Getting ready to open a new restaurant?
There are a ton of new restaurants opening whether large or small and not all know exactly what they are getting into when they open the doors. Any new business is going to be a bit rough starting out but what are some things you can do from the start to avoid some major headaches to develop?
Food Network star Bobby Flay is well known around the food world, not just for his great food but for his awesome business knowledge too. Check out his tips he recommends before opening your new restaurant:
1. Don’t try to feed everyone. Think singular focus. If you can describe your food in one word then you’re on the right track and know exactly what you want to accomplish. “If you try to feed everyone, you feed no one.”
2. Don’t jump in undercapitalized. Initial projections are never as they seem. Starting a restaurant can take twice as long and twice as much money than you originally projected. If you think it will be $1 million to get started, most like it would take $2 million just because you never know with opening a restaurant.
3. Don’t leave everything to your staff.The one mistake people make is, they think they can get the financing, hire a designer, hire a staff, open the restaurant, and from that point forward the staff will take care of it. If you don’t want to be in this business for the entire creation and life of the restaurant, then you shouldn’t open it.
4. Don’t leave design totally up to the designer. You have to have a clear idea about what kind of design you want. Otherwise the designer will pick the direction. I think a lot of times people design restaurants with flash in mind. I think you should design restaurants with function in mind. Make sure it’s functional and works with what you’re trying to accomplish. Design can come later. [Although] there are some exceptions. In a trendy neighborhood, where it’s an event to come to your restaurant, then it makes more sense to spend on design.
5. Don’t do what others can do better. I’m a chef. I bring a chef’s perspective to this work. There have been a lot of chef ownerships over the last 20 years. What’s important to note is, even if the chef has a good business head, his focus should be behind kitchen doors. A business partner should take care of everything in front of the kitchen doors, because this business is too hard to do it on your own. My partner is Laurence Kretchmer. He’s been my partner since we opened Mesa Grill. We’ve been doing this for 20 years, and we need each other to make this work.
Bobby knows what he’s talking about so listen to his advice. From friends of ours to viewers that have opened a restaurant, both will say just how crazy and chaotic it can be but it is also one of the coolest jobs in the world. Just know what you’re getting into before you ever take the first leap.