Your Own Restaurant?

Food for thought: The restaurant industry has been around for a long, long time. The beauty of the restaurant industry is that you can own a restaurant regardless of your race, creed, nationality, religion and educational background. There isn’t a lot of opportunities that present themselves where you can write your own paycheck, regardless of your past accomplishments or failures, without having to have a specific college degree. So, you’ve decide it’s time for you to look into the possibility of owning your own restaurant. Many have come before you. And, sadly, many of these establishments are now gone.


your own restaurantThere was a few little things these restaurateurs didn’t see, until it was too late!

I’ve seen the following story played out many times. Someone is told that they are a great cook, or that they have amazing people skills, or great entertainers. Then someone says, “You know Bill, you should open a restaurant. Everyone would come just for your homemade barbecue sauce!

A large chorus of “amen” usually follows this!

People love the idea of owning your own restaurant. Just like Sam from the TV show "Cheers". A place where everyone knows your name. A place where the owner (you) flutters from table to table of adoring patrons.

Bill decides that it is time to open his restaurant and become wealthy, admired and powerful. Six months later, he is out of business.

Why? Bill didn’t learn a few little things, until it was too late!

Opening your own restaurant seems SO easy. It can’t be that hard to cook food and serve drinks, can it?

Restaurant ownership can be great. I love the restaurant industry. But, it has changed. Wasting money on ineffective advertising or marketing, overpaying for a bad location, signing a bad lease, or hiring the wrong staff, can be the kiss of death for your own restaurant.(To read my story of a unique restaurant turn around click here)

Your own restaurant (the bad stuff)

- really long hours
- rude public
- family, what family?
- steady parade of problems and emergencies
- employee headaches

Your own restaurant (the good stuff)

- outstanding income potential
- you are the boss
- very social environment
- prestige when successful
- sense of accomplishment

If you have the energy, and the willingness to learn some newer restaurant industry trends, your might be ready to own your own restaurant!

So, Who Should Own A Restaurant?

Here’s just a few of the traits that would help you become a profitable restaurant owner:

- people generally like you
- you like people
- you understand that gross income minus expenses equals profit (you understand how to make money)
- you’re a hard worker
- you like working in a busy atmosphere
- you get energized when things get hectic
- you have a bit of an ego and are proud to show off your accomplishments
- you can manage people without shouting, over reacting, micro-managing or throwing your hands up in the air.
- you have a lot of energy
- you love taking care of customers
- you enjoy multitasking
- you have a lifestyle and family that supports the restaurant lifestyle
- you enjoy creating things
- you’ve worked in a restaurant
- you enjoy learning about marketing and promoting
- you like good food

Who SHOULDN’T Own A Restaurant

I’m going to give you a list of negative traits that can harm your restaurant ambitions.
(Note: There are restaurant owners I know who have one of these negative traits, and have still made a lot of money. They don’t have ALL the traits, or they would be as successful as they’ve been!)

- you distrust people
- you are elitist
- you avoid people
- you panic when things go wrong
- you like to spend a lot of time relaxing
- you don’t like change
- you dislike most people
- you think all suppliers are crooks
- you get headaches in frantic situations
- you can only do one thing at a time
- you want to spend a lot more time with your family
- you’ve never worked in a restaurant
- you want to take weekends off
- you think bookwork isn’t that important
- you don’t like planning
- you eat Kraft dinner daily (and really enjoy it’s delicate flavor!)
- you make good chili so figured it was time to learn how to start a restaurant

Are You REALLY Ready To Own A Restaurant?

own a restaurantDo you feel confident enough to ask yourself that question? That’s what I thought when my husband challenged me to buy my own restaurant after managing, starting, opening and working in other people’s restaurant for over 25 years. Do a lot of research. Get your thoughts, ideas, themes, concepts and particulars down on paper.

Deep in your stomach (sorry for the food pun!) you’ll know when it’s the right time for you to own a restaurant.