#11  
Old 10-17-2007, 11:25 AM
Unofornaio's Avatar
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Central, California
Posts: 323
Default Re: Building an oven in the basement....

I forgot to add if the building has living quarters above it this is a plus. Not many people want to live above a restaurant/bar but there are people that will this is added revenue that you can use at the very least to pay the mortgage of the building or even the rent. The thing with locations though is unlike other businesses location is not so much an issue..if you have good food and great service people will come. Think of how many hole in the wall restaurants you have been to that may not be in the greatest location but the experience is worth the trip. My place was in the alley of the downtown district in a small town, parking wasn't the greatest but it was never an issue. I got though all the mess of start up and several years of operation only to fall victim to a very messy, insanely costly divorce and custody battel..Oh well the new one will be up and running soon. Wholesale only bakery at my home.
Don't let your dream die...
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2007, 02:29 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 20
Default Re: Building an oven in the basement....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unofornaio View Post
This post isnt what my other reply was. I dont know what happend to it?

If you like please take some advice from someone who has been there and done that.

Take the job---take the Job---take the Job. Your dream of the restaurant does not have to die just take a second to the job for right now. I new restaurant venture is extremely, expensive and even more time consuming, you can use the revenue from the job to help finance it a piece at a time. Keep in mind there are thousands of dollars in support equipment for the kitchen, dinning room expenses building permits, upgrading the buildings services (water, gas, electric) putting in bathrooms or remodeling the ones that are there, handicap access, heating and cooling, insulation, initial inventory, cash on hand or a credit line so you can pay the staff for the first month more likely 2 months. Lots and lots of stuff.
I plan on taking the job if it's offered... no question about that. I understand the expenses will be immense, which is why I'm very happy that I won't have any expense in the build out... The building owner - not me - will be paying for the build out, and my lease price will be based on the total cost of the build and my lease terms. I will still have startup costs, but I'm confident in my ability to walk into the bank with a properly built business plan and walk out with cash-in-hand or at least a Line of Credit.... the only problem I will have is lack of Collateral to get the cash, since I don't own the building.

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Originally Posted by Unofornaio View Post
Its better to start putting money aside for all of this stuff now or developing a credit relationship in anticipation of these expenses. Doing a business plan if for NO OTHER BUSINESS is essential for a good ESTIMATE of a restaurant/bar..bar don't for get your liquor license out here they are about $10,000.00 and if you are in an older neighborhood where the zone is already saturated you will have to buy an existing permit or apply for a variance which can be in the neighborhood of triple that. Since you will be doing food as well the cost drops and I don't know what your fees are there but these are what it is in CA. After you get the job (good luck) go get a program called "Business Plan Pro" or download a free one and get it all on paper...believe me this makes a world of difference. You will see the costs and the realistic steps you need to take to achieve you dream.
I've already started saving, planning, and building relationships. I'm considering asking the owners of the building to allow me to invest in the business, say 10% buy-in at first, and slowly building up my capital to buy them out of the business, but probably not the building itself unless I make a couple hundred thousand profit in my first year and can afford the newly renovated building. I already have Business Plan Pro, and have started using it for our Physical Therapy practice - don't worry, my wife is the PT and I already hired my replacement so I won't be here anymore after I find a job and start saving up. I need to finish up a few things here, writing her plan, and expanding the clinic, then I can go off on my own when business is self-sufficient in the clinic.

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Originally Posted by Unofornaio View Post
Make no mistake getting a restaurant venture off the ground is a 12hr a day 7 day a week job you will NOT have time to do both.
Even with at full time manager on staff you still need to act as the General Manager and in the beginning you have dozens of people to deal with that all need your personal time to discuss things that need YOUR input on not that you can trust to a 3rd party you just hired regardless of their resume.
With a May opening date, I can walk into any job and say that I have no intention of leaving any time soon... when I'm 2 weeks out from the opening, then I'll put in my 2 weeks notice at the job and start working nights at the restaurant to get all my ducks in a row. I plan to be the Owner and Manager, not run it from the sidelines like I've seen too many owners do already in this small city.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unofornaio View Post
There is also menu planning and preparation once you get the menu decided on you need to see if it is going to work, not if people will like it but how the kitchen staff will be able to execute it. You need to plan prep times for certain foods which means some staff will need to come in early to do prep others need to come in later. Finding this balance can break you in and of itself and it will take several weeks to figure it out, all the while the staff is going to expect to be paid. There is also getting your ordering on a good schedule which again is a delicate balance of loss of product or running out of product. Plus many other things you will need to refine in the first several months all of this takes a tremendous amount of time.. and cannot be worked out on paper ahead of time completely. I mean you can try to forecast trends and busy times but you will not know what the actuals are until you get into it.
Menu planning will depend greatly on what I can cook in a brick oven or on a grill. I'm MAY have a deep fryer for Fish Fry or appetizers, but currently, my intention is to not have any deep fried foods at all in the place. I also plan to do the "slow food" thing, where all of our menu items are locally grown, flash frozen if need be, and all organic, unless I find it to be financially unfeasible to do so. I plan to invite a select few of my friends, business associates and family to a pre-opening where I just start cooking everything I want to serve in the restaurant and have them rate the dishes, narrowing down the selection to maybe 10-15 main menu items, and possibly a few specials. I know everything will have prep time, and all of my recipes have to be cut down from 4-serving dishes to 1- or 2-serving dishes. That will be difficult on the Leg-O'-Lamb of course, but for the most part, I can cut everything down to 1 serving.
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  #13  
Old 10-17-2007, 02:41 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 20
Default Re: Building an oven in the basement....

