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

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Piobaire, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    It's a rough business but I think the Slate article doesn't paint a picture of the food service industry as a whole so much as it does the picture of two idiot yuppies who thought they could open a wildly successful cafe because they had "great taste" and passion.

    The restaurant business is like any business: If you know your numbers and if you know your market, you can have success. The only place where it really becomes a whole different ballgame is in the ultra high-end sector where your diner to staff ration is 1:1 and you have to make your profit from recipe books and speaking engagements, El Bulli style.
     
  2. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Was looking for more RL stories vs. preaching and repeating of the obvious, i.e. costs > revenues = failure. Like I said in the OP, member cuffthis posted some blog like stuff of his journey. I think any idiot can figure out the business is tough, the hours are long, and that revenues must be > expenses.
     
  3. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    I was looking around at some investments a couple of years ago, and F&B was one of the areas I wrote off very quickly. I really don't like restaurants/bars/cafes as money makers. I think there are just too many intangibles and subjectives (ie your customers tastes), your stock is perishable, your rent is high as you need to be in a prime location, staffing is an asspain, fitout is not cheap etc etc.

    It was pretty quickly an area I told the would-be-partners that I just didn't want to touch. I looked at it with no emotion whatsoever, I didn't care if I could write off trips to X as business expenses, i looked at it from a pure business standpoint and straight up didn't like it.

    In the end, I guess I have no RL experience in it, and I am not preaching, but possibly repeating the obvious, but it was something I looked at a couple years ago and shied away from.
     
  4. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    The US is making mega-millionaires out of some chefs and restaurant owners. While I am not looking to be the next VTR or Bobby Flay, the money is there if done right. I can put together a budget or Excel spreadsheet well enough to due projections. Again, just looking for slice of life stories from folks that have done this.
     
  5. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    yup sure. I don't like the risk to return ratio on it, but it's also not my business [​IMG]. I've also watched a few of my friends tear their hair out over their restaurant investments (one Mexican place, two ice creameries, one group that has tried everything from fine dining to lounge bars to fast food noodles, and one seafood buffet) and all of them are business minded career folk, who all underestimated the capital it would require, the frustration it would bring, and ultimately the reward it would yield. And that is here, in a market that is less competitive....anyhow, passing it on for whatever it's worth. I just abused mod privileges and sent Tom (cuffthis) an email with a link to this thread for you by the way.
     
  6. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    yup sure. I don't like the risk to return ratio on it, but it's also not my business [​IMG].

    I've also watched a few of my friends tear their hair out over their restaurant investments (one Mexican place, two ice creameries, one group that has tried everything from fine dining to lounge bars to fast food noodles, and one seafood buffet) and all of them are business minded career folk, who all underestimated the capital it would require, the frustration it would bring, and ultimately the reward it would yield. And that is here, in a market that is less competitive....anyhow, passing it on for whatever it's worth.

    I just abused mod privileges and sent Tom (cuffthis) an email with a link to this thread for you by the way.


    Thanks, m8.
     
  7. Hombre Secreto

    Hombre Secreto Senior member

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    The US is making mega-millionaires out of some chefs and restaurant owners. While I am not looking to be the next VTR or Bobby Flay, the money is there if done right. I can put together a budget or Excel spreadsheet well enough to due projections. Again, just looking for slice of life stories from folks that have done this.

    The money is there, because some Chefs subsidize their failing restaurants with books, commercials, merchandise, and crap TV shows and because many owners succumb to laundering money when reality hits. There are ways of doing things right, but you will find a hard time finding people to give that info for free here. Anyways... good luck, dude.
     
  8. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    The US is making mega-millionaires out of some chefs and restaurant owners. While I am not looking to be the next VTR or Bobby Flay, the money is there if done right. I can put together a budget or Excel spreadsheet well enough to due projections. Again, just looking for slice of life stories from folks that have done this.

    Step 1: Open restaurant
    Step 2: ?????????
    Step 3: ?????????
    Step 4: PROFIT
     
  9. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Step 1: Open restaurant
    Step 2: ?????????
    Step 3: ?????????
    Step 4: PROFIT


    Just to be painfully obvious, the thread was about points 2 and 3, as lived by real life people. All I've gotten is dust-cover blurbs that someone working for Reader's Digest could have written.

    Again, to be painfully obvious, was looking for things like how to design a good WBTG program, menu design/philosophy, hints about things like parking, retail outlet or not, nosh vs. meals, etc.

    Hmmm, actually, Matt, can you just delete the thread? I found cuffthis on another forum where he did a thread just like I was hoping to read.
     
  10. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    what's WBTG?
     
  11. Piobaire

    Piobaire Not left of center?

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    Wine by the glass. From the thread I found from cuffthis, he has a huge one.
     
  12. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    OIC. When we were looking into this a couple years back, these were the areas of risk that I really did not like at all. You are highly likely to be tossing a lot of wine out just cos one guy thought it might be good to try once.
     
  13. ALFAMALE

    ALFAMALE Senior member

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    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.

    Thats my story as well... If I had money to blow, I would like to open my own joint tho.
     
  14. Rambo

    Rambo Senior member

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    Wine by the glass. From the thread I found from cuffthis, he has a huge one.
    Quick contrast of 2 new places in my area: Place 1 - opened up inside of new apartment mega-building with retail space on the bottom floor. that's just south (1 block) of our busiest downtown area. Small bar inside, couch and a few tables also inside, several tables outside. 2 page wine list with a few craft beers. Only seems to be 3 people ever working at one time (1 bartender, 1 server, 1 "cleaner"). Always out of one wine or another. For food, they serve shit they've just bought at Costco - Stacy's pita chips, hummus, cheeses, etc.. Outcome - Always busy, weekends are packed Place 2 - Opened up in dead end of a humungous shopping center with an LA Fitness, Kohls, McDonalds, etc. Area is in a large shopping and residential district with plenty of street traffic. Place is called The Living Room. Not surprisingly, its stocked with couches, recliners, cushions, a few tables, booths and larger booths. Small bar inside and a few tables outside. Only ever 3 or 4 people working, including the owner it seems. 3 page wine list with a few craft beers. Food made in house - things like shepherds pie, burgers, etc.. Outcome - Always busy, weekends are packed
     
  15. NorCal

    NorCal Senior member

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