Any real restaurant owners here? I got an inheritence and I'm thinking about opening a takeout italian place. I'm pretty familiar with restaurants because I'm 25 and have been working in a Wendy's and presviously an Arbies since I was 18. I haven't managed to crack management yet, but my supervisor is telling me if I keep it up I'll make assistant manager by 28, so I'm pumped but want to strike out on my own.
I'd serve mostly pizza, cheesebread, and maybe a pasta dish. So really I'm just asking is opening a small restaurant very profitable and a good idea for someone with a lot of business sense and kitchen experience?
It's probably one of the riskiest business ventures to enter. The rewards can be great but you're more likely to fail than succeed.
Based on your experience, I wouldn't suggest you touch the management at all, if it takes you 10 years to reach assistant manager you're going to flounder if you try to run a business.
Its a complicated issue. On the one hand, yes there is a huge failure rate of new resturants but on the other hand that is usually because there is a small barrier of entry.
Some rube thinks they can make easy dosh, gets a bank loan and mortgages their house and proceeds to make shitty business decisions, create subpar food, and hire morons and surprise surprise the place closes down in a year.
If you do everything right, you can still go out of business but the success rate goes way up. Some tips.
>Get a good location, but don't break the bank on rent
>Food cost should be around 1/3 the final price e.g. $9 pizza should be $3 worth of ingrediants tops
>Make sure your food is the objectively awesome (worth the price) and ALWAYS better than competition. Do blind taste tests to make sure people aren't just being nice.
>don't throw thousands around on useless frippery, invest in the core necessities and some decor, but don't go too crazy.
>Have as much money put away to get you through the first year. It can take a while for even a successful restaurant to start seeing a profit
>Make sure you are networking and advertising in the right places leading up to opening and for the first 3-6 months. If you aren't getting "new restaurant" traffic you are doing something wrong
>Bribe Yelp from the start and get some phony reviews. Its a shitty racket but there is no way around it.
>DONT HIRE SHITTY PEOPLE
I am fucking serious about the last one. I have been to a lot of otherwise decent but pricey resturants that I would NEVER return to solely because the service was garbage. Watch how they work when they don't think you are watching. Better yet get cameras. The service industry is full of fuckwits who do the bare minimum to get a weekly check and don't give a shit if you go under. Don't hire family or friends. If they really want to help they can volunteer to their time without being an employee but family and friends will fuck you over.
I just googled "authentic hipster pizza" I found this. Its super popular in coastal areas, probably costs less than $1 to make as there is so little substance to it and you can sell it for like $15
Rustic brick oven pizza is certainly trendy, but there is a lot of competition because of it. Make sure there isn't a market saturation in the area you are opening.
$15 is pushing it for pictured, unless its enough for 2-3 people. I would sell a basic Margarita for closer to $10. No need to jew harder than 1/4th the ingrediants costs.
>After that I could likely make full manager by 35
You honestly think that it takes 17 years of experience until your are in a position to be a restaurant manager? If you do, then either you arent very good or you arent trying very hard.
Subways are still the cheapest franchise to buy in to I believe.
>is opening a small restaurant very profitable
>good idea for someone with a lot of business sense and kitchen experience?
maybe, but working as a fast food cashier for 7 years isn't kitchen experience or business sense.
>No need to jew harder than 1/4th the ingrediants costs.
That's the whole thing, w/ retarded hipsters, they won't come to your restaurant unless the prices are stupidly overpriced
fuck off. I've seen a lot of "small business" people try to get into the restaurant business after their successful careers as accountants or lawyers because it is their dream then fail miserably. I know how to run a fast food join, from top down and have learned from fantastic managers (some of whom have college experience and have solid middle class lives). It's better to be at the bottom of a ladder you want to climb than midway up one you don't.
I try extremely hard and most people only last a few months because they can't cut it. I'm the most valuable employee, and it's not just me saying that. All of my managers have agreed, it's just been a mix of bad timing and my deference to people with more experience that have prevented me from rising through the ranks. The company mostly promotes internally when they can so their is no doubt I will move up if I stick around, but I want to do things MY way.
Here's my advice OP, since you seem to be dead set on doing this:
Don't do it. You don't know shit about running a business much less a restaurant. If it is in fact your dream to own a restaurant then you should go to culinary school, work in a few real restaurants, make connections to find a business partner, and develop an idea for a place less half baked than selling pizza and cheesy bread
You can tell people to fuck off all you want, but 17 years to make it to manager of a fast food joint is a joke. Especially if most people are only lasting a few months.
If you think youre fantastic at your job, and lets face it, its not difficult to be the top employee of a fucking burget shop, then the reason you dont get promoted is because you arent pushing for promotion. No one is going to come and offer you a pay rise, you have to go and get it. Just because someone has more experience than you doesnt mean shit. You can learn all you need to know about running a burger shop within a few months, it doesnt take 17 years.
I know OP is trolling, but I'll respond.
>a small restaurant very profitable
I used to work at a small CPA firm. Two of our restaurant clients were in the city's top 10 rankings on Trip Advisor. These restaurants were constantly having cash flow problems and the owners were taking home about $50k before tax a year.
Just whatever you do, always have fresh ingredients. Make your own dough, both for pizza and for pasta. Make your own tomato sauce. Buy your products at local farmers markets etc. That sounds good from marketong perspective and you get to know the community for a bit. Keep it small, keep it simple(That also applies to decorations). Last point of >>7278325 dont hire shitty people. Better to pay for a 25 yo who can work, than some idiotic lazy college/hs boy who gets half his wage. Dont get too greedy. Depending on location, dont have more than 200% markup on your food. Dont make your food too cheap, because people will think you sell garbage.
Also, open kitchen is always good. Stay clean af. Dont think you know the restaurant business well enough. Follow courses like hygiene/emergency help/cocktail. Buy everything yourself. Be able to do everything yourself.
If you any sort of aptitude for it, you would have been an assistant manager a long time ago. The fact that you've spent 7 years in the trenches means no one thinks you're management material.
This. How many episodes of Kitchen Nightmares have people with little to no experience in kitchens buying restaurants because they think it will be "fun" or "easy" and end up losing their house and end up 500K in debt because they have no idea what the fuck their doing. Having a lazy staff is also the kiss of death.
Not to burst your bubble, but working in fast food is not good experience. It's assembly line food that even the biggest fuck up can handle.
You dont need culinary school, but it would be a big help. If anything get a job working in the kind of restaurant you want to own. If the owner likes you enough maybe you can buy in as a partner.
>by 35 and be pulling down about 35k with full benefits and be set.
I don't know why, but this is the thing I'm responding to. Find a trade or small business and get that entry.
Otherwise, I encourage OP to "follow his dreams," but he's probably going to fail and learn a lot. Hopefully you can find a launching platform after that to actually do it right.
If you're going to be hostile when people give you advice you don't like, why did you even bother coming here at all? If you want to go bankrupt fine but don't pretend like people didn't try to warn you.
>if the owner likes you enough maybe you can buy in a partner
That would take fucking forever, don't count on that
Everyone in this thread is right though.
Fast food experience is not that relevant to real restaurant experience and it shouldn't take ten years to become an assistant manager.
One of my cousins is an assistant manager at mcdonalds and had been there for 3 years
if i was you i'd try a lower risk option of a stall at a credible/respected foodie market. build up a reputation for doing awesome food there and then expand to an actual restaurant if/when you're well known enough