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If you have never owned a restaurant previously, you need to fully understand all the necessary parameters and dynamics the industry demands. There are one million and one critically important details you must be thoroughly comfortable and familiar with in order to be successful.
If you lack the exposure to and familiarity with the demands placed upon the operator, your first consideration must be to seek out and lock in the existing talent dedicated to your success.
You will need to share your dream with a senior managerial person who has been there and done that, with a good track record and the commitment to stay the course for at least the first two years of your opening. All the problematic business issues which will definitely come your way will be addressed during this period of time, from which a formula for your house operational considerations will become abundantly clear.
Essentially, you will need 'brains on tap', not just a GM. You will need a person who can bring all the talents, capabilities and experience with them
Your posting sounds very much like an 'American Bistro' environment, which is a step up from most cuisine agendas with a themed nuance. The American Bistro experience allows the operator greater freedom with a wider range of sales products with your menus and beverages. (There is no need for a full-liquor license; a beer and wine license will suffice).
In the industry, the profitability with regard to food products is relatively low, as opposed to alcohol sales profits which are marginally much higher.
The American Bistro concept allows the operator to poach virtually all contempory cuisine agendas and allows you to branch into continental cuisines also, this will allow you to offer something for everyone. You can expand and contract your menus via your daily specials to see if there is acceptance enough in your sales products to warrant sustaining popular menu additions.
In the old days, (I'm dating myself here), the general public wrongfully thought that to have a successful restaurant all you needed was a teriffic location and an 'open' sign. This was never true. The restaurant business is perhaps the most difficult industry on the planet, and guts and determination is a very small part of successful profitablity. Any new restaurant concept starting from the ground up is an incredible challenge not many people are willing or able to take on.
I myself possess thirty+ years of experience in the industry as Executive Chef / Food and Beverage Director / Owner and Partner. I possess a sincere love for my industry despite the long hours, hard work and disrupted social life, I would never consider any other option or industry.
Surround yourself with experienced and talented people who share your dream. I wish you well in your quest.
Hi Chef Jack
As a former manager in the fast food industry, I became more and more interested in running my own restaurant. I love the idea of running a bar and grill from when I lived in New York City. I noticed out here in Maryland there isn't that many types of bar and grills.
Thank you for your honesty and I will take it to heart. Once I have the permits and the building, maybe we can work together. If not if you know a bartender who needs a job..
I want to open a restaurant, Welcome Stacey
Yes two suggestions. One, Develop both a Business and Marketing Plan
Two, Contact SCORE. SCORE is FREE and can help you
Hello Mr. Faulkner,
I saw that you asked Stacey if she is looking for some capitol for any projects. I am in the process of starting a project similar to a restaurant but more so a lounge. I would like to discuss any opportunities to gain capitol with you.
Thank you for the info. I am going to check the site out and see what I can attain from it in regard to my needs
Congratulations on pursuing your dream. Now you need to take action. What are your goals? What is the next step? I would like to discuss you plan of action, if that is ok with you. Email me at any time. CorporateCommercialServices@yahoo.com. My company specializes in assisting start-ups and/or existing companies in the beginning stages of their venture. My consultation is free, and there is no upfront fee for our services.
My advice comes from working as a trouble shooter and food & beverage assistant for over 15 years.
*+1. STEAL TALENT...yes you heard me, steal! If you met a very very talented individual
2. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS COMPETITION! There isnt if you remember this Make the consumer your friend...not a customer, and make sure your staff re-inforces this mind set.
3. IDENTIFY,RESEARCH,RESEARCH Identify your sec levels...Socio Economic Classes...are they bikers, retirees, golf enthusiast, nascar enthusiast...now ask THEM what they want and how THEY WANT IT...not how you want it!
4. BUILD IT AND THEY WILL COME! The bar...I built what Epicurious.com referred to as the dream bar...I ended up with business men trying flights "samples of high end liquor" and playing duelling expense accounts...increased liqour sales by 48%.
5. DO FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR BUSINESS...BUT! You have to love your business but, never accept it's flaws always evolve til you eliminate these flaws.
6. MARKETING...SHMARKETING True marketing is done by your staff...everything they say about your business becomes gospel...send your bartenders to other bars...and restaurant staff to other restaurants spreading the gospel...on your dime!
I have a question for fundme, cashonhand which ever one. You say you dont offer "start-up" capital. What exactly is your down payment assistance program on your website? Isn't that providing "start-up" capital for your clients who need a down payment for the SBA program. I'm curious because isnt that helping your clients to borrow money to borrow more money? I'm curious, but at the same time confused. I would think that would be considered "start-up" provided from your company money to get my hands on money provided by the SBA program. Please elaborate for everyone responding to the topic.
Thank you for reviewing my website. Now about the down payment program, I don't know where you saw that but it's not on our website about down payment programs. So if you can point to me the section that says that then i would greatly appreciate it.
If you are still looking for information please let me know. I have been in the business for over 15 years as an Executive Chef, Area Executive Chef / Director of Food & Beverage, Hotel Director of Operations and Hotel General Manager. I am in the process of starting my own company and I can alteast let you know of some of the process and pros and cons.