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Have You Opened Any Kind of Food Service Outlet? Tell Your Story Here.

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 
I have long term plans to open a food service outlet. My vision is something similar to what member cuffthis opened several years ago.

ITT, people that have actually opened an outlet tell their stories, informing us of pitfalls, good advice, etc.
post #2 of 43
http://www.slate.com/id/2132576/
post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 
Good link. Paints as bleak of a picture as I expect.
post #4 of 43
Entrepreneurs Lacking Business Sense + NYC BM Rent Prices = very rough
post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by level32 View Post
Entrepreneurs Lacking Business Sense + NYC BM Rent Prices = very rough

Informative post. Thanks. No, really.
post #6 of 43
Pio, why would you do this, personal fulfillment (i.e., are you a hobbyist and the outlet you plan on opening would scratch that itch), or the expectation of earning a good living? I am just curious. I've always thought it'd be cool to open a small business that related somehow to something I enjoyed doing anyway, like a small cigar bar, or something like that. I've always immediately filed that one away in the not friggin' likely area of my brain, since my assumption is that I'd be tied to the place, and hobby or not, I couldn't stand that sort of commitment.
post #7 of 43
My secret dream has always been to open my own restaurant. I love cooking, I almost went to the Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute instead of college. The lifestyle and high rate of failure puts me totally off it, though. I'm big on traveling and I don't like failure.
post #8 of 43
I've worked as a restaurant chef for 4 years. on the Catering side of things now. I'm currently in talks with a couple business partners about launching a restaurant. Luckily one of them is an economist and I've got a business degree also, so we can make sure our numbers are rock solid before we take one little step. It's a tough tough business.
post #9 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gnatty8 View Post
Pio, why would you do this, personal fulfillment (i.e., are you a hobbyist and the outlet you plan on opening would scratch that itch), or the expectation of earning a good living? I am just curious. I've always thought it'd be cool to open a small business that related somehow to something I enjoyed doing anyway, like a small cigar bar, or something like that. I've always immediately filed that one away in the not friggin' likely area of my brain, since my assumption is that I'd be tied to the place, and hobby or not, I couldn't stand that sort of commitment.

A combo of personal fulfillment, further exposure to wine (and funding that at least partially through the business, i.e. trip to Burgundy now = business expense), I enjoy being a host, and the thought of an eventual non-salary cash flow. While my personal retirement is still at least 16 years away I am investigating and reality testing things to do and even modest cash flow avenues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JhwkMac View Post
I've worked as a restaurant chef for 4 years. on the Catering side of things now. I'm currently in talks with a couple business partners about launching a restaurant. Luckily one of them is an economist and I've got a business degree also, so we can make sure our numbers are rock solid before we take one little step. It's a tough tough business.

Good luck to you and keep us posted of your progress.

I have absolutely zero illusions about the amount of work ownership requires and the likelihood of failure. It's why I'll probably just enjoy kicking this idea around for ten years before I actually try it.
post #10 of 43
I'm not saying it's definitive, but to the average person, give a read through Kitchen Confidential... moving past what the consumer would be surprised to know, my general impression of inside the industry is that it's a tough tough business and for a number of combined factors, you may struggle to simple survive, let alone do well.
post #11 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master-Classter View Post
I'm not saying it's definitive, but to the average person, give a read through Kitchen Confidential... moving past what the consumer would be surprised to know, my general impression of inside the industry is that it's a tough tough business and for a number of combined factors, you may struggle to simple survive, let alone do well.

Read that years ago. I've also been in and around the industry since the 1980s.
post #12 of 43
My advice is first work at a fast paced restaurant, but that I mean where EVERYONE gets slammed. Plenty of managers and Chefs are fucking stupid. They can't tell when people are milking it just to get more hours or are just too weak to say anything about it. For instance I once worked for this female Chef who just opened her first restaurant and the cooks were in charge of cleaning the small kitchen, and one of the line cooks was assigned to clean the flat grill, and he literally spent an hour cleaning it all while the Chef was a couple of feet away doing some prep for the next day. This particular restaurant was mostly dead and yet it was overstaffed with mostly useless people.
post #13 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hombre Secreto View Post
My advice is first work at a fast paced restaurant, but that I mean where EVERYONE gets slammed.
Seconded. Once you retire, get a job at a restaurant for a little bit, just to get the ins-and-outs down pat. Its really a whole different experience once you're on the inside.
post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
Read that years ago. I've also been in and around the industry since the 1980s.

post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post
Informative post. Thanks. No, really.

My point was that the result should have been obvious based on the factors in play. In my mind, it doesn't paint a relevant bleak picture at all as it gives absolutely no insight to someone who actually has a drawn out business plan and knows how to work through the numbers to make sure the business is profitable/sustainable.

All that link shows is that, people who do not do their research will get killed in the business.
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