I’ll ask you the question. Why do you want to own a restaurant?
Before you even get involved with the cost of starting a business or begin to worry about what opening a restaurant takes, search your soul.
What’s your reason for thinking you can survive in the faced paced world of the service industry? The hours are long. You’ll get visibly annoyed and explosively angry at anything and everything. You won’t sleep. You’ll drink a lot and develop other bad habits. You’ll fall in love and have really bad public breakups. You’ll have to listen to hundreds of others tell you they know how to do things right and that you’re doing things wrong. You’ll fail miserably and struggle daily for just one kernel of positive reinforcement to show you’re doing something right.
I can keep going. So why do you want to own a restaurant?
Let me tell you this. I’ve been in the service industry for longer than I can remember. Let’s just estimate that it’s been about 25 years. I’ve seen a restaurant from every angle. I’ve had every experience you can think of or imagine in a restaurant. Yes, all of them, for those of you with dirty minds.
One thing that has greatly excited me over the course of my “career” is the growing restaurant culture in America. If you’re wondering why I put the word career in quotation marks, be patient with me. It will become apparent as you get to know me.
In 2015, having the ambition and drive to run a kitchen, become a bartender, a sommelier, or run a restaurant of your own is a viable and realistic career goal.
But it wasn’t as widely accepted back in the mid 90’s when I first told my parents that I wanted to go to culinary school. They had a problem with me becoming a “cook.” I don’t think they felt I had the ambition required to be the son of an engineer and an accountant.
I just wanted to do something that I enjoyed.
We compromised on the University of Houston College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. I hated every second of it.
Before I attempted college I worked in restaurants and hotels. My main job through high school was as a Front Desk Agent at a popular hotel in my town. I loved meeting people from other countries, wearing a suit to work, and seeing the smile on someone’s face because of something I’d done. I personally think that’s why people become musicians or actors. Because they like to make others happy.
So, I ask you once again. Why do you want to start a restaurant? Is it because of one of the reasons I chose the service industry? Because you want to do something you enjoy? Because you like making others happy? Dig deep and ask yourself that question.
Feel free to let me know when you think you have an answer.
Next we’ll go into detail on the traits you’ll need to become a restaurant owner and the steps you’ll take for opening a restaurant.