Well, on the other side of the coin, nothing ventured, nothing gained. You don't necessarily need to be a third wheel in that you can have value as a concept person. I cook. I don't run the FOH, although sometimes I have to step in. I also am not the person to ask about decor, glassware, china etc. The Martha Stewart factor, so to speak. The difference between a good meal and an experience. I don't have that flair and don't pretend to. Would I put high value on someone who does? You bet. It can make all the difference. It was smart of your buddy to have you actually work in a restaurant. Just so you can see the pace and have an idea of the viability of some things you might want to do. I say this because I know people who because they made two dozen hors d'oervres that their friends liked now think they should be a caterer. Then they find out that two dozen and five hundred are very different. I remember reading an article once that I found highly entertaining, but very valid, called "So you want to own a restaurant". They recommended the owner-to-be work at least 6 mo. in a restaurant, preferably in all positions including dish washer. They said most people at that point would have decided they had more sense than to pursue this. Next, they pointed out that based on the fact most new restaurants don't turn a profit for the first 3-5 years, anyone with a brain would put their money elsewhere where it would do more good. They had other very good tips, but I think those are the two big ones. You really need to understand how a restaurant operates because it is very different from any other retail business. You really have to be willing to devote a lot of time and energy, and you really have to love it. Otherwise it just doesn't make sense to even attempt it. Successful restaurant owners are like race car drivers in some respects. It seems like a totally crazy thing to do, but it gets in your blood and you just have to do it. I would like nothing better than to read a post from you that you and your friends pulled it off and have a highly successful operation. And don't undervalue your contribution. I have seen chefs that thought they knew it all fail, and people with literally no experience do well. The difference I believe is the successful people see a need and try to fill it and the failures have an idea of what they want, but refuse to notice that it's not what the market wants. When I lament the money I lost, my mother says "Well, chalk it up as tuition in the school of hard knocks. You learned things, and that's never wasted." She's right. I can say I started a restaurant from ground up that's still operating as I set it up, menu and everything even though it has a different owner, and I'm in the process of a successful turn around at another place. Best of luck whichever you decide. We're always here to help.