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Smokey restuarant owners; any advice to another hopeful restuarant owner.

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I have been kicking the idea around for a while... and I am finally getting my gumption.

I want to open a restuarant.
I want it to be a bbq place, primarily, but other foods will happen.

I also want to try and have a package beer store in the front and have the dining room in the back.

I am contacting the proper authorities for liscence and inspections.
I am still looking for places as well.

So I am asking for any bits of wizdom, or great stories of adventures with morals to learn from. or anything else you want to give out.

If the forum would like and it is still in the realm of help. I can keep a posted diary of what is happing in this project.

also if the information is sensitive to your business but you still want to help, PM are greatly appreciated too.

Thank you all.PDT_Armataz_01_40.gif
post #2 of 11
Have you read BBQpitstop's or JoeD617 posts? Here's Joes anyway
post #3 of 11
I'll add just a tidbit. I would avoid any kind of partnership if at all possible. It is rare for 2 people to have the same, focus, dedication, in-site, and direction.

I did a partnership in a catering operation in the mid-80's with someone who I thought wanted the same things out of our venture as I did. That did not turn out to be the case and our eventual split was a mostly bad experience.
post #4 of 11
These may sound stupid....but this does come from experience.

Be ready to work 8 days a week, 25 hours a day......especially at first.

Do not invest any money you can not afford to lose.
A restuarant historically has the highest failure rate of any new business that opens up.

Make dang sure that you are ready to give the best first impression possible on opening day and every day thereafter. Remember the old adage...you only get once chance to give a good first impression.

If things do go south (long waits,etc)...do not hide in the kitchen. Walk among the customers and tell the truth. Give'em appy's/deserts...whatever to make them happy. Most people will give you a second chance as long as they are not ignored.

BE CONSISTENT. There is nothing like having a great experience one day and then take a group of folks only to get bad food/service.
post #5 of 11
Great advice, luv2camp....one thing I would add from my years in the restaurant biz.....and, I'll prolly catch h e l l for saying it....hire attractive, personable waitstaff and teach them to really take care of their customers.

I know it's not PC to think like that, but, seriously....nobody wants a sloppy looking person with bad hygiene and missing teeth waiting on them.....PDT_Armataz_01_05.gif

post #6 of 11
Do a well thought out business plan.

If you get all the numbers together it may show you that it will not work.

I was kicking the idea around myself a few years now.

Suddenly I was terminated from my job & am now working on that business plan. Most restaurants do fail 60 to 90 percent within the first 5 years.

I live in a small town with high unemployment & I will make an informed decision with a good plan. So far my only competition is one other restaurant/bar.

Do your homework & plan to put in more hours than you are openicon_exclaim.gif
post #7 of 11
You mean Michigan...not just the town right? Sigh.
Wish I was closer... I'd consider bringing what I got to the table. But it's a tough row to hoe fo' sho'!
post #8 of 11
When my uncle had his restaurant, he tried to keep it a family affair, because we were the one's he could truely trust. It's better to be able to have a husband and wife or brother and brother (etc etc) team. This way when one of you have to leave, you can go without worrying (to much).

Like was mentioned before, be prepared to work 24/7 for a long time, incorporate yourself, and don't bet the farm.

Best to start out small, my uncle opned his first restaurant that sat only 30 people and served just breakfast and lunch. When he built up a good customer base, (when there was always a line around the corner waiting for breakfast on the weekends), he moved to a bigger place close by and started serving dinner. He did very well and ran it for 14 years until he finally had enough.

Good luck!!
post #9 of 11
Dude I have a Restaurant business plan in PDF file.
I can sure forward to you and you can tweak to your needs.

PM me

P.S. I just looked it up and it's for a "buffet" style restaurant but yall can tweak it.
It's 38 pages long with a confidientiality agreement so no one swipes your idea.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I have some reading to do!

I wish I could, but I have provisions in my partnership agreement for a planned buy out.

Thank you!, great advice, deffinately not afraid of the work. been a chef and that's par for the course, but I think it will be more acceptable for myself. I deffinately will remember the stay on the floor even if things are sour.
Consistency is something I strive for everyday.

LOL. That conversationhas actually came up with my wife suggesting that very thing, just with open door interviews.

Thank you!!, The business plan is a must, I have some friends showing me some of theirs and luckily my wife had an entrepenure class, so I am using her book as well.

Deffinately, I will get off line to you. Thank you!

Thank you all for your help, I knew you all would help. Nothing beats insight from experience.

I keep you all up to date.
post #11 of 11
Keep an eye on your staff. One rude waitress or waiter can ruin your business. One careless cook in the kitchen can poison a customer. I have seen good restruants go down because the boss did not have a handle on the staffing.

PDT_Armataz_01_37.gif On taking the plunge I wish you success.
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