Thursday, September 19, 2019

Owning a restaurant

Be in no doubt.  Owning and running a restaurant is not purgatory or life threatening.
What it is, is fun, profitable and enables a lifestyle the envy of most.
People who perhaps should rethink their ability to be successful tend to blame mutually exclusive factors for their demise such as restaurant over-supply , long hours or even Uber-eats.  It’s simply not true.
People tend to blame ‘others’ after they have failed to deal with all the ‘fun’ challengers.  Beware the pontificating dross!   
The first key concept is that owning a restaurant is actually real hands on work not to be confused with just sitting at home directing the minions to achieve.  They won’t!
Secondly, restaurants fall over because they can’t deal with inevitable quiet times or their offering does not meet the ‘wow’ factor or they remain undifferentiated with no discernible focus to attract spenders.
Thirdly, there never were days gone past when all you had to do was open the door and people would throw money in.  It’s a myth perpetrated by those seeking solace or the ‘oh woe is me’ syndrome.
It’s not what happens, it’s how you deal with it!  Obviously there are no guarantees and success can be sometimes a fleeting goal but these failures are nothing compared to the many restaurateurs having a ball.  We had a failure a few years ago but we dealt with it and moved on to more fun than you can shake a stick at.
Currently we have a tiny bistro seating just 16 people which we open 5 days and perhaps 30 hours a week for around 44 weeks a year and we have just been awarded out of London, ‘Australian restaurant of the year’.  Our product is differentiated with just my wife and I working, open short hours, travel the world and, we own the bar!  Did I mention having fun?
The thought challenged with a distracted ego fail on many fronts to deal with all the issues involved expecting to just open the doors and all will be tickety boo.  Life and restaurants are not like that.
I play golf badly, failing all the time to whip that grass into shape.  But it’s still God’s sport and it’s fun.  There is no greater challenge in playing against an opponent you can never beat!  And, it’s just bloody grass!  Restaurants are the same – good days, bad days, fun days and abject misery days.  
Good, isn’t it!