They say owning a restaurant is like owning a boat
Some days I look back and find it hard to believe that I really did create, own and operate a successful restaurant. The indisputable facts are that most independently owned restaurants fail within the first year of opening. My restaurant beat the odds. It was a successful venture – it had to be – our life savings and mortgage on the house were at stake.
When I opened my restaurant, I was not dissuaded by the words of “Don’t do it” from people I knew who had experienced restaurant ownership first hand. I was determined, excited, na´ve and brutally unaware of what was truly awaiting my foray into becoming a restaurateur. Yes, I had a business degree, a culinary degree, worked in a few restaurants, ran my own small catering business, taught cooking classes and worked with a variety of very experienced and professional chefs. I watched others seem to succeed in a food business, where I analyzed what they were selling and knew I could do a better job. Besides, it was my dream to own my own little restaurant – I had to either do it or let the dream die – and I wasn’t willing to let it die.
They say owning a restaurant is like owning a boat. The two happiest days of your life are the day you buy the boat and the day you sell the boat. I’ve never owned a boat, but I know exactly what they mean.
I had been working for a nationally recognized cooking supply/culinary school retail store. As a salaried employee, when I would calculate my hourly rate based on the number of hours I was working each week, it was depressing. I figured, if I was going to work that hard for so little pay, I might as well work for myself – it couldn’t be any worse than what I was doing. Plus, I was getting close to 40, and if I didn’t do it soon, I would be simply too old to follow through with my dream.
Thus began my foray into restaurant ownership. On this site I hope to share many of my experiences, the good, the bad and maybe even the ugly. Whether or not you ever own a restaurant of your own, I hope that you can glean a bit about what it takes – and hopefully – I can spare you the pain. Stay tuned – the menu will change weekly.