Should I Open a Restaurant?

Ok, right now it’s time for honest confession! Today for my honest confession, we are going to talk about opening a restaurant: namely, should you or should you not do it? There are several sides to this argument. First of all, when you look at any city around you, it is very hard to deny that people eat out a lot. It’s not a very difficult logical jump to assume that you too could get a piece of the action, right?

Or is that right?

Owning and operating a restaurant is hard. That’s the nicest way that I can put that. There is a reason that I got out of the business and started other entrepreneurial pursuits. I found it very hard to keep my business, my family, and my sanity. Of those three, I felt like I could pick only two at any given time. It was really hard.

That does not mean that you shouldn’t do it! Here’s the thing: a very specific type of person needs to run a restaurant. That person needs the following:

  • A thick skin
  • The desire to work A LOT
  • Doesn’t mind failure
  • Doesn’t mind being away from family/loved ones

Or!

  • Is very, very independently wealthy

In short, you either need to be able to manage people well and not care about the ups and downs, or you need to be able to hire tons and tons of people to manage it for you. There is no other way around that fact.

Here’s the other problem. Most people who want to open restaurants are chiefs who want to call their own shots. The problem? According to many experts (and I agree with them) food is 20% or less of the overall success of a restaurant. The main reason my restaurant did as well as it did is because I am a businessman. I can’t cook; I hired people for that. I’d burn a salad; I’m an awful cook. But I am good at figuring out what people want and either giving it to them or finding something who CAN give it to them. Can you make Italian food that boggles the mind and the stomach? Good! You’re less than a quarter of the way there.

MOST RESTAURANTS FAIL FOR LACK OF BUSINESS SENSE, NOT LACK OF GOOD FOOD.

Read that again. And again until you understand the idea: a restaurant is a business, not an eatery at the end of the day.

So now you see that there is a reason that I prefer to spend my time in other pursuits, like target practice with air rifles from Rifle Judge. I prefer that kind of relaxation to stressing about supply and customer service. This is not to tell you you shouldn’t start a restaurant. But you’ll have too many people in your life tell you “oh you can make it! You won’t run into ANY trouble!” I want to give you the rest of the story, so you know what you’re going into ahead of time.

I wish you only the BEST of luck in all your ventures!