23 Comments

  1. 8/28/2010
    Reply

    Owning your own restaurant is a lot of work. I am tired after reading your post. I am glad some people have the passion and dedication because when someone gets it right, it is a pleasure to dine out and experience that passion on a plate.

  2. 8/29/2010
    Reply

    I have to give props where props are due, far to often I hear tales of people longing to get into the food industry with no knowledge of the industry.

    I am all for chasing your dreams and what not, but I wish more people understood just what is involved in this potential selling of one’s soul

    Great article

    • Food Woolf
      8/30/2010
      Reply

      @Gabriel Hummel,
      Restaurants are a tough business. Too many people think of them as a simple industry and don’t see all the hard work going on behind the scenes.

      Thanks for taking the time to swing by!

  3. 8/31/2010
    Reply

    Maybe on week two recommend that they throw the same dinner parties, but tell people to show up at any time they feel like between 6pm and midnight, and start feeding them their first course within 20 minutes of arrival…. Oh, and just 12 hours a day, six days a week? That sounds like one heck of a cushy restaurant owner’s job. Hell, that’d be cushy for most chefs and/or managers.

  4. 8/31/2010
    Reply

    Great post – glad I found your blog. It’s always difficult working out how to give ‘dreamers’ an idea about the relentless of restaurant life – your 4 day bootcamp would come fairly close!

    Keep up the good work – Ken

  5. 8/31/2010
    Reply

    Fantastic post. I’ve worked exactly one day in a restaurant, and despite the fact that I fantasize about owning my own food-related business, I realize I’m not cut out for restaurant work.

    I’m keeping the food truck and casserole delivery service dreams, though.

  6. Leah Greenstein
    8/31/2010
    Reply

    Lol. You nailed it! You need to come up with an FOH boot camp next!

  7. Steve Armstrong
    9/1/2010
    Reply

    You forgot your cook deciding Aunt Molly died (again) and s/he need the night off. Or Princess has a date and it’s Friday and she’s on the schedule. But best of all, the part where the bank account you had which has all those digits in the balance finally get down to a managable few.

  8. 9/1/2010
    Reply

    You nailed it! Everyone thinks!!!!! they want our headaches! However, “you can take the boy/girl out of the restaurant but you cannot take the restaurant out of the boy/girl!”

  9. SpiceBites
    9/1/2010
    Reply

    Funny & though-provoking! Everytime I get the urge, I’ll re-read this article. Looking forward to more of your tweets. :)
    Thanks.

  10. 9/1/2010
    Reply

    I did Step 3 and 4 once. After that, I quit my job and went to Nepal for 3 weeks ;)

    • Food Woolf
      9/2/2010
      Reply

      Carrie,
      That’s funny! I wish I could go to Nepal for three weeks after a hard week at the restaurant. I’ll mention that to my boss. :)

  11. [...] Ever wanted to own your own restaurant. A blog created from an insiders perspective of the food industry gives a few tips to make sure you’re cut out for the job. [...]

  12. 9/24/2010
    Reply

    This post was emailed to me by my fiance, I routinely annoy him with my “when we open our restaurant” comments. Reality Check!!!! Maybe cooking for 2 is what I am meant to do.

  13. pete samuels
    12/22/2010
    Reply

    everyone will tell you that owning and running a restaurant is hectic, my main advice is to use productivity tools that give you more of that most valuable commodity…time.

    Key areas include:
    – Finding new customers and keeping existing business / Marketing
    – Food Logistics
    – Staff Management
    – Table/booking management & billing
    – Financial reporting, Accounts payable and Accounting.

    If you are like me, being gen Y or X, then you’ll be sweet with leveraging internet tools as a way to promote and run your business – i’ve found working with older restaurant owners that they are less likely to be adopters of technology, but this doesn’t help in a competitive and financially challenging environment.

    For me the most time consuming area has been food logistics and staff management, you really need a hands on approach for this. For marketing, tables/booking management and the financial area I use web and iphone applications.

    The most useful tool for me which has been a godsend is yumtable.com – a last minute restaurant booking service, essentially allows you to post tables and deals online where you have quiet time periods, eg Mon/Tuesday evenings or for last minute cancellations. But because you can tailor your own offers at any time period for any number of tables, i’ve also used it for specials as well, eg I got a good deal on snapper and offered 5 tables a night for a special sitting at 5pm with a movie ticket with a snapper main. It’s great fun and new and old customers have used it – Offers are also automatically posted to your facebook and twitter accounts 2 hours before they expire – which leverages the social network of my cafe. I also get bookings from text messages so it’s very efficient and with no equipment costs and it’s free to use for the first 20 bookings to see if it works.

    opentable.com has also been handy but I find that most of my customers have bookmarked my phone number to call for a booking rather than bothering online.

    For accounting I’m using xero.com, it’s an amazing tool that literally takes your purchases from your bank feeds and after you teach it, will remember what transaction should go to what account – this is truly a huuuuge time saver. Being online, at any point i can log in and see the status of my business and it’s health – without minimal need for a bookkeeper. Costs around $50 a month but worth it for you not having to think about your accounts, whenever i log in it’s all there without the need to spend early hours of the morning entering in receipts, etc.

    The last tool i’ve found useful is billstrust.com – this nifty online business is awesome for businesses that get lots of bills from lots of sources – you can simply grab any bill including hand written ones and fax/email or take a pic with your camera phone and email it – and this service will handle data entry and queue up the bill for payment by the due date – you can view at any one time your liabilities due over coming months. I get stacks of supplier bills as well as your standard electricity/gas bills so all my bills are in one place – and i can sync it with my xero account to have a real time picture of where my business is at – again this saves on the need for a bookkeeper.

    The only thing i’d like to be easier is payroll management, but i’m looking into solutions at the moment for that.

  14. Alex
    1/9/2013
    Reply

    Ahh, so true!! Had to wash dishes in suit, bus, and buy groceries at midnight.
    It’s not easy at all, but so worth it, if you truly enjoy it! Good article.

    • 1/10/2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Alex! I appreciate you coming by, reading, and adding your professional experience!

  15. 12/16/2013
    Reply

    after reading this article i think i better try something else because evething is the opposite of me i don’t think i thrive well in chaos and i work with a manager who get miserable often noe i realize is the pressure. i love food though

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