posted comments about the restaurant/entertainment industry that sounded intelligent to me and he has an email in his profile.
 
2013-10-03 08:56:55 AM  
Unless you have the money to hire somebody else to manage it, why on earth would anybody want to start a restaurant?

low-life employees and asshole customers, tons of hard, dirty work, and high odds of bankruptcy.

Where do I sign up?
 
2013-10-03 08:57:16 AM  
Find a money person.  Sell them on your grand idea and let them foot  the bill.  Spare no exspense, and be sure to skim a little off each.  Make sure every dollar that come into the til you get a little bit before any bill gets paid.  Keep it up for as long as you can, push the produce guy well past your creditworthyness, same with the meat and the frozen guy.  Shield your earnings and walk away.
 
2013-10-03 09:02:27 AM  
A good rule for any small business is to be capitalized  with enough  to run in the red for up to three years. This is even more important for restaurants, where the margins are extra-thin. If you don't have enough in the bank to bleed for three years before it starts going revenue-positive, you're going to fail.  Time after time, I see local guys open a place, a bar or diner, saying to themselves that surely, they will be so awesome that customers will flock by the eight month... they all go bankrupt.  Another guy I knew, had a really successful Mexican restaurant downtown, then decided he'd expand and add a tapas place on the outskirts of town... it was a sinkhole that absorbed all his capital and he went out of business altogether.
 
2013-10-03 09:03:12 AM  
I've seen a lot of talented chefs over the years open a restaurant and fail. Being able to make great food is not enough.

When I worked in the commercial services department of a home improvement store, one of my clients was opening a pizza restaurant. I already knew him through another of my friends and I helped him with the supplies he needed to rehabilitate a bar that had closed a few years ago into his new pizzeria.

His pizza was excellent and he offered good table service and tasty malted milkshakes and sandwiches . The place was frequently empty though as there wasn't much street parking and his parking lot resembled a moonscape. His oven was fairly small and couldn't accommodate more than 4 pizzas at once.

Since then, I've seen a number of restaurants come and go in that spot and none have lasted more than a few years.
 
2013-10-03 09:05:07 AM  

slayer199: and one of the common threads of why these businesses are failing is that the owners had NO experience in running a hotel or restaurant (they just thought it would be a fun idea)


Pretty much THIS

No-one who starts a software consulting business does so from outside. They're always started by insiders. Even if they fail, it isn't spectacularly and certainly not at the 80-90% rate of restaurants.

There's a cafe opened near me, and it's been opened by amateurs. Not just cafe outsiders, but business outsiders. People who've only worked in government. It's competing with a dozen (I kid you not) other cafes in walking distance that are already established and well run by pros and also have 2nd revenue streams (like being a hotel or a restaurant at night, or being a deli/cafe, or a bakery, or making their own ice cream) which means that in some ways, they don't compete. But this new one has none of that.  I give it a year before it goes to the wall.
 
2013-10-03 09:07:07 AM  
Specialize, there's already enough places selling the same old meals as everywhere else. Identify what people in your area really want and then provide massive plates full of it.
My advice is this - Broccoli and Cous-Cous!!
I eat it every day and it's so good. Get a lot of broccoli and cut it up, maybe wash it at some point and then start boiling it. While it's cooking find a premises to sell it from, that might be a van parked outside a bar or a vacant store, no need for a fancy place with a kitchen and stuff like extractor fans, cooking broccoli and cous-cous is easy!!
Once it's simmering and you have somewhere to sell it add some salt and pepper to the broccoli. Keep cooking it for a few hours to totally enrich the water with vital nutrients and flavor. Get some staff to help you so you can do coke, you might not like coke but you have to do coke, thems the rules. Young women that don't eat are best in the restaurant business, pay them whatever the government says they're worth and let them have most of their tips.
Once the broccoli is good and done add some cous-cous, this uses the water you enriched and saves washing up somehow. Thrash the two ingredients together with power tools, this bit confuses me but there's probably YouTube tutorials on how to use tools as a chef or cook.
Once all that's done eat some, it will taste divine.
Put an amount on a plate and charge an amount of money for it, people will come flocking!!
Wash stuff up, or get a brain-damaged fool to do that for you. You might want to do some desserts or them bubble teas, maybe coffee if a lot of women are in your area.
There, you will be rich and happy. People love broccoli and cous-cous and can never resist eating it, good luck!!
 
