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How do I start my own restaurant?

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posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 12:34 AM
Anyone own one???

I would love to know how do you go about starting a restaurant.

Any special procedures?

posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 03:58 PM
I'm going to save you a lot of time and effort.

Borrow as much money as you possibly can, second mortgage, max out your credit cards, etc. Combine that with all the money you already have and set fire to it. While it's burning, take a shrimp fork and drive it into your temple with a tack hammer. Now you've bankrupted yourself and experienced the pain, but haven't wasted six months.

You're welcome.

posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 04:11 PM
Yeahright.....bad experience?

I wouldn't do it either, although my kids have always thought I should. When they were little and we were out...they would say "mom we're hungry" and I would say..."good let's go to Jennifers kitchen and have a bite to eat!" It took them a while to figure out Jennifer's kitchen was at home!

Lovely kids, really,....they do brag on moms cooking...but I still won't open a resturant for them....they can come home and eat anytime they want to.

I think resturants really tie you down, and soon you will find you have no life, but that's just my opinion! Good luck if you decide to give it a go

posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 04:18 PM

Originally posted by jensouth31
Yeahright.....bad experience?

Let's just say I've seen it done. Always sounds like a good idea, but unless you're willing to put in brutal hours, put up with unimaginable "issues" and make less than a Nike factory worker in Thailand per hour for a year or more, don't even try it.

posted on Nov, 29 2006 @ 10:16 PM

Speaking from the experience of cooking in a lot of restaurants (a few start-ups), and having family in the business, it's gonna cost money........
Lot's of money.

I've seen people sink a million bucks into a place and have it go under within six months of opening, and others that take a lease on a turn key and make a good living for themselves.

You can't let your dream become larger than your wallet, and you need to keep some finances in reserve. Believe me, your always going to need more than you have while starting up a new business.

Once you get the operation up and running,

(and don't serve possum...)

Try to give yourself a financial comfort zone that gives the business a time to grow.
You may need to try some innovative marketing to get the restaurant noticed, and it will take some time to build a group of regular customers.
With sufficient funds you will have the time to develop and tweak the business while your client base grows.

Do you love cooking ???
I've always found the best owners of successful restaurants are the ones that can't stay out of the kitchen.
They work 20 hours a day and have their hands in every aspect of the business, and it does take it's toll.
But it can also be very rewarding......

You'll need all the help you can get, so this can't hurt.

Good Luck

posted on Nov, 30 2006 @ 03:19 AM
Thanx guys. I appreciate the advice. I am thinking of a small family restaurant, nothing fancy.

posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 06:31 AM
I own a succesful restaurant in York in England and have just won 'restaurant of the year' from the local tourist board. Considering York is the second most visited city in England I consider this quite an honour.

Personally, I had worked in several restaurants all of which did very well but I felt I could do better doing things my way.
I found a small run down cafe/restaurant which wasnt doing to well but could see the potential in it so I made an offer and took over the lease.

I have done things very slowly on a small budget.
I gave the premsies a l;ick of paint and bought more equipment but only spent £10,000 on buying the business and extra equipment.

Gradually over the course of 4 years I have slowly improved the building / garden area bit by bit spreading the cost. I have never gone into the overdraft and have been on great terms with my bank because of this.

I think people overlook small premises. My restaurant only seats 24 but I turnover over £325,000 a year with pretty good profits.
To do this I have had to become ultra efficient with costs and the logistics of turning over the seats to maximize the turnover.

Firstly I think you need to spot a gap in the market and do things very well.
A relaxed restuarant serving un-pretentious high quality, home made food for a reasonable price will always do well .
You must run the place safely and not be scared of throwing things out if you have to. You must put in lots of hours and be prepaired to cope with a ton of stress.
Spend time picking the right staff and training them well - be tough on them but reward them. They will get a kick out of being part of a quality outfit.

And above all - you must really beleive in yourself and promote yourself - Keep going even when things are hard. I went without an income for 1year and worked 70 -80 + hours a week whilst trying to support my wife and 2 young kids.
Pretty reckless when you look back on it but it's paying off now big time with plans to expand.

Hope this helps - I can offer more specific help if you want just ask.

[edit on 6-12-2006 by NeoSocialist]

posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 03:35 PM

Originally posted by NeoSocialist
I own a succesful restaurant in York in England and have just won 'restaurant of the year' from the local tourist board. Considering York is the second most visited city in England I consider this quite an honour.

Quite an accomplishment, of which you are justifiably proud. I always try to patronize the independent restaurants locally, and when I'm travelling. Every once in a while I'll turn up a clunker, but overall, I find the local family owned places to be a whole lot more interesting.

Never been to England, but if I ever have the chance, I'd definitely seek your place out.

posted on Dec, 6 2006 @ 03:46 PM
Thanks very much.... I hope I didnt sound arrogant in the post. I just wanted to get accross how hard things can be but also how good things can get if you are single minded enough to acheive your goals.

There were certainly many downpoints and about a year ago I was ready to sell up but things suddenly got better over the summer.

I think an honest approach wins...;. many places obviously try to rip you off or impress you with daft 'Franglais' menu's - I hate all that stuff. Keep the menu simple and easy to understand so that the food appeals to evryone not just those who have a degree in French.

