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.
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.
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.
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.
Azlefty: 1) Have you a feasibility study?2) Do you have a actual business plan based on that study3) Do you have actual experience in the type of restaurant you are opening and some F&B formal education to back it up4) Can you take and fund a monthly loss of at least 25% for the first 24 months5) are you willing to give up your life for the next 60 months minimum to make your business a successIf you answered no to any of these questions do not open6) Do you think that you will be a instant success and not have to worry about sales etc7) Do you think that you can hire your way to success8) Do you think your concept is unique and no one else has tried it9) did your business idea come about while out with friends10) Do you think David Irving will save you if you mess upIf you answered Yes to any of these questions do not openSimple 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.
Enormous-Schwanstucker: Chase it, do it.
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)
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?
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.
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