2013-10-03 09:07:24 AM  
You should especially run up bills on the joint's credit. Why not? Nobody's gonna pay for it anyway.  As soon as the deliveries are made in the front door, you move the stuff out the back and sell it at a discount. You take a two hundred dollar case of booze and sell it for a hundred. It doesn't matter. It's all profit. And, finally, when there's nothing left, when you can't borrow another buck from the bank or buy another case of booze, you bust the joint out.  You light a match.
 
2013-10-03 09:08:26 AM  
I know two brothers, one is a successful attorney with his own practice specializing in small business/contract/IP law. The other worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years as a manager for independent and chain restaurants.

They looked at opening a place together for over a decade. They did all the math, and looked at locations, concepts, and franchises in 5 states.

At the end of the day they couldn't justify pulling the trigger. Even with the attorney's ability to pull in capital and the other brother's extensive experience the risk was simply too great. So the attorney does attorney things and the manager guy took a job with a big company managing a truck stop with a great retirement package.

I've worked in the industry, including for 2 independent restaurants (everything from dishwasher to headwaiter at a place with linen aprons and bow ties on the wait staff and assistant manager at a family place with a buffet). One of the three independent places I worked for is still around. The other two went out of business within a year after I left.

It's a brutal industry.
 
2013-10-03 09:09:34 AM  
Don't do it.  I did. This is what learned.


Don't own the bar:

Go in, Sit down, order beer, drink beer, pay for beer. Leave. Cost $2.50

Own the Bar:

Order beer ,store the beer, Call technician because the Beer cooler won't get cold enough, pay bartender to stock the beer, The bartender serves the beer (and takes a few beers for herself to hand out to friends that come in)

at this point many ways you can go:

(a) Customer drinks beer, pays for beer and leaves. (The ideal scenario)

(b) Customer is sober when they show up. take a bathroom break after getting to your bar, drink two beers, pay for beer, leave, get pulled over because they are swerving. Apparently they have narcotics in their system. (which they took on their bathroom break, mixed with the beer) and they respond to officers question of "where are you coming from?" with "your bar name here". Which leads to the government agency in your state. (T. A.B.C here) starting an investigation into your bar. (happens more than you think)

(c) Customer is not supposed to be in bar, angry spouse shows up, (insert scene of your choice here) which all ends with the police have to come to escort them off your property.
You threw them out, but just cant seem to get them to leave the parking lot.

I could go on and on.... So lets go with the ideal scenario:

Customer drinks beer, pays for beer and leaves.

(These were my cost years ago)

Buy your beer from the distributor                          $0.91
pay your bartender for serving beer                      $ 0.10 (average)
state taxes on beer (14%)                                     $ 0.12 (Varies state to state)
theft and spill percentage(19%)                            $0.18 (this varies as well depending on the workforce of Clumsy kleptomaniac bartenders) not all are bad
Mandatory Insurance requirements to protect  $0.05 (this moves around a bit depends on slow times and good times)
you from being sued by your customers
Overhead (rent, utilities, etc.)                               $0.29 ((this could be larger or smaller depending on location)

Grand Total                                                 $1.60 per beer cost
Sale price                                                    $ 2.50
Profit                                                            $0.90

Obviously the numbers will change depending on your cost compared to sales price. But this is what my experience was several years back. The point is: Spend $2.50 and enjoy your nectar of the gods with no headaches or worries (Well.... based on consumption) or Deal with nightmares of Drunkards, Government Officials, Long Days and Nights, and little sleep. all for $0.90 profit. You can do the math to figure out how may beers you have to sling across the bar to make your desired monthly amount.

Which i will add..... that last option you have yet to enjoy a cold beer for yourself.

