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post #31 of 36

C of Commerce lunch today. Guest speaker, president of pretty large bank. Talking with him later I found out he has interests in some restaurants.

The good news-- failure rates of opening food service places is exaggerated some. he says it's in the 60's%

Bad news. He does not know of a bank that will use any type of restaurant equipment and structure as collateral including existing businesses.

Houses- NO collateral for rest. They are firesaling o hous es they already have gotten back.

post #32 of 36
Originally Posted by hahsgyahba View Post

Thank you so much for your thoughts, @foodpump
, @flipflopgirl
, @chefedb
, @SaucyGirlB
, @chefboyOG

I am not planning on opening a restaurant ...,
, I am a scientist/postdoc/research fellow.Its a stage after PhD and before becoming an assistant/associate professor. My wife is not a manager, she is currently working at a convenient store.
...Yes, I am going to work - looking for a job as a waiter/server....

Can you explain scientist post doc research fellow a bit more for me? Are you going to continue this in America?

As asked, why America? Canada is much colder and has a proven trackrecord ( foodpump)

In thinkinh maybe you make tons of money, are a Dr or Med and you can afford maybe to blow tons of money setting your wife up with a steakhouse that you can then show off to your girlfriends? Its a good plan. If you make say 200k+ a year, carry on. Maybe have less seats and it wont be so hard for her to manage. Btw why the h e hockey sticks is she working as a cashier and not a restaurant?

Why do you need waiting experience. This is laughable. You dont plan to work in the restaurant or do you? Dont know what a waiter does? Go eat out a few times. Take notes. Either you are comfortable with people or you arent. Cant teach good waiting.

You dont need to be a chef to own restaurants, or even have real experience behind the line, contrary to what Chefs are posting here. I dont like when owners think they are also Chefs. Go count hour money in yer office.

Successful owners are going to have a wide range if skills, common sense, and luck. And money.

I think this is a school project. Way too many crazy inconsistencies from common sense.
post #33 of 36



I'm sorry, but your aspiration/dream scares the hell out of me. In the extremely unlikely event you could get financing, you are not remotely equipped to make a successful venture in this hugely demanding business.  I've started a couple of businesses - one still operating after thirty or so years - that are vastly simpler than operating a restaurant.  I could hock my house, and was well qualified to write a professional business plan, and I got thrown out of some of the best banks in the western Chicago suburbs.  My wife had a very good job (in the restaurant biz!- she ran the office staff that supported a chain of 26 restaurants, so she wasn't getting line cook pay) and could support us and three kids while I put together my very simple venture. I finally ran into a weird banker who was kind of intrigued by my idea, and he gave me a loan with my house as collateral.


I figured it would take eight to ten  months to bring it up to speed.  It took three years (although I launched it into the teeth of the 1979-1980 recession.) This having-your-own-business dream is usually not easy to realize.


You need absolutely to get a job as dishwasher in the kind of restaurant you dream of, and work your way up, at least to line cook. You may by then have some idea not just of what to do, but also whether you really want to turn your back on your PhD and enter this screwy business.


That said, I wish you the very best of luck.  I'm a foodie and enthusiastic amateur cook, and I can well understand the appeal of the dream of running your own restaurant.


Bon appetit!



travelling gourmand
travelling gourmand
post #34 of 36

This is from the professional chef sub forum


I think they agreed on average 3-5% net profit.  AKA as owner if you want 30,000-50,000 a year, you need to clear a million bucks.  Mind you, those are mature businesses already, you are probably going to run into startup costs too.  There is a show "Restaurant Startup" that looks at startup plans, usually of people with more experience than you, and regularly rips them apart.


-How much does rent cost?

-How much is your food cost?

-Labor cost?

-liquor license?


-decor? linens?



The big question is how much money do you need to make to break even?  What's your average sale per ticket?  How many tables do you need to turn per week to get your money back?  Have a budget for unexpected costs too.  Walkin fridge breaks, do you have the in house know how to fix it?  No? Now you're out product as well as repair costs.


It's a hell of a business to get into, so I'll stick to my 9-5 job...  If you are serious about it, you better partner with a good chef and also find a good accountant to keep you in check.  Any of my friends that tell me "you're a good home cook, go open a business" get the stinkeye.

post #35 of 36

Well, starting a new restaurant is so hard. I started my own like one month ago and I'm doing "o,k", my situation is quite similar to yours.

I'm civil engineer with a 9/5 job and my sister was in a shitty job so we decided to start this business. one huge advantage: She owns a house with space enough to run a restaurant with 32 people at the same time. Another advantage:We live in Colombia where you can pay 10 dollars A DAY for someone who washes all those dishes and you pay 20 to 25 dollars a day for someone who cooks. I was a waiter and manager with my sister. I know lil things about food specially about what you can and you can not do. I learned to make crepes through the internet and I taught my sister also and then we started. Once you are inside a kitchen you start to wonder if you made  the right choice, I'm still wondering hahaha, the food business is a hard one but if you are tired of a job where you don't feel happy, I'd say: go for it. After our first month I was able to earn some money but I've gotta say that if we were paying rent, we would be really scared as the business is not gathering the money we thought it would.


another advice: DON'T QUIT to your current job, trust me: you will need another income for a while, and if you find a job washing dishes, work there for 3 to 4 months...2 years  is way too much....if you come to Colombia you can see how we do thing here. 


Another big advice: AFTer you have decided your location, ask yourself: what is missing in this area that I can bring?? I highly doubt a steak is the answer, My answer was: crepes and well...I was wrong but my "chef" saved me and changed the menu. Now we are doing regular lunchs in the day and homemade hamburgers and crepes in the nights. I was able to correct my mistake as my sister, as I told you before, owns the property ...but with rent you should be more careful..


Best wishes and let me know if you wanna keep in touch 

post #36 of 36

Flip/flop  You said it all !

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...


Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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