Thread Number: 73035  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Do you have what it takes to open your own Restaurant?
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Post# 964682   10/28/2017 at 12:44 (330 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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Who here is a good enough cook that you've been told "You need to open a restaurant"?

I have gotten told that, myself, but I don't know how well I can keep up with the usual stress, and strife & demand of what would be my own business & having to cook for a lot of people...

But witness the Sliders (& Fries--Soup, as well) of AMKrayoCastle:

-- Dave

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Post# 964688 , Reply# 1   10/28/2017 at 13:42 (330 days old) by ozzie908 (Lincoln UK)        
Been there done that

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And still the bare the scars !! Don't do it unless you have a huge amount of money behind you....

Post# 964690 , Reply# 2   10/28/2017 at 13:45 (330 days old) by joeekaitis (Rialto, California, USA)        
My homemade meatballs . . .

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. . . which feature an Italian sausage flavor note from the addition of ground turkey and fennel seeds have made folks ask if I might consider a food truck.


Need to get around to having a taster's night with a few potential investors.

Post# 964693 , Reply# 3   10/28/2017 at 14:16 (330 days old) by MrAlex (London, UK)        

I made this for dinner, mashed potatoes with cream, butter, chives, pepper and tiny bit salt, meatballs according to my motherís old recipe, pork and beef mince (guarantees itíll never be dry) sauce is made from the frying pan with some cream and spices while I finished off the meatballs in the oven. Lingonberry jam on the table of course, like a good swede lol

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Post# 964708 , Reply# 4   10/28/2017 at 15:15 (330 days old) by Frigilux (The Minnesota Prairie)        

Reality Check: Innumerable people possess the culinary skills to open a restaurant. That isn't what kills 50% of them by the second year. The real challenges involve finding the right location, maintaining clientele over a long period of time, and finding the correct food/labor cost to profit ratio.

And yes, you're talking to someone to tried and ultimately lost the battle.

Post# 964713 , Reply# 5   10/28/2017 at 15:32 (330 days old) by RevvinKevin (So. Cal.)        

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Dave - Did you actually cook your potatoes or were you eating them raw?   They look completely uncooked.


Alex - Your meatballs, potatoes and peas look delish!  Your making me hungry and I just ate lunch!  LOL 


Also, I agree 100% with Frigilux!!!!!

Post# 964716 , Reply# 6   10/28/2017 at 15:46 (330 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
Big difference

in cooking for a small group, or a large one.
If I were younger, perhaps I'd give it a shot.
Many who venture into the restaurant business are strictly an investor or silent partner. It's taxing work.
You have to know not only how to cook, but also how to budget, buy fresh ingredients at a fair price, store it safely, prepare it safely, serve it safely, maintain a clean and sanitary kitchen, and front end (dining room).
There are inspections by the county health dept., utilities to pay, equipment to maintain, etc.
My aunt had a small cafe style restaurant in the late 70's through the late 80's. It was mainly out of necessity. The local restaurant she was head cook at, and wait staff manager was closing.
She did ok, paying off the modest business loan in a few years. She employed a daughter in law full time who also helped with payroll and the books.
They served all home made food. Soups, stews, roasts, pies, etc.
By 1983, the local economy was in decline. She said she was basically keeping 3 people employed with little profit. She closed it in 1987.

Post# 964717 , Reply# 7   10/28/2017 at 16:10 (330 days old) by petek (Ontari ari ari O )        

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You'll often find in most towns, villages and cities  that career restaurantiers will open a new restaurant to a lot of fanfare, write ups etc.. it'll go swimmingly for perhaps 2-3 years and they'll either close it, sell it and move on to opening another new one with a different angle/menu... 

Post# 964718 , Reply# 8   10/28/2017 at 16:55 (330 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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Everyone that can cook thinks they can run a restaurant, but as others have pointed out, it takes a whole lot more than being a good cook to be a successful restaurant owner. My very first job was working as a busboy at a resort restaurant. I also helped out in the kitchen. Restaurant work is very hard physically and can also be very mentally stressful too. Just keeping the employees under control can be a challenge. There is no harder work than being the owner of any business, but most especially the owner of a restaurant.

You need to be sure that the food is top notch, the employees are courteous, efficient and trustworthy. You have bills for rent, utilities, insurance, food, advertising and payroll to meet. And all it takes is one unfortunate incident where someone claims to have gotten ill from food they ate at your restautant, whether itís true or not and you can be facing ruin. Many people retire, and then invest their life savings in their dream of owning a restaurant only to find themselves bankrupt in a year or less.