That's my take on the bar side. I don't want to think of the Horrors of the food side of the business. <shivers>
 
2013-10-03 09:10:27 AM  
Best Advice I have ever been given concerning the subject of running a Restaurant/Bar combination:

If your alcohol sales go over 35% when added to your food sales to calculate total revenue you have problems.

You do not want to be running the type of "tavern" that attracts that type of person.

You want to keep it a family establishment that keeps people walking in the door and willing to bring their families for lunch or dinner.
 
2013-10-03 09:13:12 AM  

jgi: Enormous-Schwanstucker: Chase it, do it.

I'm going to ask a personal question, so don't feel you have to answer. If both you and your wife have been unemployed for a while, how the hell are you securing enough financing to open a restaurant? I gather from your post, perhaps incorrectly, that you don't even have restaurant experience. What's the deal?


Thats a very fair question and I'll try to answer it without being too wordy or revealing too much. We're a corporation so we only need to establish the first lines of credit with the bank; small, unsecured lines of credit. It pretty much spirals up from there with some time sensitive planning. None of our personal assets are up for grabs so if it fails we keep the house, etc...

Important disclosure note: We have retained a very good consultant who's guiding us through this and we've paid a decent sum for the service, He guarantees nothing of course but we'll have as much in place as possible to get started properly.

farkeruk is absolutely right. Keep the bloody menu simple and do it very well.  We have a highly focused menu and plan, exploiting a surprisingly untapped market with some other tie ins. Not rocket surgery here, just an idea that's been vetted by some very good restaurateurs and they like it a lot.
 
2013-10-03 09:14:14 AM  
I wouldn't unless I was already independently wealthy.
 
2013-10-03 09:15:43 AM  
If you want to make a little money in the restaurant bidness, start off with a lot of money.

Unfortunately my brother learned this the hard way...
 
2013-10-03 09:18:40 AM  

push3r: I know two brothers, one is a successful attorney with his own practice specializing in small business/contract/IP law. The other worked in the restaurant industry for over 20 years as a manager for independent and chain restaurants.

They looked at opening a place together for over a decade. They did all the math, and looked at locations, concepts, and franchises in 5 states.


Niles: We want our name to be inviting and welcoming. Oh, oh, what's the word for lighthearted in French?
Frasier: [thinking a moment] There isn't one...... I've got it, Niles, I've got it! "Le Freres Heureux".
Niles: The "Happy Brothers" ..... Brilliant! It's homey, but just hard enough to pronounce to intimidate the riff-raff!
 
2013-10-03 09:20:41 AM  
Every coffee shop around here has a line up of cars in the drive-thu and lineups inside. If I was to think about running a food/drink business, picking one of these franchises would be high on my list. It also gets rid of a lot of a problems of running a full bar/restaurant mentioned above.
 
2013-10-03 09:24:34 AM  
The biggest thing I have seen is people with zero experience getting into it because they love the idea. It's possible to be successful but it does stack the odds against your favor. I knew this couple that took over a successful art gallery. They both came from a different field and had never worked in the business before. They came in with decent expectations on the lack of profitability but didn't count on all the mistakes they were going to make. And they have made a ton. From pissing off vendors and artists to firing all the experienced employees. From the first day I met them I gave them one year until the gallery folded. And it looks like that may come true. They didn't understand the business nor customer service. Sales is a different beast from white collar management. And they thought they knew it all. Well they are taking a beating for that ego and may end up losing everything because of it. If you have never worked in the business I would suggest working it for a while. Even just a few months to get a better idea on what you're getting yourself into and the frequent problems that arise.
 
2013-10-03 09:27:36 AM  
Stay away from coke..... I do not know how many restaurants that have closed because the owner snorted up all the money.
 
2013-10-03 09:45:31 AM  
my advice -

full nude, none of this pastie stuff
tell them to pull back on the amount of cocoa butter
no cover charge
make sure the VIP room has two layers of security to allow enough time to get situations corrected in the event of a raid

There are probably more, but these will work to get you off the ground and secure repeat business
 
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