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is it possible? really possible?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Is it possible for someone without any classical training to start and run a prof chef business?

obviously you need business smarts and an ability to effectivly run any sort of business....

but that aside....

post #2 of 9
Yep, I did it. I could have gone big but kept it small and word of mouth. I had people lined up waiting to have us do parties.

So I think it IS possible. It depends on your experience in cooking "real world" and also depends on your ability to learn as you go. For instance reading and emulating and planning go a long way to helping someone learn new things without going through classical training.

I wished I could have afforded it but I couldn't...

BTW, succeeding in this business is as much about who you know as what you know. And you are only as good as your last meal! So consistently high quality and exceeding expectations is king from my pov...
post #3 of 9
i think around 50 % or more of all restaurants fail within the first 3 years. I'm not saying that you cant do it but the odds arent really with you. If you work hard have great food and great service theres no reason you will not succeed though. If you do start a business good luck
post #4 of 9
I'm going to say that 95& of the failures are due to undercapitalization. People try to get into the business and don't realize how much money it takes to get going, then keep going while you're digging your business out of the red.

A well run business takes about 2+ years to get out of the red and begin making any profit at all. As many people I've talked to who have successfully opened up a business have told me: "Take what you think you'll need...and double it"
post #5 of 9
Blade, that's true of all business ventures, not just those in the food industry.

Undercapitalization is the major reason businesses fail. The second major cause is lack of management and administrative skills.

Too often somebody is good at the purpose of the business: they like cooking, so open a restaurant; they're talanted woodworkers, so open a cabinet shop, etc. But what they lack, in addition to money, is all the management knowledge that's needed to run a business---no matter what the product may be.

People get so anxious to have their own businesses, though, to be their own bosses, than their critical judgement often goes out the window.

I remember a short-lived magazine aimed at women in the outdoors. Good nitch, with plenty of room to grow. The woman who started it figured she needed $100,000 (which is way too little to start a national publication, btw). But give her her due. A hundred grand needed. She had $8,000 that her husband was saving for a new truck. So, what the h_ll, they figured. Go for it!

To this day I wonder where they thought the additional 92 large was coming from.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
post #6 of 9
Sorry,I posted before reading the same thing I was about to post regarding the 90 to 95% failure rate..oops!

It's not just not having enough cashflow,it's also lack of experience that makes places fail.I'm sure we could all tell stories about the people who failed because they had no idea what they were doing!
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
"Sometimes people can be oh so dense"

The Pixies
post #7 of 9


Well, i know i may not have as much experience as some, but i will say this. My executive has a great saying when it comes to this and the failure of resturants. A restaurant will fail because they have a cook who lacks management skills or an owner who can't cook. Those that have both are generally still there.

Now he is not talking about classical training when it comes to the owner who can't cook. but lets be honest, at least in this area, most resturants fail because the money hungry business owner thinks that its a good investment to open a restaurant but has no idea how to cook or serve.

My own personal theory is, before you even think about opening up a restaurant, work at least 1 year in the BOH and 1 year in the FOH, that will at least give you the basics of what you need to know.

just my .02

post #8 of 9
I have no idea what you mean by "a prof chef business."

Are you asking about opening a restaurant, a catering business, consulting chef, hired "gun" ??????
post #9 of 9
Okay, just so everyone knows, 7 of 10 new restaurants fail in the 1st year. Of the remaining 3, only 1 will survive beyond 5 years. The biggest issue is the small margins you can make per plate. It generally equates to approximately 6-9%. As you can see with margins so small it is difficult to show any return and make a profit. And all that profit disappears if you have 1 plate broken daily. Staggeringly sad numbers, most professionals do this because they love it, not because of the money. Just my opinion though....
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