With months of research, recipe testing and development, personal monetary investment, guts, hard-learned mistakes and lots of very, very hard and continuing work, my partner and I launched a concept business somewhat ahead of a now popular food trend.
We asked for and got some helpful advice here at ChefTalk. Thanks a million, guys.
Now, we find every that Johnny-come-lately wanting to jump on this bandwagon is contacting us through emails and incessant phone calls asking for free and detailed advice on how to start-up and run a similar business. While it's tempting to just write up an info package about it and sell the information, we really like our business concept and despite the pitfalls, really enjoy running it.
My question if any of you have had a similar experience, and how best to handle all these incessant requests that keep filling up my email box. If we don't respond to emails, people call us up expecting us to reveal everything to them for free. Sometimes they come into our place of business and ask all kinds of leading questions in thinly veiled fishing expeditions. Sometimes they offer a little money, but certainly no where near the value of our expertise and experience, then get nasty if we politely refuse to give them what they want. This is intellectual property we're talking about.
I understand why places with clearly defined concepts ask you not to take pictures when you come in (Fuddruckers comes to mind.) But I'm a nice person. I'm gratified that people want to do what I do. But I also am not keen on the idea assisting every Tom, Dick, and Harry to be a competitor, despite how far away they claim to live. We believe we'll go national very soon anyway.