Myths About Opening a Restaurant

I have to say, working for One Fat Frog and meeting so many people with big hopes and dreams for their businesses has got me thinking about what it would be like to actually run a restaurant. Many of those I meet are the same way, except, unlike me, they’re actually doing it. But there are certain myths that may assume will happen if you open a restaurant, so I wanted to take a second here to mention a few of the most pervasive ones and burst some of your bubbles. I’m not doing it to be mean, however…I’m doing it because I love you all, and I want you to be realistic about the whole thing.

Myth 1: I make “so-and-so dish” really well, so I’m going to open a place. Here’s the problem with this one: you might be a really good cook in your kitchen at home, but that doesn’t mean it will translate to a restaurant. For one, running a restaurant isn’t just about cooking good food; you’re running a business, which means hiring and firing people, managing accounts, buying supplies, and keep hundreds of people happy. And even if you do have that one good signature dish you can make, that doesn’t mean it’ll be successful. Very few “one item” places do well, unless you have the population around you to draw from, like a coffee shop or ice cream parlor, or hot dog stands in New York City.

Myth 2: I can chill at my own place. This is bad idea for many reasons. For one, if you just want a place so you can hang out at, you can do that without opening a restaurant. That’d be way easier and much cheaper. If you do want a restaurant that will run “itself,” that means hiring good managers and employees who can manage the business, but if you’re there, you’re working. You’re assisting in getting drinks or checking on tables or expediting orders. It’s your money being invested in the place, and if you’re just using it as a hangout spot, you’re going to hurt your bottom line.

Myth 3: I want to be a celebrity chef. Well, let me take a second to laugh hysterically. BAHHAHAHAHAHA! Okay, I’m back. Look, being successful and being famous are not the same thing…just ask a certain 20-something former mom from Central Florida from a couple years ago and you’ll know what I mean. Of course, if you do end up being famous, then more power to you. But don’t get into the business expecting this to happen. Because the chances are it won’t.

There are lots more myths to break, but that’s all I’m going with now. Perhaps there will be a volume two, or even three. But for now, just keep your focus on one thing: success. That means making good food in an efficient way so you can see some profits coming in. Remember what I wrote a little ways back: your restaurant is a business, so make sure you see that kind of success.

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