Thanks for the reality check feedback. Yes, doing the math BEFORE launching into such an effort would tell the tale.
Yes is a small town, but it also is near 3 other small towns with like population demographics.
And a whole lot of agreements - clean up, food purchase responsibility, overhead payments (elec. rent etc.) would need to be set up too. A bar, even though its usually a higher profit maker, would be less likely. And as far as cash out of the till, each set of partners would benefit or not based on their day(s) receipts. No free ridership. As to menu selections, a basic one - say Pan Asian or BBQ or whatever, would allow a certain predictability for customers to have when they feel like eating out. As for the sick/vacation/flaked out person question, at least there would be someone else who could stand in, and flaked person might forfeit some of their initial capital if they back out without notice are replacement.
Considering that there is a desire for what such a place could provide, and it would seem that there are capable but un'employed' people sitting around, why doesn't someone turn off the TV and start scratching out figures to see if its a viable, even more honorable, alternative to burger flipping, WalMart greeting and a whole lot more soul satisfying than workfare?
But then again, I dream . . .
So I guess the old pattern will remain - passionate cooks working themselves to death and perpetual employees that live from pay check to pay check . . .
It's not a terrible idea...as an ideal. Unfortunately the realities of running a restaurant, even as a two-some or four-some, are usually far from ideal.
We aren't trying to be discouraging (well, maybe we are a little) but to show you the some of the headaches that might arise from doing what you are talking about. If you feel that you have suitable answers to all these issues, then by all means go for it. Invest your money....
Everyone could and likely would enter into the agreement with the best intentions. There are a multitude of potential landmines, even in addition to the ones I talked about above. Those were just "for instances" and not really based on your particular, specific idea.
What if one couple makes enough to cover there share of the rent/bills, but one doesn't? Who pays for that? Do both restaurants go under then?
But numbers will tell the tale. These are going to be imaginary numbers, so keep that in mind, but lets just do some basic math. Lets say that, minimum, you want to pay each person $50k a year. So that is 200k in profit and/or labor savings in order to pay your owners that wage. So if we assume a 30/30/30/10 scenario (not at all realistic, but lets just pretend) where it is 30% food, 30% labor, and 30% bills/overhead, and 10% profit. You would need to make $500k a year in revenue to cover that. The 30% labor is waived, and the 10% profit goes right into the pocket, so we are at 40% of revenue kept by the 4 owners ($200k, or $50k each).
So, for $500k in revenue, lets just assume we are open 365 days a year. That means we need to make $1,370 a day in order to hit our target. If we assume that we average $15 a person for them to eat (I'm guessing based on small town demographics, your descriptions of successful restaurants, etc for what people will expect to pay per meal) that means we'd need to serve 90 people a day to hit that number. That means that about 13% of the local population have to eat there every day.
Does that seem do-able to you? Are you in an area where people come to visit (tourist, etc?)
You might have some luck if you research some community based restaurants? I dunno if anyone has done what you are proposing before. If you can't find examples of your idea, there is probably a good reason why. You can't be the first to think of a multi-owner profit share restaurant as you describe it.
I appreciate your outside the box thinking, but the realities are a lot different then pie in the sky dreaming.