Continuing the previous post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unofornaio View Post
Then there is the staff issues as well, inorder for a small place to "work" you staff need to be team players. A small wait staff of 2 or 3 can bring down a place much faster than a wait staff of 5-10 meaning that with a larger operation you have other servers that can pick up tables to make up for the weak ones when you have a small place guess who takes the extra tables.? YOU that is if you are not helping out in the kitchen, host, changing the dinning room music, dealing with an irate customer, making rounds on the floor inroducing yourself, answering the phone, helping the bartender or whatever else comes up, and believe me it comes up usually at a busy time even with the best planning something always comes up.
This is still an issue of course, as is everything since I haven't started yet... I have people lining up to work for a place that I've envisioned and told people about... It's amazing what people are willing to do to get a "nice" place in town where they can take their families... especially kids. About 15 minutes from me is a restaurant that is far off the main road, but packs the room daily, and in the other direction is a hunt club that packs the room on Fridays and Saturdays for dinner, but is closed for food the other days of the week... Both of them are non-smoking, as will be my restaurant, and people will still pack it in if everything else is up to snuff. I plan to be the gracious host, kibitzing and chatting with everyone, while still actively running the show, rather than watching from the sidelines as a couple of the other restaurant owners in town have done since I've lived here. There is one bar owner that does everything on his own, except wait tables, but he pours drinks and cooks some of the best food you'll ever have, but he's always empty... I'm considering asking him to join my staff and sell his bar, investing in mine instead, which will end up holding at least 3x the crowd and he's Moroccan, so I think he'll add a good spin on my already extensive list of menu items that I would LIKE to have. =)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unofornaio View Post
Running the daily operations of a good restaurtant is like combining clascial music with jazz. Clasical being all the training and preperation the Jazz being having the ability to roll with the punches using your training.
Outstanding analogy, and since I am a Jazz and Classical musician, I completely understand and love the implications of the statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unofornaio View Post
DON'T GET ME WRONG I am in NO way trying to discourage you. I dreamed of mine for years before opening. But since over the years I had worked in every position form bus boy to Food and Beverage manager I had a heads up on a lot of the back of the house operations. I took the advice of an Old Italian guy in the town I grew up in which was what I stated above. If you have a job keep it until the las min then go for it and you have to go for it 100% you cant have yourself torn between two priorities the restaurant needs your attention in the same way an infant needs their parent it will NOT flourish on auto pilot.
Or you could just hire a GM @ 60-70,000 and a manager @40-50,000 and supervise them. Which is what a lot of franchise buyers do but then again with a franchise most everything in terms of operations is worked out so you are not opening a "NEW" place that all the above comes with, its really a branch. But what fun would that be..The best part is BEING there..
This is some of the best advice I've ever gotten... and I will take it to heart. I will keep my job in the clinic until I get offered something else, and I will keep that something else until the last moment before opening the restaurant. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unofornaio View Post
I forgot to add if the building has living quarters above it this is a plus. Not many people want to live above a restaurant/bar but there are people that will this is added revenue that you can use at the very least to pay the mortgage of the building or even the rent. The thing with locations though is unlike other businesses location is not so much an issue..if you have good food and great service people will come. Think of how many hole in the wall restaurants you have been to that may not be in the greatest location but the experience is worth the trip. My place was in the alley of the downtown district in a small town, parking wasn't the greatest but it was never an issue. I got though all the mess of start up and several years of operation only to fall victim to a very messy, insanely costly divorce and custody battel..Oh well the new one will be up and running soon. Wholesale only bakery at my home.
Don't let your dream die...
I don't own the building, so I won't have any opportunity to sublease the rest of it, though I do have friends with businesses that would absolutely love to have some retail space in this city, so I might be able to draw some of their rent from the owners for referring them.... I also have the 3000+ Sq Ft "hall" side of the building, which I will have full control of, and will be able to rent that out at least weekly if not twice a week for already existing groups and of course future events.

The question I have now, before I answer any others, is do I lease based on build out cost and lease terms, rent-to-own, or try to invest in the building and become a part-owner of the whole thing, giving me more power, but costing me far more money initially.
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  #14  
Old 10-25-2007, 07:59 AM
asudavew's Avatar
Il Pizzaiolo
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: san angelo, texas
Posts: 1,877
Default Re: Building an oven in the basement....

I see your biggest obstacle as capital.

Bankers are very apprehensive to lending for restaurants, especially to someone with little or no collateral.

If I am correct, I think most lenders will only lend about 20%, they know people work harder if 80% of the investment comes from the owner/operators themselves.

A very large majority of restaurants fail.
Taking the bankers money and yours with it.

If you have never run a restaurant, the best approach is to find one to work at. Preferably one that you can work your way up to manager.
That is the only way you can learn properly. A good way to learn all the little details.

It can look incredibly lucrative and easy to do on paper, but all the variables.......they can get ya. Things you never even dreamed of.
And if you enjoy your social time, your family time, and your alone time, you will have none of those owning a successful restaurant. It is very hard to find someone who will manage and run it like you would do personally. i.e. It will be very hands on.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but just trying to let you know how difficult it is to create a successful eatery.


Either way, good luck to you.
And if you do decide to open the place, lets us know how it goes.
You are not the only with aspirations of owning your own food joint!
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