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Advice on opening a restaurant

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi gang. I'm looking to ask any chef/patrons about opening a restaurant. I'm currently a sous with 10+ years in the biz and am thinking about opening my own place. I'm in western mass which is a culinary dead zone for restaurants. There's not many prospects for moving up to exec chef, and even eating out at dinner is getting hard to find something decent (don't get me started on that!). I was wondering about how hard it was for you to open your own place and any struggles that you have. Like where to get financing, especially if you're not mega rich to begin with. Any tips and advice would be much appreciated! I've been thinking about this for years. Hope to her from you
post #2 of 4
Hi Alan. Opening a restaurant is about the hardest task anyone undertakes. A restaurant owner has to know about purchasing, production, warehousing, logistics, service, marketing, sales, interior/exterior design, maintenance, landscaping, accounting, human resources and so much more. That's all without even considering making great recipes. No other industry requires such a broad skill set to be successful.

The first challenge in opening a restaurant is recognizing what you don't know and having the humility to ask for help from others. Build a team of advisors who are strong where you aren't. Realize that "great food and service" are only the minimum requirements for having a successful restaurant. They won't make you successful on their own.

If I can suggest a resource, I strongly advise you to join RestaurantOwner.com. Its a subscription website that has hundreds of downloadable tools to help you organize. Its got a great forum like this one full of owners ready to lend their experience.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to start with a book or two on opening a restaurant. I can't say there is any single "best" one I've read, but every one of them have been helpful and worth the read.

Aside from the obvious "food and service", the most important skills for an owner to have are marketing and accounting. Too many new owners think they can open a place without a serious marketing budget, counting on their awesome food to bring people in, but not recognizing that without the proper marketing, they are just another restaurant saying they have awesome food and service.

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply

Brandon O'Dell

 

Friend That Cooks Home Chef Service

www.friendthatcooks.com

O'Dell Restaurant Consulting

www.bodellconsulting.com

 

Reply
post #3 of 4

It's about as tough an undertaking as a fellow (or gal) can get into.  Lots of written advice out there, and like was mentioned, Restaurantowner.com is a must.

One really big pitfall, one that has done in a lot of entrepreneurs, is going into the project with unrealistic expectations.  Another is being under capitalized.

Best of luck!

post #4 of 4

Owning a food establishment is an extremely difficult way to earn money. There are many much easier ways. You will hear everyone mention how hard it is.....and they are correct.

 

At the end of the day live a life of no regrets. You will not have a second chance to live your dream. Will you fail? Maybe. But, if you do fail be sure to fail spectacularly.

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