Iím a pretty good cook and baker. Iím well known for making great pies. My husband used to always be after me to open a pie shop. I say hell to the NO! It would take the pleasure right out of pie making for me. And Iím so particular, that I know no one that I would hire could ever please me with their performance, so Iíd be working round the clock. No thanks, Iíll pass,

And that being said, my rant is over, but I must say that Alex, you Swedish Meatballs look delicious. You have plated the meal with simple perfection. As Iím sure you already know, we eat with our eyes too. And even if the food is excellent, a poor presentation can bring it down to an ďFĒ rating. You must make the people in your life that you cook for very happy.

Post# 964723 , Reply# 9   10/28/2017 at 17:45 (330 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        

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So, Are We Really Commercial-Grade?!

Yes, I know--I tend to be in a hurry, the fries are made by an heirloom french fry cutter--so I had to put those ones w/ this meal back in the pan & do it right...

Patience and taking your time sometimes aren't my strengths--that and this is where I do need a deep-fryer (other than I would want it to be dishwasher safe (after i get rid of the grease) & I would need some pointers on how to clean)...

-- Dave

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Post# 964725 , Reply# 10   10/28/2017 at 17:58 (330 days old) by DaveAMKrayoGuy (Oak Park, MI)        
"Dave's Best!"

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Here is one of my better meals--and this time (although a lot of grease splattering everywhere--and put a lid on the pan where it really got excessive & the food needed more time to cook) turned out right:

-- Dave

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Post# 964732 , Reply# 11   10/28/2017 at 19:51 (330 days old) by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I'm a fine cook but by no means want to cook for a living. I can run the business end of it though, I actually kind of enjoy the operating/logistics end of running a business. I grew up around business and have the experience to run one.

Restaurants are very capital intensive and location is the biggest make or break for them, followed by the quality and consistency of the food & service. If you can get those things right then you have the recipe for a successful restaurant.

In my town people for years have thought they could just overnight open up a small shop without putting any effort into it and each one kept failing, as if they never learned from the last person. My neighbor used to run a bakery out of this one space, she was successful til after about 5 years that failed, but then another place moved into their old space and lasted about 3 months. The most pathetic was after that someone tried to open a gyro shop, put zero effort into fixing up the front of the building or even bothering to make more than a sign on a dry erase board. They folded within a month...

Another place a block away the same thing happened, a pizza place opened up. The offerings were unimpressive and shortly after the owner physically assaulted an employee, they folded. Someone else took over and changed the name to "wrap-ich" which I guess was a wrap and sandwich shop, but none of us could ever take the place seriously the name was so hysterically awful. Made me think of an itchy rash. The latest owner to take over turned it back into a gyro shop and renamed it "Griffith gyros" and it appears to be doing ok finally.

Post# 964740 , Reply# 12   10/28/2017 at 20:53 (330 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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I was a short order cook at this states busiest truckstop for 2 years in HS and early college and there is NO WAY I would want to run a restaurant. I must have been an OK cook as I never had a meal sent back.

Post# 964752 , Reply# 13   10/28/2017 at 21:56 (330 days old) by norgeway (mocksville n c )        
Having worked for a good friend

Years ago in his restaurant, Its a LOT more than cooking, cooking fror a crowd is easy, its bookwork, taxes, payroll, upkeep food cost etc that are hard!

Post# 964802 , Reply# 14   10/29/2017 at 10:29 (329 days old) by vacerator (Macomb, Michigan)        
You have to be awake

by 3, 4, 5 a.m. to prep for opening. Especially if you bake fresh bread, etc.
If you serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it's a 24/7 operation.
Midnight oil hours are spent making dough to rise, soups, sauces, marinating meats, making deserts, prepping vegetables, cleaning, and sanitizing, etc.
You need help, and those helpers won't work for free.
An Asian couple near here in Novi had a restaurant staff of illegal young Mexican men living in their homes basement. Two years ago, it caught fire, and the staff all died. The basement was not permitted or up to code for living. No egress.
The eldest was 18, the youngest 15.
Even many here legally only make a pittance, and rely on the balance to live from public assistance. I'd never feel like an American if I exploited anyone that way. It's wrong, and it lowers the wages of young people entering the work force for the first time because often, the workers on a visa work below minimum wage, or their wages are subsidized by federal or state programs. This puts our own young people at an employment disadvantage.

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