If you ever do stumble by the Place its called Cafe No.8.


posted on Dec, 7 2006 @ 10:17 AM
Whats the statistic, 9 out of 10 new restaurants end as complete, near ruinous failures?

Buy a fast food franchise, if anything at all. Hell, work as a mid level manager at a fast food franchise, and then after a few years of that, consider getting a franchise of your own for a few years, AND then worry about starting your own restaurant.

posted on Dec, 7 2006 @ 12:25 PM

Originally posted by Nygdan
Whats the statistic, 9 out of 10 new restaurants end as complete, near ruinous failures?

Apparently a commonly accepted statistic that turns out to be a myth.

...Moreover, his review of other published studies also suggest failure rates of restaurants to be closer to 60 percent or less after three to five years, and nowhere near to 90 percent.

“The 90 percent figure seems to be a myth, a myth that is harmful to the restaurant industry,” Parsa said.

Among franchised chains, the failure rate was 57 percent over the three years and among independent restaurants, the rate was 4 percent higher – 61 percent.

posted on Dec, 7 2006 @ 12:59 PM

Originally posted by yeahright
Apparently a commonly accepted statistic that turns out to be a myth.

Hmm, so I can start my homestyle Indian-Italian Fusion restaurant? Have no fear people, Curried Lasagna is on the way!

posted on Dec, 7 2006 @ 01:16 PM
Keep me posted if you decide to franchise it. I'm always looking for a ... no wait...


posted on Dec, 7 2006 @ 01:31 PM
I speak to you from personal experience.
The food industry is a very demanding mistress. Be prepared to pretty much give up life as you know it. The hours are crazy. If you don't work the crazy hours, you will not succeed. Be prepared to spend MUCH MUCH more money than you had planned. Double what you think, then double that, and you might have enough.
Now if you're not scared away, read on.

When searching for a location, make sure that you know the Health Code requirements beforehand. Get to be as friendly with the Health Inspector as you can. They can make your life miserable. Check to see if you need greasetraps, or the very expensive upgrades to them. To save some money, try to find what was already a restaurant. Chances are if was already a restaurant, the proper grease traps are installed - but make sure that they are acceptable!!!!! Also the plumbing for the additional janitors closet, and kitchen sinks should already be present. If you are using gas appliances, make sure that the gas lines are run. If using electric, make sure that the proper amount of amps is available. Don't forget, you will have to have restrooms for the customers, as well as the staff, so make sure that hey are present, or you will be spending a small fortune on this alone.

Find a good used restaurant equipment store. Buying new equipment such as ovens, stoves, refrigeration, mixers, steel tables and the like is not necessary. You will save many thousands of dollars buying used. Make sure the equipment is refurbished and clean. Often time they will give you a short warranty for a price. Negotiate the warranty price, but definitely get it. I've seen that you can get used pots and pans, but personally, I get them new. Again, check with your new best friend the health inspector, as to the requirements for the refrigeration. You might need walk in refrigerators and freezers. Make sure that you check that out. Also contact the township municipal clerks to find out about all of the licenses needed, and the costs associated. Same thing with the fire company. Have the health inspector, and fire code inspector visit your potential location, and ask them what they think. They will be impressed that you are concerned, and can often times point out areas that might need to be addressed. There's nothing worse that getting everything ready to go, just to find out that you have to go back and re-do something because you didn't do it to code.

Get in touch with a good linen service. They will pick up your dirty rags and aprons, and deliver clean ones to you once a week. This service is great, washing those things at home is another couple of hours after a 90 hour week. Also a good knife sharpening service. They will come and drop off freshly sharpened knives, and take the dull ones away every couple of weeks. Another nice thing to have done for you.

A good coffee service is invaluable. They will give you the equipment to use as long as you buy their coffee. There are different grades of coffee, so make sure you investigate it.

There are many food suppliers. Sysco comes to mind, but they are expensive when you are first starting out. There are warehouses that cater to restauranteurs. The Food Depot is a huge one around here. It has premium foods and ingredients - absolutely everything you need at a bargain price. You have to pick up everything which is a pain in the toosh, but as a startup you can save a ton of money. When you are ready, then you have the big food suppliers who deliver cater to you.

Don't skimp on the ingredients. Use good grades of everything, as good as you can afford. It does make a difference.

Also, a nice tip. This is something that I do. Police Officers, Firefighters, and so forth - I take care of them. I don't give free meals, because I don't want anything misconstrued, but I charge a small flat fee for their meals. I don't publicize it, or make a big deal out of it. But they talk amongst themselves, and you are doing a nice thing for the people who protect you. They will grace your establishment, recommend it, and god forbid something happens, you are watched over well.

Forget about having holidays in your life. Your job is to make other peoples holidays nice, which means that you are working hard. If you don't absolutely LOVE it - don't do it. It'll just be a money pit, and a nasty learning experience.

If there is anything else I can shed light on, don't hesitate.


posted on Feb, 28 2007 @ 10:44 AM
One could generalize a bit further... 'starting a business of your own is hard work, and often results in failure... and not necessarily because of something you did or didn't do'.


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