Want to own a restaurant?

Rocklobster

Senior Member
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15 Mar 2017
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680
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Canada
Hello, Everybody! I've owned three restaurants over the last 30 years. Mostly family style, Canadian cuisine..I've spent years and thousands of hours slogging it out in the trenches, through good times and bad..I am far from a chef, but have dedicated my life to making a living from selling my food that I painstakingly create every day..if anybody has any questions about the lifestyle, challenges, pros and cons, feel free to ask..Maybe I can help you get started or convince you to forget about it....either way, I'm happy to share my experiences with you..and feel free to converse amongst yourselves. I certainly am open to learning new things.. Thanks, and come again!
 
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Lullabelle

Midlands, England
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14 Oct 2012
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Leicester UK
I admire and respect anyone who chooses to do that because I like to eat out and enjoy a quality cooked meal using local ingredients where possible, supporting local business etc. however I would not want to do it myself.
 

Rocklobster

Senior Member
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15 Mar 2017
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680
Location
Canada
I admire and respect anyone who chooses to do that because I like to eat out and enjoy a quality cooked meal using local ingredients where possible, supporting local business etc. however I would not want to do it myself.
It's a lifestyle choice more so than a "job". You live it every day, bring it home..the calculator is as common as the salt and pepper shaker on your dinner table..Car is full of produce. You can't just drive from point A to point B without stopping someplace to pick something up..not for everybody...even people who decide to do it don't realize how much of your life you dedicate to it..many quit, or end up failing because they don't spend the time required..
 

Karen W

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30 Jul 2018
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Would be nice to own a business or three. As tempting as that sounds, I wouldn't have the capital to begin with. I grew accustomed to a steady paycheck, paid holidays and vacation, health insurance, pension and an Ira. Don't know if I'd have the self-discipline to be my own boss. Kudos to you Roch. When you do what you love, it's almost like not working at all.
 

Rocklobster

Senior Member
Joined
15 Mar 2017
Messages
680
Location
Canada
Would be nice to own a business or three. As tempting as that sounds, I wouldn't have the capital to begin with. I grew accustomed to a steady paycheck, paid holidays and vacation, health insurance, pension and an Ira. Don't know if I'd have the self-discipline to be my own boss. Kudos to you Roch. When you do what you love, it's almost like not working at all.
A lot of it is about not having much of a choice, as funny as that sounds. Like any career, once you have spent years establishing yourself it is hard to get out and start anew. I’ve tried to get out a few times but keep coming back because it is where my experience can be utilized to maximise my earning potential. There are many times I wish I did sometiing else. Lol. The grass isn’t always greener
 
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Rocklobster

Senior Member
Joined
15 Mar 2017
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680
Location
Canada
Our mom had once suggested that we all pitch in to run a restaurant, but it would be too much drama, stubbornness & bullheadedness. No one would listen to anyone!!

We'd be better off going our separate ways. :headshake::eek:
My kids could never work with me. And we all get along great because of it..
 

rascal

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18 Mar 2018
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Christchurch New Zealand
If you have done it for years you feel at home I guess. I started in sheet metal, moved to welding, then selling steel, then selling engineering supplies to working for myself for 30 years. My theme is metal,yours is cooking. My cooking side is secondary, I love it, but don't want to do it full time. I'm happy cooking for family and friends.
Btw, regulations here are crazy, commercial kitchens, osh. Occupational safety and health.
It would cost a fortune to set up a restaurant here.

Russ
 

Rocklobster

Senior Member
Joined
15 Mar 2017
Messages
680
Location
Canada
If you have done it for years you feel at home I guess. I started in sheet metal, moved to welding, then selling steel, then selling engineering supplies to working for myself for 30 years. My theme is metal,yours is cooking. My cooking side is secondary, I love it, but don't want to do it full time. I'm happy cooking for family and friends.
Btw, regulations here are crazy, commercial kitchens, osh. Occupational safety and health.
It would cost a fortune to set up a restaurant here.

Russ
It's always been challenging..inflation is making it harder for places to make a profit, let alone break even..we are in a rural area, meat and potatoes country..we have to cater to the locals if we want to survive, which is the case..I'm done chasing my dream to express myself as that carries a greater degree of risk..I just want a paycheck and some decent savings so I can stay in my home into my old age..as Karen said, there isn't a benefit plan or group retirement pension..it's all on us..
 
Joined
30 Mar 2017
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Detroit, USA
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I do have quite a few questions, and I probably will think of more later:
  1. Are you there every day, or is there someone else (your partner?) you trust to run things if you take a day off? I know restaurant owners who have problems with dishonest employees who steal from them.
  2. How often do you introduce new menu items? You mentioned having to cater to the locals. Did that lead to more or less new items?
  3. How long did it take for you to get a hang for how much food to order? I’d be concerned about ordering too much and having to throw things out (or not ordering enough and running out of something).
  4. Did you have a reasonable health inspector? How much did you have to clean to keep them happy?
  5. What kind of restaurants did you own? Why were they different (or were they?)
Thanks!
 

Wandering Bob

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 Jul 2018
Messages
773
Location
France
Does anyone watch mystery diners, American set up in restaurants, catching thieves etc. it's really good to watch.
Yes, I've watched it occasionally. I find it stagy and unconvincing.

So - here's an alternative view from me - it's not "really good to watch".

It's on Food Network by the way
 
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